Wall Text: Channa Horwitz
Wall Text, 250 words
Sonakinatography I, Movement #II, Sheet C, 2nd Variation, 1969
Plaka and pencil on graph paper, 16 x 12 x 3 inches, signed recto: Channa Davis.
In 1968, while attending California Institute of the Arts, Channa Horwitz (then Channa Davis) submitted an ambitious proposal to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for “Experiments in Art and Technology,” an exhibition conceived by Billy Klüver and Robert Rauschenberg. She envisioned a sculpture with a plexiglass base through which a spectrum of 8 beams of colorful light would move, in a choreographed manner, for 10 minutes. She titled the sculpture “Suspension of Vertical Beams” and although it was never realized, its subject became a focus of her practice for the next five decades. She developed a systematic method of mark making which she came to call “Sonakinatography.” The term combined sona (from Latin sonāre, referring to sound), kina (from Greek kinētos, referring to motion), and -graphy (from Latin -graphia, referring to representation). Using graph paper with 8 squares per inch, she hand-plotted data sets, creating diagrammatic visualizations of sound and movement. Sonakinatography I, Movement #II, Sheet C, 2nd Variation illustrates her intricate, disciplined marks within the rigid framework of the system, but also reveals opportunities for variation and exploration with its infinite options. This included working with collaborators who later followed Horwitz’s descriptive logical sequences, interpreting them into dance, music, and performance. The entire body of work is visually rich and mesmerizing as it increases in complexity, with simple patterns becoming more intricate and unpredictable. Horwitz declared, “I was interested in reducing my choices to the least number, so that I could go deeper in my search and discover more.”