Relationship Amplifier (2008) - Max Lawrence

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Max Lawrence's installations incorporate a device he refers to as a "relationship amplifier", based on the electronic principle of a Darlington Pair (in electrical science, a set of two transistors that amplify weak signals into stronger and sharper signals for both audio and microprocessing). Lawrence theorizes: "The relationship amplifier is based on the principle that a pair of people can amplify each other's strengths, weakness, and in some cases, create a net result much greater - as if created out of nothing - then the product of the pair by themselves."

-- FROM THE DESCRIPTION FOR THE EXHIBITION "A.V.O.W (AMPS, VOLTS, OHMS, and WATTS)"

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Guitar Drag (2000) - Christian Marclay

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from here to ear (2008) - Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

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This installation, whose principle was conceived in the early 1990s, transforms the gallery into an aviary where visitors share the space with a few dozen birds, who, by landing on electric guitars, create a musical piece.

-- FROM THE PRESS RELEASE FOR CELESTE BOURSIER-MOUGENOT FROM HERE TO EAR RECYCLE ZOMBIEDRONES AT GALERIE XIPPAS

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Black Chords Plays Lyrics (2004-2007) - Saâdane Afif

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In his work, Saâdane Afif adopts strategies from the fields of art and music, for example the method of appropriation, in order to critically explore the concepts of interpretation and repetition. Among other elements, his room installations combine song texts and pop music with pictures, personal comments and objects which have been pre-fabricated or already exist. Afif reflects artistic authorship and how the art system works.

Saâdane Afif has arranged thirteen black guitars and amps in a room. Lyrics (2007) creates sound to accompany a sculpture. The guitars are orchestrated from afar by a computer and also altered conceptually. Afif has been commissioning writer friends to write Lyrics to one of his works since 2004. The Lyrics thus provide a personal perspective on each work and are thus interpreted once more by the musician’s free-form improvisations.

-- FROM THE DOCUMENTA 12 SITE

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Three Piece (2008) - Stephen Cornford

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A kinetic sound sculpture for two electric guitars and one electric bass. Taking its name from the classic rock combination of guitar, bass and drums, this fairground-esque installation invites the audience to navigate the space around and between the instrument-machine band members and wander through their perpetually aleatoric song.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Bad Beuys, Bad Beuys

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The banlieue, ie. the French suburb, has always been at core of Bad Beuys Entertainment’s work. Originating from the Parisian outskirt Cergy-Pontoise, the collective has created a reputation for itself through their aesthetization and simultaneous critique of the banlieue as a symbolic system. The socially conscious element in their practice reflects the reference to artist Joseph Beuys in their name, whose work was closely allied with socioeconomic reform. Iconic images associated with the French suburbs, such as burning cars, council housing, and small-time gangsters reemerge as cardboard public housing (Babylone_by_us, 2003) or “self portraits” using stand-ins (Sauvageons (little savages), 2004). Bad Beuys Entertainment’s move to recover the popular representation of the banlieue in their work is apparent in the current show at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

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Future Sounds

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Kabir Carter Performing "Trap" at the Bronx Museum

On November 15, an unseasonably warm fall Sunday, a small crowd of artists and academics armed with pens, notebooks, and cell phone cameras, gathered on the second floor of the Bronx Museum. The afternoon began with a panel discussion on the topic of radio and Futurism followed by a sound installation presented by the artist Kabir Carter as part of Performa 09. As Sergio Bessa, Director of Programs, pointed out-- perhaps facetiously-- Futurism and the Bronx are temporally linked: Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto and the Grand Concourse are both celebrating their centennial this year.

The panel, featuring literary critics Marjorie Perloff and Richard Sieburth, and poet Charles Bernstein, served as a precursor to Carter's Trap [originally titled Drifts and Traps], locating the sound piece within the historical context of the Futurist movement. The live presentation also served as a more complex complement to Carter's current installation at the BMA.

The panel centered on the opposition of the Russian futurists, portrayed as optimistic idealists by Perloff, and the Italian futurists, a group of dystopian thinkers enamored of fascism presented by Sieburth. Perloff began by reading Velimir Khlebnikov's Radio of the Future, an essay predicting the potential of radio to act as a vast concert hall and to disseminate news to the masses. Sieburth, on the other hand, explored Ezra Pound's role in Italian Futurism, focusing on Canto LXXII, a poem of discordant strife describing the author's fictitious meeting with Marinetti in radio hell. Transitioning neatly to Carter's installation, Bernstein then performed a dramatic reading of sections of Marinetti's manifesto, as well as poems by Russian Futurists and the speaker himself.

After a short break, Carter positioned himself at a table with an array of devices: radio ...

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Plink Jet (2008) - Lesley Flanigan and Andrew Doro

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Plink Jet is like an elaborate electric guitar made from the motors and mechanical components of inkjet printers. It can play itself independently or be played by a person.

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Dot Matrix Synth (2003) - Paul Slocum

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The user presses buttons on an attached control interface to play different notes. As the printer is played, it's also printing a set of images that are programmed into the printer's EPROM with the software.

The printer creates sound from the print head firing pins against the paper and the vibration of the stepper motor driving the print head back and forth. To generate different notes, the software adjusts the frequency of the printing process. Higher pitches tend to come from the firing of the pins against the paper, and lower pitches come from the rattle of driving the stepper motor.

The external eight-button interface plugs into the printer's font cartridge port. Each button has an assigned pitch, and pressing multiple buttons simultaneously activates the arpeggiator that quickly cycles through the notes you are holding down. The software also has the ability to run without the button interface, using the three buttons on the printer's front panel instead.

There is interaction between the images and music. The image dithering patterns fluctuate depending on what notes are played, and the music's volume and rhythmic patterns change depending on the pattern in the current horizontal section of the image. The printer can store about three pages of black and white images which print in order and then repeat.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S DESCRIPTION

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Solo performance of Ellen Fullman presented by KRAAK, Gent, Belgium, 2005

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In 1981 I began developing the “Long String Instrument,” in which rosin-coated fingers brush across dozens of metallic strings, fifty or more feet in length and installed in a performance space. Listening to the instrument has been compared to the experience of standing inside an enormous grand piano.

The instrument is acoustic. Wooden box resonators are mounted on a wall and twenty to thirty strings terminate into each resonator soundboard. Performers walk between pathways of strings suspended at waist-height. The instrument is played by “bowing” with rosined fingertips while walking. A uniquely designed brass capo on each wire changes the vibrating string length much as a capo on a guitar. Tuned in just intonation, the pitch range is determined by length: A4 (440 Hz, open A string on the violin) requires eight meters in length. Every octave lower requires a doubling of length. These enormous lengths are required when strings are excited in the longitudinal mode, or played by “bowing” lengthwise.

My music explores natural tunings based on the physics of vibrating strings. Through observation, I have determined that there is an optimal “bowing” speed in which string speaks most clearly in the longitudinal mode, presumably based on a relationship to the speed of the wave moving through the material. In the late 1980s I conceived of a graphic notation system that still functions as the basis for scoring my work, where timing and coordination of parts are determined by distance walked. Numbers placed on the floor at metric intervals are used as reference points indicated in the score. Transitions can be coordinated based on the time it takes to arrive at predetermined locations, thereby “choreographing” repeatable events to occur at specific locations. Strings vibrate in mathematical subdivisions of the total string length. When passing over the harmonic nodes of ...

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