Thursday, July 17, 2008


I have officially changed my proposal and the sound work is off. The source material was not at all what I thought it would be. The disk arrived a while ago and is extremely uninspiring. Critics refer to it as an hour long work (the longest piano piece for it's time - the fifties) that uses only four notes, but this is simply not true. Maybe there are four root notes, but the piece is smothered with flourishes up and down the keyboard. I played around a little by isolating certain notes, stretching them, delaying them, slowing them down, etc. etc. but it's all pretty generic fiddling, nothing extraordinary. Additional research about the composer/composition has turned up little else of interest to work with, so the project is on the scrap heap.

Also, the work was going to employ a series of Focus Speakers as part of the installation, so that the viewer/listener could move between the asynchronous loops and have the sound change with their movement, with the notes overlapping in space as well as time. I was lead to believe Focus speakers could more or less approximate this type of experience. Turns out they're not a new technology at all, but simple a cone around a regular speaker and the sound they produce is tinny and shite. I think they are marketed to audiophiles aware that a new technology exists (not far advanced from the military stages, and therefore very very prohibitively priced) and hoping to rope in some unsuspecting buyers. I was nearly one of them. Thanks to Jon for settin' me straight.

I am much more excited about the new project. I kept trying to think of audio alternatives until I realized all I really want to do is make some fucking Scotch. So I have proposed creating a barrel of one hundred year old Whiskey. This will not be easy as there are many legalities regarding what can and can't be called Scotch and many other obstacles to overcome in terms of alcohol levels, evaporation over the extended period of time, taste, etc. etc. These difficulties will become part of the work, which will exist as a custom-made barrel, texts, photo documentation and an edition of fifty wooden gift set 'caskets'.

We will attempt to pre-sell the whiskey to the consumer – both art collectors and whiskey connoisseurs. An explanatory text will outline that the purchaser can claim the whiskey once it reaches its planned maturation in 2108. It will truly be a gift set, because anyone who is currently old enough to purchase it will be dead before it is available to drink (as will I be). It becomes a piece about trust, history, investment, inheritance and patience.

The work will be called A Drink to Us (When We’re Both Dead).

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