Artist Workshop With Sergei Tcherepnin
Sep 4, 2014

The artist shows students an electronic device with many controls

Sergei Tcherepnin demonstrates how he uses a synthesizer. Photograph by Andrew Kelly


Each year, partnership school students from West Side Collaborative are given the unique opportunity to work with a Whitney artist through a workshop at the Museum. This gives students the opportunity to not only learn the artist’s process, but think like artists themselves! In the spring, students met with 2014 Whitney Biennial artist, Sergei Tcherepnin. In the workshop, students learned about Tcherepnin’s sound installations and collaborated as a class to record their own sound piece. 

Two students laugh at small device in the palm of one student's hand

A West Side Collaborative student held a transducer, a device that transforms electrical signals into vibrations and transmits the sound of materials and objects. Tcherepnin uses them in his work. Students attached transducers to materials such as copper and water bottles to see how materials would feel and sound. Photograph by Andrew Kelly

The artist addresses students under bright white circular lights

For his Biennial piece, Ambient Marcel (Waiting, Working, Irrupting), 2014, Tcherepnin attached surface transducers-devices that convert signals into vibrations-onto eight of the Marcel Breuer-designed light fixtures in the Museum Lobby. These small mechanisms allowed sections of the overhead lighting system to emit sound, creating what the artist describes as "speaker instruments." The sound ranged from droplet-like noises to jarringly loud acoustics that surround the visitor as they enter the Museum. Photograph by Andrew Kelly

A student points at a light fixture

Tcherepnin asked students to find the transducers based on where they heard sound. Photograph by Andrew Kelly

The artist holds a drinking glass as he speaks to a group of students.

Tcherepnin led a collaborative sound experiment where each student used either their voice or an object to create a three minute recording. Afterwards, their sound piece was played back through the transducers. Photograph by Andrew Kelly