Queens Museum of Art
by Juan Betancurth and Daniel Neumann

The installation The Moment Of Taking Shape is the first direct collaboration between the two artists. Since September 2013, when they started working together in the studio, both of their individual practices merged into a new body of works.

Betancurth's mixed media works act as loaded metaphors, provoking the viewer's intimate desires to come to the surface as they decode the potential function imbued into each object. Different meanings are attached to each object, weather it be restriction, liberation or symbols of power. Presented as meticulously detailed and often immersive installations.

Neumann’s intermedia practice is mostly focused on sound and temporal operations. He is using conceptual and often collaborative strategies to explore sound, sound material and its modulation through space, situation, objects and media. Pieces are developed in different formats and variations as ongoing processes. The leitmotif for these processes is the development of a poetry of the fragile, and a skepticism towards demonstrations of power. Impermanence is understood as temporal fragility.

Neumann’s ephemeral practice, and his collected speaker objects, combined with Betancurth’s sensibility towards spatial arrangement, his ability to set found objects into an ambiguous ontological space, and his own vocabulary of objects create this atmospherically charged installation that neither of the two had predicted. Sound projection is part of the spatial impact of the installation. Installation is seen as a temporary systemic composition and the fragile parts within the system emphasize the fleeting character of the objects - and of the system in general.

The Moment Of Taking Shape is a complex installation with objects and sound by Juan Betancurth and Daniel Neumann. After spending a month in residency at the Queens Museum of Art, Juan Betancurth has invited Daniel Neumann to collaborate on an intimate performance installation inside his studio. 

Neumann had been collecting speaker objects, which were selected and spatially arranged by Betancurth with the moment of acoustic action in mind. An important consideration was to choose and present the objects in a way that they enter an ontological space that is ambivalent, so that the objects won't easily reveal themselves as just loudspeakers, but gain potential meaning in other directions. 

During a performance on October 10 2013 at 11:59pm – while the museum was still under construction towards its re-opening in November – Daniel Neumann was activating the found transducers to create a new sense of space - physically, perceptually, energetically, emotionally. (A transducer is a device that converts one form of energy to another form of energy.)

The multi-channel recordings of the performance then became the permanent installation that was presented on multiple weekends leading to and including the re-opening of the Museum in November 2013.