Notes on Balance & Harmonic Structures



Installation – spreading outward from the cluster – allowing space for the objects to breath. Upon reflection, i could have gone way further with that idea, spreading the sound further around the whole room, really spatialise the sounds. What might it be like to have an even bigger space with the same 5 actions, spread across the whole floor plan? It feels as though today was the refining of some of the things that have been happening within performance the last few weeks, cutting up and taking sections out in isolation.

Limitations, were effective in structuring my experimentation, limiting myself to just 6 motors and a fewer selection of materials – 5 sculptural actions, like that of the rocks in a Japanese Zen garden.

Overtone reactions, more than one kind of sound out of a singular sculpture – though whats happening isn’t actually an over-tone sound, the plastic ball is an additional lower pitch that punctuates the ringing bowl, a less rhythmic pattern happens, giving the impression of

Within Andrei Tarkovsky’s book ‘Sculpting in time’ regarding the use of music and noise within film, “By using music, it is possible for the director to prompt the emotions of the audience in a particular direction, by widening the range of their perception of the visual image. The meaning of the object is not changed, but the object itself takes on a new colouring. The audience see’s it (or is given the opportunity to see it) as part of a new entity, to which the music is integral. Perception is deepened. Although I don’t regard Tarkovsky’s use of music as anything ground breaking, the use of sound effect and noise is perhaps more of interest to me. This quote resonating in particular with my intention for sound and sculpture. The objects are exactly that, objects, it’s meaning – its purpose is not changed , its hard edges leak in vibration, taking on a new entity-  temporal all be it, it’s resonant sound is now an integral element. This is the fleeting moment of Sculpture. Objects finding harmony in time – the sweet spot in precarious balance.

Within my practise, the factor of chance happenings continues to plays an increasing role; I am aware that this is something i can take much further, much like John Cage, object selection and placement could be subject to chance selection. I Ching for example was Cage’s tool of choice – “The basic principle is to remove one’s own intention from the work and hand that over to the oracle. Intention is always to some extent circumscribed by one’s own tastes and personality, whereas non-intention moves beyond like and dislike and becomes something more resembling an act of nature. In a sense then, you can hear what the I Ching would compose as a piece of music, or what it would draw as a picture (much as you can see what kind of life it would create by using it for every non-spontaneous decision). Although I don’t think Cage necessarily considered that – that the oracle itself may have an intention – he used it to free himself, in the large part, from having to choose. The artistic choice he reserved for himself then became solely choosing what questions to ask, something he constantly emphasised the importance of.”

Cage essentially used the I Ching as a mechanism to filter out his own intention for the joy of seeing what would arise. He had an expectation that he should find it interesting. Even though the artwork should be produced without like and dislike, he seems to have wanted to like the final result. Most of the time he doesn’t appear to have had to struggle to like it, there is often a childlike joy at what has come.

It seems to me that Cage was trying to incorporate what’s known in Zen Buddism (something that was of deep inspiration of his) as Beginners Mind. What is beginner’s mind? It’s dropping our expectations and preconceived ideas about something, and seeing things with an open mind, fresh eyes, just like a beginner. If you’ve ever learned something new, you can remember what that’s like: you’re probably confused, because you don’t know how to do whatever you’re learning, but you’re also looking at everything as if it’s brand new, perhaps with curiosity and wonder. It seems to me that Cage is attempting a beginner’s mind within art making, by means of removing ones own ideas of it and themselves. I find it

Such tactics could be applied easily to composition and placement within anything we are doing, any non-sporadic decisions could be left up to the tossing of 3 coins. For example, specifying which objects go where, as a basic example?


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