Deep/Young Ethereal Archive

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current exhibits > Breathing in B Flat

The first link to the right leads to documentation of a live performance. The small figure in the middle is really there during the performance. All the rest of the figures were there at one time, just not during the performance. The voice of the middle figure controls the fade between the two smaller black figures. The louder the voice of the middle figure, the more opaque and loud the left black figure. The softer the voice of the middle figure, the more opaque and loud the right black figure. The voice of each black figure controls a fade between two big faces each. The four big faces each sing their own single note (Bb, C, D, and F respectively). Halfway through the piece, the two black figures and the four big faces begin a palindromic loop backwards, breathing in their notes. There are a total of seven audio tracks: one middle figure, two black figures, and four big faces.

In addition to the documentation of the live performance, there is also companion audio. The audio sequence begins with the four notes (Bb, C, D, and F), each sung the length of a single breath. Then there is a mix of the left voice controlling the fade between two of the notes. Then there is a mix of the right voice controlling the fade between the other two notes. Then in the middle there is the audio of the documented performance in which a single voice controls the fade between the previous left and right mixes. Then there is a second right voice mix that was not used in the documented performance, followed by a second left voice mix also not used in the documented performance. These are followed by alternate reecordings which were not used in the documented performance of the four notes, beginning with F and proceeding to D, C, and finally Bb. This companion audio deconstructs the live performance, making it easier to assimilate.

There is also a net art remix of the performance. Each click reloads a new collaged animation and audio. The animations and audio are generative, so each iteration is slightly different.


In most considerations of object and subject, light is merely the vehicle for transmitting the appearance of the surface of the object to the subject's eye. But light and sound are also things themselves. Both are matter/energy (in the sense that they are not spirit). Both are admittedly more ephemeral than flowers or hammers, but not so ephemeral as to be non-physical.

If 'things' in general have been robbed of their unique and independent agency by anthro-centric phenomenologists, then sound and light have been especially robbed of their unique and independent agency, even by those who claim to speak on behalf of things. Sound and light have been consigned to the role of mere lackeys, trafficking messages back and forth between solid objects and subjective humans. I mean to enlist their aid as creatures of light and creatures of sound, discovering and releasing the unique agency of their particular thingness by sculpting these most fleeting and immaterial of all types of material -- not as mimetic transferers of solid objects, nor as symbolic signifiers in some visual language drama; but as stuff, as material, as things which act directly on a human subject, immediately and in constant flux.

In Breathing in B Flat, sound and light come from my face because my face is something in the world that I can control semi-directly. The performance reveals my face and my voice more as events and less as solid objects or as tools for use.

- Curt Cloninger, 2007

documentation of a live performance
documentation of "Breathing in B Flat"

companion audio recording
companion audio of "Breathing in B Flat"

internet art remix
Net Art Remix of "Breathing in B Flat"