Size: 200cm x 200cm x 100cm / 40" x 40" x 20".
In collaboration with Daniel Imboden / dim-tech (technical development).
THE VOICE IS A LANGUAGE, a film and performance program revolving around the work of Meredith Monk, kicks off this week at Tramway as part of Glasgow International. The event series will begin with a live performance of a newly commissioned work by artist Cara Tolmie on April 15th. This will be followed by daily screenings, through April 25th, of work by Sophie Macpherson, James Richards, Cara Tolmie and Sue Tompkins, as well as rare films by Monk. I had a chance to speak with the curator behind THE VOICE IS A LANGUAGE, Isla Leaver-Yap, about Monk’s career, the correspondence between her practice and those of the artists involved in the series, as well as the informative online reader organized especially for the project.
How did you first become interested in Meredith Monk's work?
Last year I was involved in a project at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, called Talkshow, which was a season of performances and events that looked at speech in relation to contemporary art. We were working with a lot of music/art crossover figures like Robert Ashley, Simone Forti, and Joan La Barbara. By way of Talkshow research, I came to see Peter Greenaway’s fantastic Four Composers television series, which was originally broadcast in the UK in 1983, and which included an episode portrait of Meredith Monk. Perhaps I wasn’t looking at it so closely at the time because Meredith Monk was less invested in the speech act and more in the possibilities within the human voice. When I moved to New York in October of last year, I watched the Greenaway film again out of a kind of local interest - a lot of the performances Monk was talking about in ...
The imagery and sound in Entering were performed 'live' by Donebauer and composer Simon Desorgher, and recorded in real time, using a colour TV studio at the Royal College of Art. Later Donebauer and Richard Monkhouse developed the Videokalos synthesiser, as an image-sound performance instrument. Entering was transmitted by the BBC in 1974.
Vancouver-ans will be noising it up this week, with the music fest Fake Jazz Festival as well as the two-day symposium Noise Not Noise, organized by Western Front Society's Exhibitions and New Music Department. The activities will cover the changing role of noise, especially in light of digital technologies and general information overflow. (One critical strand is the subject of a recent book, Caleb Kelly's Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction, which covers the historical development of music made with failed or broken electronics, reviewed on Rhizome by Greg J. Smith.) For those who can only attend in spirit, fear not, as the Western Front Society's Executive Director, Caitlin Jones, has curated an online exhibit, NOISEnotNOISE, in conjunction with the festivities, with work by Cory Arcangel, JODI, Guthrie Lonergan, Lee Walton and Aleksandra Domanovic. The show proposes to take on the "noise" of the online environment and the constant generation of data from sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. This dynamic surfaces in the cluttered confusion of JODI's My%Desktop (2002-2010) to the schizophrenic pastiche of Aleksandra Domanovic's Biennale (Dictum Ac Factum) (2009). To view the full exhibition, visit NOISEnotNOISE here.
The ambient noise of common machines and the unexpected sounds that come from familiar objects have been a part of music for some time, but over the last fifteen years French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot has been joining the two, using instruments and objects to construct complex, apparently self-sufficient systems that play music without any beginnings, endings, or performers. Videodrones (2001) isolates and amplifies the hum that all video signals make when hooked into audio systems. From Here to Ear (1999) now showing at the Barbican in London, is an aviary that resonates when its finches alight on electric guitars. In Harmonichaos, which was on view at Paula Cooper Gallery until this weekend, Boursier-Mougenot affixes the grooves of harmonicas to the mouths of vacuum cleaners, and the staggered grid of thirteen pairs produces an undulating, reedy drone.
The set-up of Harmonichaos could only be the product of a playful mind, even though its appearance deflects suggestions of human involvement. Both the vacuums and harmonicas have an assembly-line sameness, and while they perform according to design, their functions have been diverted away from the needs for clean homes and entertaining song that they were intended to meet. As a viewer and listener, you're made to feel like a confused outsider: a system of switches modulates the intensity of the air flow, as well as the sound emanating from the vacuum cleaners, but it's nearly impossible to identify the source of these fluctuations. False clues are sent by a randomized blinking of bulbs on the vacuums' bodies. As usual, Boursier-Mougenot brings a sense of humor to his work, from the irony of the hokey harmonica becoming eerie when forced to drone (like the accordion in the music of Pauline Oliveros) to the punning title. He finds both harmony and chaos in ...
The Women's Audio Archive began as a series of recordings, taped by Lewandowska after leaving her home country in 1984, grown out of an interest in language as a site of cultural displacement. These recordings document public events, seminars, talks, conferences, and private conversations as valuable records of a particular time in discourse, beginning around 1983 until 1990. Lewandowska denotes this period of time as one dominated by academics and artists close to October magazine and by feminist gatherings, including the participating of Judy Chicago, Mary Kelly, Barbara Kruger, Yvonne Rainer, Jo Spences, Nancy Spero, Jane Weinstock, etc. In a variety of settings and institutions, as well as in private, the recordings also document talks by artists and academics such as Benjamin Buchloh, Victor Burgin, John Cage, Allan Kaprow, Tom Lawson, Les Levine, Peter Wollen, etc.
The act of sound recording began as a way to address the possibilities, as an artist and in everyday life, within a new, unfamiliar environment - through observation in gathering knowledge and participation in developing relationships. Having been educated and raised in a totalitarian state and under a Communist regime, the artist maintains a sensitivity to the power of representation, to the original and manipulation of images, thereby influencing her perception of how history is constructed, who keeps the documents, and who has access to public broadcast. Moreover, the emphasis on sound, away from the image, is a conscious decision by the artist to undermine the primacy of visuality.
In establishing the Women's Audio Archive, Lewandowska seeks to create a collection and a site that would act as a meeting point where the recording conversations would participate in developing a history of women in the media-visual tradition that by its ephemeral nature can easily be forgotten. The Archive, with its attention to sound ...
The Codeorgan works by analysing the 'body' content of any web page and translates that content into music. The Codeorgan uses a complex algorithm to define the key, synthesizer style and drum pattern most appropriate to the page content.