This text accompanies the video documentation of The Longest Whistlegraph Ever (so far) as part of First Look, the ongoing series of digital projects co-curated and copresented by Rhizome and the New Museum. The Longest Whistlegraph Ever (so far), is an audio-visual performance by the Whistlegraph Trio.
Commissioned by the New Museum’s digital art affiliate Rhizome, the new composition was performed at the museum in May. For First Look, the artists made video documentation of a subsequent performance in their studio, displayed alongside materials from their composition process including manuscripts, ephemera, and a final score for The Longest Whistlegraph Ever (so far). Whistlegraphs are audio-visual digital artworks performed manually by drawing and singing. Every whistlegraph results in a poetic image through the performance of a reproducible score.
Alex Freundlich, Camille Klein, and Jeffrey Scudder draw, sing, and make videos together as Whistlegraph. Whistlegraph formed during the pandemic in 2020 in a cabin in Ashland, Oregon, which remains their creative base. Over the past few years, they have honed a distinctive style and practice that speaks to embodied cognition, art education, and experimental composition for live performance. They regularly share their work on their TikTok account, @whistlegraph, where they have over 2.3 million followers.
Cover Image: Alex Freundlich, Camille Klein, and Jeffrey Scudder draw on a chalkboard for "The Longest Whistlegraph Ever (so far)" Photo: Marsha Lebedev Bernstein
The Rhizome Commissions Program is supported by Jerome Foundation, American Chai Trust, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York legislature.
Major support for First Look is provided by the Neeson / Edlis Artist Commissions Fund.
New Museum Digital Initiatives are generously supported by Hermine and David B. Heller.
Rhizome's public programs are supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York legislature.