Voice Lessons


What's in a voice? In these days of texting one's "vote" for their favorite singer on American Idol, the relationship between politics and using one's voice seem to have become estranged. Sure, the ability of siren's songs and golden throats to entertain us has an important cultural position, but the voice has also been used to convey oral histories, to negotiate terms, to speak for those who cannot, and even to lure, summon, and cast spells. Taking place all over New York City, the upcoming Creative Time program "Hey Hey Glossolalia" takes a closer look at (er... listen to?) the voice in a medley of programs as wide as Mariah Carey's vocal range. Interesting highlights include a conversation about truth and language between artist Rigo 23 and Black Panther Party member Robert King Wilkerson, who will discuss the "use of speech under pressure of complete isolation" during his 29 years spent in solitary confinement in Angola Prison. At Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, Chris Evans will orchestrate the first iteration in the United States of his Cop Talk project, in which art students meet with a police recruiter to consider a new career option. Carey Young will present a performance called Speechcraft, a subtle revision on a traditional Toastmasters meeting in which the assembled rhetors are asked to speak before an audience of 250 "about objects that Young finds artistically inspiring" and are subsequently "evaluated by fellow members in a cycle of inspiration, review, and reward." In a concert entitled "The Voice (After Mercedes McCambridge)," artists No Bra (Susanne Oberbeck), Genesis P-Orridge, Rammellzee, and Ian Svenonius will present performances inspired by the actress who dubbed the voice of a demonically-posessed character in the film The Exorcist. The pieces promise to "skirt the boundaries between information-giving and ...




Documentation of BLACK ON WHITE, GRAY ASCENDING (2007) a new work by Seoul-based collective YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES commissioned for the New Museum. In BLACK ON WHITE, the artists have expanded their usual single-channel format to create an unprecedented seven-channel installation that evokes a chilling story of abduction and assassination from seven separate points of view, set to an eerily laid-back bossa nova score.


BLACK ON WHITE, GRAY ASCENDING is organized by Lauren Cornell, Executive Director of Rhizome and Adjunct Curator, New Museum, and Laura Hoptman, Kraus Family Senior Curator, New Museum.


A Year in the Life


Are you still sticking with those New Year's resolutions you made a few weeks ago? Jeffrey Beaumont is just getting started. The NY-based creative writer has embarked on a Year of Hyperliving, his first-ever New Year's resolution. Described by him as "A maximalist approach to living right," Beaumont is taking a quasi-Zen approach to mindful situationism, and blogging heavily about it. Each week, this year, he will take on a new task--difficult ones he'd not ordinarily face, like trying to write a poem a day or talking to a stranger everyday and trying to make that conversation meaningful--which is, admittedly, how this writer discovered his project. His diary entries about these experiences are humble and easy to identify with, given their openness about the difficulties of carrying through on the week's commitment. So far, they've also been fruitful to readers, who this week have been cashing-in on his effort to "Make a different themed 60 min. cd mix each day." Next week Beaumont is abstaining from aural pleasure. His (Working) Manifesto of Hyperliving 2008 explains that his goal is to overcome his interrelated fears of commitment and failure and we wish him the best of luck. If you'd like to keep up with Beaumont's weekly tasks, visit his blog and subscribe to his Google calendar. - Marisa Olson