UCLA Spotlight

Nick Cave's Soundsuit Invasions, UCLA

  • Published Mar 9, 2010 6:45 PM

Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth exhibition at the Fowler

Nick Cave's work Fiberarts Magazine

The eye-catching "Soundsuits" created by artist Nick Cave are on display at the Fowler Museum at UCLA in the exhibition "Meet Me at the Center of the Earth." But museum-goers aren't the only audience for the Soundsuits.

As their name implies, the Soundsuits really come alive when they are in motion. The raffia suits, in particular, create a rustling sound and a swirl of moving color.

Working with the artist, UCLA students in the Department of World Arts and Cultures are learning to perform in the Soundsuits for both spontaneous and choreographed dances, sometimes to live music as with the local band Killsonic. They then stage "invasions," appearing unexpectedly at events and locales.

In the first video, museum director Marla Berns, artist Nick Cave, student Ryan Healy and instructor Rachael Lincoln talk about the Soundsuit experience. The second video shows an actual Invasion on March 9 at UCLA's historic Janss Steps. (Some of the liveliest reactions come from a UCLA Lab School class.)