Boxes (with the sound of their own whatever)

I’m starting to think that performing a work (art or music) is the best way to experience it, partially and willingly subverting my sovereignty in order to carry out a pre-ordained action, and letting that action take me over. Whether I am the composer or not seems to be irrelevant at this point.

I’ve been inspired by Cornelius Cardew whose ethos and works have made been examples to me, but I’ve approached him with a lack of respect, with my works falling uncomfortably between parody and homage.

And like anyone musically minded I’m also haunted and taunted by Cage who’s imperative to LISTEN and Buddhist acceptance of what IS seem to promote a charged apathy which is at odds with Cardew’s political actions. Cage also leaves little room for the performer either, enslaving them to random processes.

When I started to look for objects to work with, I had something much more sculptural in mind for my piece. But on finding multiple TV cabinets with castors I realised what I should do. I realised that these casualties of the rise of the flat screen TV, whose natural de-selection had placed their squat frames in my clutches, had actions implicit in them, other than their intended use, that they too could be scores for improvisation.

The final form of the piece sees each cabinet reconfigured as a speaker, playing back a 4 channel recording of me and my friends riding these cabinets down a slope, the damages inflicted on the boxes are recorded in their surfaces those inflicted on us are recorded in the audio.

Maybe it’s a parody/homage to Robert Morris’ Box With the Sound of Its Own Making or more likely a piss weak version of a Jackass skit. At this point I don’t feel like I’m in control of my work any more, objects demand actions of me I just try to work out the best way to perform them, its not so bad really.