Project 1


Pick a particular environment, whose contours, intensities, flows you are intimately familiar with, whose variations you have experienced over a certain period of time. (If necessary, visit this location and take notes to refresh your memory.) Your intervention will consist in taking advantage of the normal disposition of this environment, by “nudging” it in a certain direction, changing its dynamic and opening up other possibilities which did not exist prior to your actions. Your “performance” should be a mix of pre-planned strategy and on-the-ground tactical “coping” (there will always be contingencies you will not have accounted for.) (Clausewitz: “No plan survives contact”)

Your performance can involve disrupting, accentuating (amplifying), resituating, changing the time structure (extending, compressing) normal behavior, setting it apart from its normal context where it can resonate strangely. It can be visible, where the individuals in the immediate surroundings become an audience (social experiment), or invisible, where your actions go unnoticed and are structured in such a way to provide an opportunity for personal learning; it can play on the reactions of others (intersubjective encounter) or be completely oblivious to them.

Think about your capacity to ENTRAIN individuals in the environment to perform certain actions in a certain manner.

All the while, you will self-document your actions via sound recording alone.

Sketch a diagram of the space in which the action took place, using arrows to indicate flows and shading to differentiate zones.

To present at critique:

The critique will consist in listening to your documentation in order to reconstruct your intervention, while looking at your diagram as cross-reference.

The documentation

The absence of a visual cross-reference makes possible slips away from reality, the creation of folds/dips in time – the presentation of a biased point of view as “reality” becomes that much easier. What is the relationship between a system of recording / reproduction and the listener’s ability to enter the field after-the-fact? At what level of “intervention” is the field recordist situated? Remember that recordings are ALWAYS CONSTRUCTIONS and depend on multiple factors, regardless of whether they are painstakingly edited together from fragments, or completely unedited in a continuous take.

Conceptual Skills

Understanding the relationship of field recording documentation to the ephemeral event.

Understanding various degrees of intervention: public, visible/invisible, audible/inaudible, media intervention (impersonation/interruption)…

Investigating the nature of framing an environment through recording, and the relationship between sound and technologies of reproduction.

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