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Speaking of that Kaprow statement, my ongoing work Musica Practica is programmed for Tate Britain’s Late at Tate event in February. Moving the performance into a museum makes a change from its original South Bank location, where it took place both outdoors and outside of a designated art space. It meant people stumbled upon the work without any preconception that it could belong to an art context, and as a result, for many people it never did: it was just a thing that had happened to them that day – or perhaps they had happened to it?
Putting the performance into a museum makes it clear from the outset that we’re dealing with an art thing, and there’s no doubt this will substantially change the work. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s a video of the conducting experiment I put together earlier this year as part of my project Musica Practica.
Conductor Anthony Weeden and I have since collaborated with Patrick Coyle for Getting To The Point, the closing event for SE8 gallery’s Mulberry Tree Press. More about that another day.
On Thursday afternoon I went to the South Bank to direct an outdoor performance by a solo orchestra conductor, a role expertly undertaken by conductor Anthony Weeden. My initial ‘direction’ (if that’s the right word) was that the conductor observe the people and things moving around him, and conduct them as though they were an orchestra.
It’s a proposition that’s impossible to literally put into practice, and so his real work was to watch, pre-empt, and very speedily react to whatever goes on around him, so that he appears to be conducting it all.
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In April Reading for Reading’s Sake is taking place at Islington Mill. It’s described as “a four-day event aimed at interrogating reading as a practice. Unlike a regular reading group, Reading for Reading’s Sake aims to explore the activity of reading, the situations in which we read, reading as a shared event, a private passion, concentration, interpretation, sound and voice, the symbolic and emotional value of the act.” Read the rest of this entry »
In John Smith’s Girl Chewing Gum (1976) a set of stage directions works as a pivot for the representation of the actions of the people, vehicles and camera operator in the film. It’s a straightforward conceit: the actions were filmed first and the descriptions were added afterwards, but because they’re announced as directions the words appear to precede and cause the actions. Read the rest of this entry »
Below is a recording of the broadcast made on Monday 1st February and repeated on Friday 5th February. Because the work of the work was dependent on being heard communally by a number of listeners at the same time, the version below is in a sense deactivated. The sound of the recording is the same as the sound of the broadcast, but the broadcast isn’t the sound of the work.
On the radio tomorrow afternoon is a different take on the text I’ve been writing about this week. Here’s an extract of the broadcast:
“Now to keep you all together, I’d like you to bear in mind that not all of you will be hearing my voice at the same time. If you’re listening to this on the internet, the sound will reach you with something like a 384 millisecond delay, so you’ll hear what I’m saying just under four tenths of a second after any listeners on analogue radio will be hearing me. If you’re listening online you can account for this lag by playing almost four tenths of a second after my beat.”
My Resonance FM broadcast next week will be called Musica Practica, which is also a working title for the text I wrote about yesterday. Below is the full text as it stands at the moment.
The materials you need to commandeer the frequencies of short-wave radio stations are things you probably already own. You can make the transmitter part small enough to carry with you to somewhere high up above the buildings. Then you can turn the transmitter on and the people in the buildings you can see can hear you. First you can tell them there are certain materials they probably own or can find in the buildings they are inhabiting, and that while you give them a fairly small pause they can collect them.