Monday, April 23, 2012

I am sitting in a room

I am starting to think about how technology can be used as a creative instrument and as a mediating tool between physical acts. The record of time, motion & sound as physical inputs and the translational process that happens through reprocessing, layering, interacting and collaborating with screens and the unknown science of digital cameras & computers to produce diverse outcomes that could again become physical, be watched, experienced, built into the fabric of another room or made into a paper book or sculpture.

Alvin Lucier's work I'm sitting in a room from 1969 is a beautiful acoustic piece looking at the deterioration of the human voice from the recording and re-recording of a spoken phrase in a room. I like the idea that at the core of every sound there is music, that the human voice is music in speaking, and that our biological presence has a natural and inevitable relationship with the space and the physics of our environment. This relationship, here is made audible through technological mediation and therefore essentially human intelligence.

I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.