Eli Keszler's Piano Wire Works

(0)

eli keszler : cold pin from eli keszler on Vimeo.

New York-based musician and artist Eli Keszler integrates piano wire into his compositions in a way that falls between installation and improvisation. For Cold Pin, motorized beaters controlled by a generative sequence struct 14 piano strings hung across the wall of Boston's Cyclorama in 2011. Keszler then invited Ashley Paul, Greg Kelley, Reuben Son and Benjamin Nelson to play off the work, improvising alongside the randomized clunks, scraps, and bangs emanating from the wall.

His recent L-Carrier at Eyebeam complicated this format by activating the motors in tandem with a changing visual score designed by Keszler. Hosted on a dedicated website commissioned by Turbulence, these images evolved when visitors tripped up "targets" on the site that interfere with the code, modifying the pattern of the motors. On June 7, Keszler again played in a seven piece ensemble in conjunction with the installation, including musicians Ashley Paul, Anthony Coleman, Alex Waterman, C Spencer Yeh, Catherine Lamb, Geoff Mullen, and Reuben Son.

In both compositions accompanying Cold Pin and L-Carrier, the installation serves not as a simple backdrop, but a central element. On their own, the installations continue to have a commanding presence. Unlike the extended resonating tones of Ellen Fullman's Long Stringed Instrument, which meditatively fill a room, Keszler's approach to auditory space reveals his training as a percussionist, where the plucks are akin to hits - busy, feverish and complex. Taken out of an enclosed environment, such as in Collecting Basin, piano wire is not only responsive to the whims of the motor beaters but also the wind and the elements. Here, Keszler hung the wire from a large water tower, transforming an industrial space into an open air instrument.

Eli Keszler Collecting Basin from eli keszler on Vimeo ...

MORE »


Wavelength: "Japanese Noise: A Reminder" by C. Spencer Yeh

(1)

This post is part of a new monthly series of guest curated mixes for the Rhizome blog, entitled Wavelength.

 

JAPANESE NOISE: A REMINDER

Compiled Summer 2012 by C. Spencer Yeh

Back when I was an undergraduate and involved with college radio, we would hold educational meetings covering a wide variety of music by genre, artist, and geography. I was very much in thrall of the Japanese musical underground at the time, so I developed a presentation and this was the handout I made as an accompaniment. [See above.]

I’ve noticed the term ‘noise’ thrown around quite a bit lately, to encompass particular variations of form, ideology, and even affect, within organized sound culture.  I generally have no qualms with what 'noise' can now mean and manifest.  With that said, Japanese noise is my preeminent definition of 'noise'–my first and most formative experience.  The birth and development of Japanese noise is singular, defined by its relation to time and place, to culture and aesthetic.  Japanese noise taught me about freedom, fetish, listening, autodidactism, self-mythology, self-publishing, senzuri.

The selections for this mix date from the mid-'80s to the early '00s, are edited for length, and intentionally eschew the array of strategies in the scene (often deployed under the same project name) to focus on NOISE.  Big parties can be a blast, but once in a while, a long visit with an old friend is incredibly fulfilling and necessary.

Tracklist
(note: all tracks are edited for the purposes of this mix)
01. Violent Onsen Geisha 'Heavy Introduction'
02. Government Alpha 'Anonym Slander'
03. The Gerogerigegege 'Nothing to Hear, Nothing to... 1985'
04. K2 'We Destroyed Barcelona Again'
05. Aube 'Aquatremble 2'
06. Merzbow 'Chant 2 (Part 1)'
07. Hedlah 'Proud Flesh'
08. Solmania 'Panic Bend Rock'
09. MSBR 'Psychic Blue'
10. Incapacitants 'Necrosis'
11. Masonna 'Spectrum Ripper (Part XVII/Part XII)'
12. Hanatarash 'We Are 0:00'
13. Killer Bug 'One-Eyed Nudist'
14. Monde Bruits 'Continuum'
15. Hijokaidan 'What A Nuisance!'
16. Masomania 'Burn Me Fast'
17. C.C.C.C. 'Loud Sounds Dopa (Part II)'
18. Gomikawa Fumio 'Satan's Tail, Santa's Head'
19. Niku-Zidousha 'Untitled'
20. Flying Testicle 'Testicle Rider'
21. Pain Jerk 'Crack n' Roll'
22. Kazumoto Endo 'Itabashi Girl'

 C. Spencer Yeh is an artist and musician in Brooklyn, New York. He will perform at the New Museum on June 22nd with Graham Lambkin.

READ ON »


Introducing Wavelength

(0)

Wavelength is a new series for Rhizome’s blog that will examine sound art and music, with some attention towards the technologies that enable them. One significant aspect of Wavelength will be thematic guest curated mixes, which will appear on the blog monthly.

MORE »


Art on the Beautiful Island

(3)

Yao Jui-chung, Recover Main-Land China : Action (1996)

As an outsider the Taipei art scene can be difficult to access. The dearth of information in English and the lack of an international profile – compared to other countries in Asia – can make it appear a mysterious black hole. And perhaps that’s precisely the appeal. Amidst the increasing standardization of the global art world, somehow Taiwan missed the brief. As usual it was left out of the loop.  

Not officially recognised as a country – after it was abandoned by its allies and booted out of the UN in 1971, as the body instead came to recognise the Communist People’s Republic of China – Taiwanese life seems characterised by diplomatic and cultural isolation. I remember living in Taiwan during the SARS epidemic of 2003 when, as Taiwan is blocked from attaining membership of the World Health Organization (WHO), the island was refused medical expertise and information. Eventually the U.N. body sent over an expert, only he became infected with the disease and had to leave. The front page of the newspaper showed a photograph of him walking back to the airplane, dressed in strange protective clothing, looking like a displaced astronaut. Once again Taiwan was left to its own devices.

I’ve heard it said that the uncertainty of Taiwan’s future leads to a kind of nihilism. I first encountered this dark vision when I watched Tsai Ming-liang’s feature film The Hole(1998) shortly before I moved to Taiwan in 2000.  The film is set in Taipei in the final days of 1999. A strange virus has spread throughout the city causing its infected persons to writhe on the ground in cockroach-like movements. An evacuation order is ignored by the residents of an apartment building who decide to wait out the storm. One of the residents answers a knock at his door to encounter a plumber who has come to check the pipes. The resident leaves to open his small grocery store and upon returning home discovers that the plumber has drilled a hole through his concrete floor. The man begins voyeuristically using the hole to observe his woman neighbour who lives below, but eventually the hole becomes the only means of human interaction the two neighbours have. The film is bleak and claustrophobic, mostly set at night in the city where it seems to never stop raining. But the darkness is broken by occasional jolts into wild and colourful musical scenes, hopelessly nostalgic and desperate in their overexuberance...

 

READ ON »


Oneohtrix Point Never and Nate Boyce's Performance at MoMA PopRally

(2)

Photos by Kristy Leibowitz/elkstudios

This past weekend, MoMA presented a collaboration between electronic musician Daniel Lopatin—who records under the moniker Oneohtrix Point Never—and video artist Nate Boyce, as part of its PopRally series of art parties. While not an overly serious gathering, Boyce and Lopatin delivered an hour of strobing, structuralist-minded imagery over relentless digital throbbing. Each of the work’s sections was based upon a specific object in the MoMA’s sculpture collection and the overarching title, Reliquary House, suggested a congratulatory pat on the back for the museum. PopRally events are more often than not thematically connected to what’s concurrently on MoMA’s walls, while in this case the institution’s history was the tie-in.

The video screen displayed 3-D renderings of modernist forms by Isamo Noguchi, David Smith, Jacob Epstein, and Anthony Caro, which gyrated in “impossible” landscapes evoking the Panopticon look of the music video to Nine Inch Nail’s “Down In It.” To clarify their intention, Lopatin began each movement with details of the image being projected—dates, dimensions, curatorial texts—dictated by robotic voices a la Siri and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Within the foreboding visual environment, these came off as provocations of a sort, which gave way to beds of digital glitches and rollicking bass oscillations, positing a bleak underbelly to the neutrality of the subject material. Boyce and Lopatin, who often communicate a sense of humor about the austerity of contemporary tools and approaches in their work, perplexed the droll audience, who perhaps expected Lopatin to perform the angelic synthesizer music indicative of his latest record, Replica. Boyce and Lopatin stood ground side-by-side, facing their laptops, but more often were caught gazing up at the video screen.

Lopatin’s other recent art project, a zine ...

MORE »


Goodiepal’s Plot To Educate AI

(0)

 

If you find Goodiepal’s artwork to be inexplicable, it may be because you’re not a robot or a blade of grass.

Goodiepal (alternately spelled Gaeoudjiparl or Gaodjiperl) has in fact directed his unique and absurd concerts/lectures/performance art/stand up comedy/show-and-tell toward AI.  As he waxes in his Mort Aux Vaches lecture, “We need to start to talk to the machines as human beings, bringing and expecting machines to understand what we are saying....in a Utopian future, [my] work is not only made to be appreciated by human minds.  No, it’s also meant to be worshiped by all kinds of alternative intelligence.”

 A Goodiepal performance might begin with a solemn whistled rendition of a patriotic ode.  Often he will place an array of strange handmade objects on a table and begin to move them around methodically on a chess board, occasionally uttering a guttural croak.  He might begin to lecture about his nonlinear conception of time, indicating that small bundles of twine on the table symbolize points of time.  He might impersonate rock bands and do karaoke.  Goodiepal’s lectures would be a complete upheaval of everything you believed if there weren’t wry Dadaist halo around it all.

Goodiepal’s London studio, The Blue House, designed by FAT

Primarily using voice in recent musical performances is an odd step for Goodiepal, since he was introduced to most fans as a synth musician and builder.  One of Goodiepal’s more infamous synths is an motorized brass bird that has several levers to control a synthesized birdsong.  This synth is just one charismatically packaged part of a massive portfolio of built-from-scratch and modified electronics.  Goodiepal in fact makes much of his income by repairing and modifying synthesizers and various electronics at his studio in London ...

MORE »


A Crash Course in Post-Punk

(0)

It should come as no surprise that under-recognized post-punk band Crash Course in Science met while attending art school in Philadelphia in 1979. Band members Dale Feliciello, Mallory Yago, and Michael Zodorozny experimented with the then-burgeoning musical genre by replacing the jangular and distorted guitars, rhythmic drums, and synthesizer beats with childhood toys and common kitchen appliances. Their choice of instruments was born out of curiosity as much as necessity: How could they create the music they wanted with their limited student resources?

Thankfully, their choices resulted in a sound uniquely their own: peculiarly original minimalism vocals mixed with danceable and downright catchy beats. Coupled with a need to express and explore their interest in performance art and music, their final product in such songs as “Cakes in the Home,” and “Cardboard Lamb” resonated for years after. The band is frequently regarded as an influential force in the electro sound and the techno industrial genres.

I recently spoke with Zodorozny about their initial interest in performance art and how it influenced everything from their live shows to the creation of their Frankenstein-like instruments.

 


 

You've been classified as a post-punk band. Would you consider that to be an accurate term for your sound and aesthetics?

Crash Course in Science was formed in 1979 so we would consider being referred to as post-punk band accurate. We were inspired by punk-rock music and we we’re all big fans of the genre. We were also inspired by the work of Brian Eno prior to the punk explosion. As artists and songwriters, Crash Course in Science became a format for our expression.

 

Can you tell me a little more about the performance art aspect tied to the band? What was/is your history with performance art?

The three of us performed personal performance ...

MORE »


Samson Young: Signal Path (Homage to Alvin Lucier), 2011

(0)

Signal Path is a site-specific sound installation for one performer. Sensors monitor eight electroencephalographic signals (brainwaves) while performer focuses his/her attention. Each EEG signal generates one tone. Each tone occupies a specific frequency range. When the artist’s attention level is above a certain threshold, tones will begin to stabilize and collectively produce an approximation to the harmonic series. Paradoxically, the moment that the artist becomes aware of the alignment he/she is distracted. This constant focus-distraction constitute a perpetual signal feedback loop that turns the artist into a cyborg and “short-circuit” the sense of hearing.

LINK »


Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music at London Science Museum

(0)

Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music, opens tomorrow at the London Science Museum.

 

The Oramics machine is a device of great importance to the development of British electronic music,” says Mick Grierson, Director of the Daphne Oram Collection at Goldsmiths. “It’s a great shame that Daphne’s contribution has never been fully recognised, but now that we have the machine at the Science Museum, it’s clear for all to see that she knew exactly how music was going to be made in the future, and created the machine to do it.”

Rare archive footage and an interactive version of The Oramics Machine feature in the exhibition. Sound and Music and Goldsmith’s have also created an iPhone app that recreates the sound of The Oramics Machine.

Oramics To Electronica enters its second phase on October 10, when it will be showcasing a wide array of electronic music and sound reproduction equipment with help from employees of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Electronic Music Studio (EMS), who produced the first commercial British synthesizer, the VCS3 (rocked by everyone from Brian Eno to Life On Earth composer Edward Williams). In October and November, a programme of “Electronica, Radiophonics and Oramics associated events, workshops and performances” will run alongside the exhibition; details to follow. -  FACT magazine

 

MORE »


An Interview with Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt)

(0)

 

Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhard) are artist explorers of the natural world, they build installations and moving image with animation and sound drawn from their encounters with prestigious scientific institution such as NASA’s Space Science Laboratories and the Smithsonian Archive as well as journeys to alien places like the Galapagos Islands and Ecuadorian volcanoes.

 


Two new works drawn from their other worldly travels, Worlds in the Making and Inferno Observatory are now showing at FACT in Liverpool, UK, Peter Merrington talked to the artists about their work.


 

READ ON »