Table Manners


Objects take on life when sparked by the impact of vibrations. Studio experimentation seems to have gravitated again toward the physical resonance of objects, day to day. In the last week or so in particular i’m become somewhat transfixed with a select collection of objects I’ve come across. The image above demonstrates a formal performance setting me and Goose have been discussing. The parameters similar to that of the dinner table, chit chat over lunch – but instead of food, we make sound – while still engaging in discursive convocation, the sound acts as an accompanying factor that gradually steals concentration away from talking.

The most distinctive thing I noted was the trickery that happens when you don’t realise you’ve started playing. A purposed shift away from the focal point, towards just kinda of doing it – The verbal convocation is a distraction from the emphasis of performance. In reflection I noticed a free’er intuition, a playfulness with the objects in front of me – i’m tempted to say a distraction from my own artistic ego; but perhaps it’s more of a distraction from what i know of an object, the knowledge of how i’d ordinarily react to a china plate. Of course one can play with an object for some time and achieve satisfying sounds. But often i found myself mid sentence pick something up… (continue)

The idea stemmed from the David Toop and Rie Nakajima ‘Table Manners’ performance I mentioned in the previous post. Convocation / lecture, amongst a happening of actual art making. Recognisable sounds of the everyday object, within the presence of literary information, as well as electronic sounds; the contrast being the difference in the way we receive both signals of information. Uniquely occupying a space somewhere between lecture and performance. An awkward dinner conversation as metaphorically embodying this curious space of being between two thing, two activities.  Aloof and sloppy as you take time to eat food mid sentence, or perhaps the opposite person is just asked you a question mid mouthful. Emphasis and attention flip flops subjectivity.

I really wanted to replicate these conditions within the context of the studio, with the idea of everyone joining in – which impromptu happened when they saw the casual atmosphere, influenced by the curiosity of handling everyday objects in an unorthodox manner.  Mostly what appears on my side of the table are objects that otherwise don’t look out of place on a dinner table (plats, bowls, wineglass) all of which hum with a resonant noise caused by the repetitive contact with a variety of motors, not dissimilar two Rie Nakajima’s usual performance arrangement. The dinner table is active with a complex drone of vibrating objects, intimate with a feeling of delicacy.

Throughout my sonic investigations, i’ve always found it funny how a sound goes from being a noise, to something that can capture an imagination. Through listening, there is an awakening of the world around you in a way unlike anything else, an expansion of capacity to include a deeper array of sounds, including that which does not fit within harmonics – but also the sounds that echo the mundane and over-looking. I think the objects that i am using now take on a very different life – form as part of sculpture, a new significance where objects come alive, resonators, phenomena, a spirit released upon vibration, otherly beings in time and space. I’d imagined what it might be like to have hundreds of these little reactions at once, what that light presents of that sound might feel like – many small individual happenings within the context of a greater sound.

Opposite me, Auguste Is slicing tape loop, mic’d up, creating signals of feedback – together the aim is for us to establish a sonic language in which can communicate and understand one another. With combination could be unique every time depending on whats on the table – not to mention how many people are in conversation.



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