Sounds: Ordinarily Unheard

July 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

Ordinarily Unheard: An Evening of Performed Sound

Thursday, July 16, 7-9pm
Calico Gallery, 67 West St. #203, Brooklyn, NY 11222
FB Event Invite

Sal Randolph, David B. Smith, and Audra Wolowiec will each present a performed sound work integral to their broader practices, which include visual, textual, and sculptural projects dealing with themes such as language, imagination, and memory.

Sal Randolph Airport Scores for Drift

These Airport Scores are part of an experimental novel, Drift, being written on Twitter and other social media, with elements distributed in real space and on the web. They are “ambience scores,” transcriptions into language of the ordinarily unheard sounds of place; from this alphabetically rendered sound composition, places may then be performed in voice or imagination.
David B. Smith Forgetting Your Name (extended version)

Smith will lead a participatory ceremony where members of the audience are invited to speak a name of their choice as raw material for an electronic sound composition. The composition will unfold organically and unexpectedly and will waver between found sound and music, and between evolution and deterioration. The words the audience speaks will, like memories, fade in and out of legibility, repeating and building, yet obscuring and changing original meanings and intentions.
Audra Wolowiec  (         )

(         ) is a language based short film with two slide projectors and sound components. Held by punctuation, signals from two lighthouses begin to flash across the screen, communicating through fragments. As the sound of breaths continue to locate each other, waves allude that geometry is of no use to calculate a proximity that is felt. This work was first performed at the Poetry Project at St. Marks Church, Jan 2015.

Evening Feelings & Again, Another Evening

November 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

From guest artist Seyoung Yoon,

by guest artist Seyoung Yoon

by guest artist Seyoung Yoon

Left – Evening feelings
Right – Again, another evening
Seyoung Yoon 2013

This post will discuss parts of the Phillipe Parreno exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo.

The blogosphere can be a child of haste.  I have always disliked it when people ran directly to their blogs immediately following an exhibition, especially when the exhibition lasts as long as Phillipe Parreno’s ‘Anywhere, anywhere out of the world’ at the Palais de Tokyo (October 23rd 2013 to January 12th 2014).  Sometimes reading a review of an exhibition I have not seen seems like watching a movie made of trailers, some can be very satisfying and stimulating resulting in a subsequent desire to attend the exhibition, while others incite opposing repercussions.  That is to say, this is neither review nor trailer, but an account of one particular moment I experienced during the aforementioned exhibition.

Parreno has a piece called Anywhere Out of the World 2000

A 3D animation movie transferred onto DVD, 4 minutes

This piece was shown inside the auditorium on the bottom floor where there is a slight slope throughout the entire room.

Following the 3D animation film, a petite young girl walked through the dark toward the center of the room. The lights turned on. Suddenly, Ann Lee was facing me, prior to this, she had only been apparent to me in her collaborations with other artists (particularly the clip of her in a Tino Sehgal’s performance someone had secretly filmed), so it was a bit disarming to see her in analog as a live and breathing entity.

She began stirring up small talk, starting by asking casual questions such as, “How are you all doing today?” She explained how she arrived there and seemed quite content in meeting those of us in the room. And I remember another question that she had asked, “Would you rather be busy or not busy enough?” Nobody answered her questions directly, including myself. She continued. I was sitting down, we were almost at eye level. When ‘the piece’ was about to finish she approached me at very close proximity and said that she had something to ask.

Quelle est la relation entre le signe et la melancolie?” (What is the relation between sign and melancholy?)

I was at a loss of words, all thoughts dissipated in search of thought. I was probing my brain intensely for a suitable answer but the rapid pace of my heartbeat was far too distracting. Only now I realize, this process actually embodied the relation between sign and melancholy.  I was looking for the right sign, in this instance, words that embraced, implied and gathered my thoughts. Like the sound silence makes when it cracks, the space between my upper and lower lips widened, “slack-jaw,” “mouth-breather.”

Ann Lee’s last words to me were, “Vous ne savez pas? Ce n’est pas grave.” (You don’t know? It’s ok.)  And her speech/performance/talk was over.

Alongside my “mouth-breathing” account here are some other things I would like to share with you:

If you don’t know what these links are trying to say,
ce n’est pas grave.

Seyoung Yoon

Action: Unseen Performance

June 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Georgia Wall’s Unseen Performance 6-13-11

I saw this invitation on Rhizome:


I perform for you & you provide an account of what you saw.
1. Before the event:  Together we (you & I) choose a date/time and public location where the event will take place.
2. The event: I perform on the given street at the given time.
3. After the event: You then provide an account of what occurred during the event.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions please email

: : : : : : : : : :

When I wrote to her, she asked me to go to a small park at the intersection of Rivington and Attorney on the Lower East Side at 4pm and take a seat in one of three benches facing the street.

June 13, 3:55 PM.

Sunny afternoon, shady park.  The benches are crowded. I find a seat next to a well dressed, white-haired man. I glance at him, but he doesn’t make eye contact. A few kids, neighbors talking and hanging out. One guy is kidding another about how many brothers and sisters he has: “your father, he was a bull!.” One punches the other on the arm. Breezy in the shade, fat maple leaves hanging down. Half the voices in Spanish, half in English. The  park is a fenced strip concrete and paving stones, but plentifully supplied with trees and pigeons.  A group of teenagers talk and sway. A cart with striped umbrellas, red and yellow, blue and white, is selling ices across the street. There’s a pawnbroker, “buy, pawn, sell” and “LOANS” in big letters on the awning, framed by fistfuls of dollars. An ice cream truck pulls up in front of the park.

4:01 PM.

Kids chasing pigeons. The old man next to me gets up to leave.  A small asian boy buys a huge soft ice cream covered with jimmies.  Will I see the event when it happens? Will I know it? A hipster couple walks past with an economy candy bag.  A lone boy dribbles behind me on the empty basketball courts. A mom tries to pick up a flock of white paper napkins that have blown across the park – her hair is bleached to a caramel  color; she’s wearing a flag T-shirt. She leaves with her kids, a reluctant toddler squirming in his stroller, a pair of 6 year olds with black pigtails and bright red and pink shirts.

Suddenly I notice a young woman walking up Attorney street straight towards me, carrying a blue plastic pail in her right hand. There’s nothing odd about her, except that she’s walking slowly, deliberately, but that’s enough to tell me this is what I’m here for.  She’s wearing a short-sleeved black dress, almost a shift, that drops loosely to her ankles. It hangs like linen. Flat black shoes.

She turns to her left at the street corner, then turns again so her back is towards me and stands facing the blue wall of the building across from where I sit.  A little girl tries to talk to her, smiles looking into her face, but I can’t see any gesture of reply. The woman with the pail takes a few slow steps forward to the wall, stands still, head a little bowed to the left.  A bystander with a styrofoam coffee cup in one hand smiles and watches her, tries to ask her something, but again, it seems, receives silence, and moves on down the street.

She is still standing, facing the wall. Then she reaches her left hand across the front of her body and tilts the pail to pour out a thin stream of water against the place where the blue wall meets the sidewalk.  Then she stops, and stands again, arms at her sides, one holding the bucket.  This repeats in a slow rhythm: a little water is poured, a few minutes of standing, more water, more stillness.  The song of the ice cream truck goes on. The wind lifts her hair from time to time. No one watches her except me, just a few glances from people walking by.  She shifts the bucket from her right to her left hand, pours again. It looks heavy by now – she bends the arm holding the water. The wind blows against her dress. Now a turned head, then another, but no one stops.  She stands with both arms down, patient.

A guy in a white apron walks through the park, “Seedless grapes a dahllah! Seedless grapes a dahllah!”  No one buys any. She pours out a little more water. Stands again. Her stillness, the street’s movement. Two girls in maroon school uniforms pause and point but only for a second, barely slowing. This time when she pours the bucket goes horizontal, and the water streams out a little longer. Emptying.  She turns and walks away down Rivington, going slowly, bucket swinging a a little.  The last I see of her is the dark top of her head through past some parked cars.

4:16 PM.

I walk a couple of blocks to the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, where I’ve sent to give my account.  The curator greets me on the steps, under extensive scaffolding, leads me up what feel like big elementary school stairs to a small bathroom on the 4th floor. The light’s good in there, she says, and you’ll have some privacy.  She turns a video camera on, and leaves me to tell my story. I’ve been asked to say anything I want, but not to use the words “performance” or “performer,” instead I’ve been offered “event” and “she.”  The curator tells me the videos will be part of a show, which I hadn’t known, opening at a gallery in the building next week.

Catch it if you can:  “Performing Coordinates” June 22-July 6, 2011. Abrazo Interno Gallery, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk Street, NY

More on Wall’s Unseen Performances.

Text Action: A Text that Destroys Itself

June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

A collaboration between Dr. Howard Britton, Daniel Jackson and Simon Morris.

A Text That Destroys Itself in the Process of its Own Meaning

“Beginning with two separate texts on the work of Gustav Metzger, one black on white, one red on white, the authors Dr. Howard Britton and Simon Morris will take it in turns to read aloud pages from their work. Using Extraction, a computer programme created by the artist Daniel Jackson, words will be randomly removed, one by one, from each author’s text. 2 versions of Extraction will be running simultaneously. One will present the words from Britton’s text, ‘Gustav Metzger: a manifesto for destruction: between two deaths’, black on red. The other will present the words from Morris’s text, ‘Beyond Representation’, red on black. These will be projected onto the wall behind Britton and Morris, side by side like facing pages of a book. In the manner of a dada poetry recital, as one author reads from their text, the other author will simultaneously read aloud the words that have been randomly removed from the other text by the Extraction programme. Like a virus, or process of contagion, the aural presentation of words from one text will increasingly cover over the aural presentation of words from the other text, until meaning is completely destroyed/disappears. Extraction will aim to remove all the words in the performers text in the same time that it will take the performers to read their texts. Extraction presents the text, without the structure of their original meaning, and imposes its own order on the authors words. As the writer William S. Burroughs said: “Language is a virus from outer space.”

This action took place at the Gustav Metzger congress at the Atlantis Gallery, Brick Lane, London on 15th March 2003 press release can be read online, courtesy of Daniel Jackson

Read the full texts here.

Thank you Lana Turner Journal.

Action: Watching the Watcher

June 3, 2011 § 2 Comments

Over the past several days, artist Jonathan VanDyke has spent 40 hours looking at the Jackson Pollock painting Convergence, 1952 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, in a performance he calls The Long Glance.

Here are a few notes I took while watching a live feed of the performance.  The feed was configured as a series of changing still images, pulsing into view every second or so.

Tuesday, May 31, 1:26 PM.

When I looked this morning, VanDyke was alone with the painting.  He stood to the left of it, arms folded, very still.  He tilted his head once, rolled his feet outwards.

I tune back in when I get to the studio, and I see he’s surrounded by a group.  A young woman to the left, gesturing.  Ah, a docent tour.   The group looks at the painting, looks at Jonathan looking at the painting

White long sleeved shirt, dark pants.  Closer to the camera you can see the whiter outline of his undershirt.

He’s alone for a while.

Then another crowd comes in.  This group stands between him and the painting, looking at the Pollock. They give VanDyke a glance or two, but mostly go right up to the Pollock and look at its details.  An older gentleman stands to the right with a cane. Then they’re all gone, a flock.  He is alone, hands in his pockets, weight on one leg. A casual look of looking.

It feels intimate, watching him watch. He sheds the VanDyke, becomes Jonathan.

He stretches for a second, hugs himself, put his hands back in his pockets.

Now he’s folded his arms again.

Two women stand next to the painting, looking with him.  Much longer than the average time a visitor spends with a painting, but still, after three or four minutes they’re gone.

Now his hands are on the small of his back, elbows akimbo.

2:09 PM.

I check back in, no Jonathan. I’m glad, actually, that he gives himself some breaks. Short ones, though – here he is, walking back into the screen.

Arms folded, as if he never left.

2:30 PM.

He’s to the right of the painting, left arm at his waist.

Wednesday, June 1, 10:57 AM.

A group of school kids, many with matching black T-shirts.

Today Jonathan is in a gray shirt with a white collar, arms folded, mid painting. The kids vanish & he’s alone.  His arms drop to his sides. He shifts his weight to his right leg, puts his left hand in his pocket.

Truly, he looks like he’s just standing there looking at the painting. The kids reappear from the right side of the frame, stand around him again.  Almost like it’s a time loop. A teacher in blue is explaining things about the Pollock, gesturing right and left.

Jonathan’s arms are by his sides again, then folded.

I get some coffee, come back, a man with a thick black ponytail is in the frame, behind Jonathan, obscuring him.

He leaves and Jonathan rests his hands on the small of his back, seems to lean back, then relaxes into his contrapposto.

11:47 PM.

Mid painting.  One hand holding his elbow behind his back. Legs spread a bit. The kids from earlier wander back through. They’re looking at him more than looking at the painting now.  One girl plays with a strand of her hair.

And they’re gone again.

3:19 PM.

Arms akimbo, hands at his waist.

A woman stands with him off to the right, black T-shirt, khakis, dark hair, arms folded.  A companion. They look together.  A shared experience.  But then she disappears, one frame she’s there, the next gone.

Skinny girl with a long lensed camera taking a close up of the wall text on the right – I’m guessing this is the text to Jonathan’s work.  She bends forward into the frame.

He stretches his arms down, then relaxes them at his sides.

I sense now a feeling of endurance, a feeling of really waiting and waiting it out.  He moves his neck to the right, stretching it with his hand.  Walks in a little closer to the painting.  Stays there, hands in his pockets, shifting subtly from foot to foot.  He folds his arms, almost seeming to be hugging himself.

This close in some ways he seems part of the painting, part of its composition.  The brown of his neck, the gray of his shirt, his white collar, the darker swirl of his hair. And in some sense maybe he is part of the painting.  Where, exactly does it stop in our experience and where does he begin?

It’s a colorful Pollock. Orange trails, yellow and blue blotches, the khaki of unprimed canvas, black veins and threads, and over it all big white exuberant splashes.

One foot angling to the left.  Weight into his right hip.

The painting, of course, moves much more than he does.  And yet, on another plane, he, even at his most still, moves more than the painting.  An it and a him. We are invited to compare. It’s impossible not to think of those iconic pictures of Pollock bending over his canvas with a bucket of paint. Cantilevered out over the work like a dancer. All that sturm und drang and romance met with the simplicity, stillness, even dumbness of Jonathan’s gesture.

Now he’s edged forward so his whole body is in the frame.  The room seems darker.  His body tensed.

I wonder if he’s beginning to hate the painting, or is cycling through love and hate and love and hate again.

The closer he stands, the more his colors and shapes become part of the work.  The bottom of the painting now exactly matches the line where his T-shirt meets his jeans.  He’s off center, near where I first saw him, to the leftish.

4:20 PM.

Way off to the right. patient, patient. He closes with the painting.  Shifts his weight to the left.  Brings his feet together, then apart again. Crosses one foot over the other. Still, yet restless. Every couple of frames there’s a slight movement. For some reason, I feel at this moment that he’s really looking. Looking hard at the painting. Or making himself look.

How much can we know or extrapolate from tiny shifts of posture what a person is thinking or feeling?

He tilts his head to the right. Crouches down to the floor and squats. The difficulty of simply standing.  Standing as dance. But at a glance, he’s just squatting to look.  He stands, then squats again, then stands.  Now with right foot forward, hand on his back hip. Every standing pose is a classic of one kind or another. It’s hot here, where I am, and I wonder if it’s hot there.

He lifts his shirt, and I glimpse for a moment his white undershirt.

Legs crossed, front foot tilted on its side.

The painting will, inevitably, outlast him.  Out-endure him.

Someone walks by quickly, an older woman. He steps back legs apart (hips width apart, I hear a yoga instructor say in my head).  He steps back to the middle of the canvas.

He’s been alone most of the afternoon.

What exactly is a vigil? Why attend like this.  To attend, to wait upon.  To be ready for something.

5:45 PM.

I know he’s gone, but I look anyway.  The room is noticeably dimmer, the video grainer and yellowed in the low light. I watch the painting pulsing in and out of view.  It loads more often now, maybe because I’m the only one watching. Watching now that he is gone.

Thursday, June 2, 1:30 PM.

Hello Jonathan.  He’s alone.  White T-shirt, hands in his pockets, weight resting on the right hip. Medium distance from the painting. Very still. He tilts his head up slightly, then neutral.  A older woman in a navy jacket walks behind him, stops to read the wall text.  She walks up to the center of the painting, very close, cranes her neck to peer upward.  Then she circles around behind Jonathan, gives him a glance, disappears.

Now his arms are folded. Weight on the left hip.

I have work to do. I should look away. But strangely enough I am compelled.

He moves back and to the left a couple of steps. Tilts his head to the right.  He shifts back and forth slightly right left right. Tilts his head to the left. Then neutral. Then pushes his weight into his left hip. His head right again. A posture of assessing.

Now he pushes his hands down into his pockets, shrugs his shoulders up a minute, keeps his arms straight against his body.

This seems a little flirty. And I think of the painting looking back at him.

3:20 PM.

Three women watching with him, slightly behind, looking at the painting with tilted heads.

He’s off to the far right, right hand behind his back, holding his left elbow, legs apart, weight to the right.

The women talk to each other. One leaves.  The two that are left tilt one way, then the other.

Jonathan holds his hands behind his back.  He looks ready. Ready for what?

One woman imitates his pose. The other puts her hands in her back pockets.  The move and shift and move again.  He is still.

I have to go. As it happens, to a museum.  About 4:20 or so I’ll be looking in on a Pollock myself, a parallel gaze.

[ More on Jonathan VanDyke in follow-up to this post here: Action: Inaction Painting ]

Statement Object: Dream

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Scott Burton, 1969


I. Conception

A. Agent instructs self to produce unconscious fantasy about self at specific (future) time and place.*

B. Agent sleeps.

II. Execution

A. At specified time and place agend reproduces conditions conceived in I.

B. Agent repeats I if:

1. Original conditions are inexecutable.

2. No conditions have been conceived.

*As an example, the agent, Scott Burton; the time, October 25, 1969, at noon; the place, East 65th Street, New York City, in front of #41.

[noted down during the 1969 show at PS1 this past summer]


John Perrault tells this story:

“Sleep as an art subject is rare, but Dean MacGregor may win the prize. As part of an ongoing series of sleepovers, on October 27, 2005 — as recently reported on Artnet — MacGregor slept all night in the Guggenheim Museum. Photo evidence of the Guggenheim nap and snoozes at other sites can be seen on his

Yes, Scott Burton did it first. Well, sort of. At a dinner party last month, Art in America‘s Betsy Baker asked me, vis a vis MacGregor, when Scott (a mutual friend) had done his sleeping piece.

As part of the opening night reception of Street Works at the Architectural League of New York in 1969, Burton, clad in pajamas, slept on a coton a staircase landing. Where’s the proof? Back then we did not think of photographing every single art work we made, every single thought. How do you photograph a thought?

That was to come later.

Since we had had a falling out over something or another — probably his capitulation to what I thought of asobject-mongering — I never got a chance to ask Burton if he had indeed dreamed that evening, surrounded by strangers trudging up and down the elegant stairs of that Upper East Side mansion.”

[more here]

[description of the Scott Burton Papers at MoMA]

Action: The Long Glance

May 11, 2011 § 1 Comment


THE LONG GLANCE by Jonathan VanDyke

VanDyke says: “I stand and stare at the Jackson Pollock painting Convergence: Number 10, 1952 for forty hours. My performance takes the duration of one workweek, staged in the public galleries of the Albright-Knox for five, eight-hour days. With just incremental movement and slight changes in posture, I stand as the life of the museum unfolds around me. The performance begins May 28, 2011.”

The Albright-Knox website will feature a live feed of the performance.

May/June 2011 Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

Read an interview with VanDyke about the project.

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