Friday, September 11, 2009


9/08/o9 High Zero Festival. Baltimore's High Zero Festival has begun to sprout in the North Station area (quickly becoming Baltimore's new Bohemia, with an assist from the expanding Maryland Institute and College of Art.) The installation-exhibit wing of the free improv sound festival opened tonight at the Load of Fun Gallery. In a conscious effort to out-avant the avant-garde, some of the installations are simply out there and not terribly enticing. Still, there is much to engage the contemplative gallery visitor. Top pics are Owen Gardner's "Space is Deep," where three electronically tuned guitars emit resonant sounds as they lie propped up on paperback classics of a vanished '60's counterculture, and Ayako Kataoka's "A Girl Said," an effort to capture sound visually in a wax-like medium. Hers is the quietist but most probing of the installations as it creates a Buddhist alternative to the audial score.

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