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Erase[r]Head 1.0

Unlike the written word music is commonly experienced in a much more ephemeral way. After some reading I found that the discussion about the ephemeral in art really is about the question of being that branches out into different topics of focus. For instance, the question of an original and reproduction that has been in focus since the digitization of music. As for me, I stated this question to myself: In the age of digitization, how can the material and immaterial be allowed to merge through my artistic musical process? At the moment I have no answer, only vague ideas. 





There is nothing new about working with feedback and delay, it’s more about how you do it. I believe that music is experienced in the act of listening. Lets say during a performance and at some point the ‘magic’ happends. The moment of an experienced transcendence between the instrument, listener and the composer/musician. The realisation of not knowing what is what or that something changed, if only for a second. In a sense, a kind of feedback and delay took place. During the 1930s a german philosopher named Heidegger begins a text by asking the question about the origins of the work of art. Could be an interesting read if you are into that kind of thing.



Here is one of my first sketches of an idea on how to expand David tudors concept of an electroacoustic environment using elements of instrument, installation and feedback to explore an objects being for itself. Instead of reading his work Rainforest IV within the framework of  second-order cybernetics I am interested in the relations between objects from an object oriented perspective. I agree with the idea of a decentralized worldview where mankind is not the center of the universe. In Erase[r]Head feedback and delay are used as a way of working with spacetime and I also think of it as ways for objects to interact and in a way communicate. How this works out depends on the sensual traits of objects. The objects inherent timbre and constitution suggests how the object will sound of, by and for itself. If failing to recognize this in any object, the point is lost.

Humans measure our existence in time, maybe just because we figured out one way to measure it. We apply the same system to measure space even though we know a room is more complex than a distance between three points This is probably obvoius for most people today with an integrated online life. The realisation of existing in spacetime and not in space and time made me think about and experience music in a new way. I spent the last two years solely working with open form and a lot of improvisation. I feel like I have only begun and already so many questions arises about the purpose  and value of art. As Umberto Eco writes about the open form

‘it opens a new page in sociology and in pedagogy, as well as a new chapter in the history of art. It poses new practical problems by organizing new communicative situations. In short, it installs a new relationship between the contemplation and the utilization of a work of art.’



From thinking to doing:

Why going analog?
Let me be clear. for me it is not about nostalgia or a disassociation from digital technology. On the contrary, I embrace it. I agree with the notion of an digital mindset as part of our existence, whether or not the digital technology is actually present. I do understand some coders point out that code is material to them but for me it is not tangible enough to stimulate me as a tool of creation. Also, it is just not doable to learn yet another skill. I simply got another skillset to work with. When it comes down to it I think we all just work differently with what turns us on and off and I experience the world through listening and by touching more intensely. By focusing on the materiality of the object, I use listening as method to discover the objects withdrawn state. It may be an abstract concept, but the outcome is that the objects; the sound source and the sound, are allowed to be physical. That’s why I choose to materialise sound through objects. It is that simple

  ‘The basic notion, which is a technical one, was the idea that the loudspeaker should have a voice which was unique and not just an instrument of reproduction, but an instrument unto itself.’ (David Tudor – Teddy Hultberg Interview)

Erase[r]Head  consists of several objects: A mixer, the cassette delay ( a hacked Sony-W475), a DPA microphone, three small delay units, two Neumann 487 microphones, two sE4400A microphones and six genelec 8020 speakers.  Everything is connected in a feedback chain, starting and ending with the long empty tape loop. The speakers are placed appearingly random with no obvious sweet spot. The height of the microphone and speaker stands are all varied. I got two days of setting up and testing. The space was shared with Anna Björn and her sound installation cocoon so in the end I decided to place the piece around it.

The piece is open form but unlike the usual interpretation when using open form, that is; the viewer/listener needs to be there for the work to be completed, I believe the work is completed on its own by itself but it becomes something else when other objects starts to interact with it.


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