Is This Thing On?
Basic FM / Or-bits
Ten Internet Radio Fluxus Scores for Thomas Gokey, Ian Curry, Paul Boshears, Yoko Ono, Paula Velez, Hankil Ryu, Alison Knowles, Alejo Duque, Laura Harrington and Bernhard Garnicnig
after “Music for High Tower and Without Audience”
by Nam June Paik
for Alison Knowles
commissioned by or-bits.com
Pushing order over airwaves, “Is This Thing On?” celebrates the disappearance of all kinds of object- and subject-hoods. A broadcast media and performance taken on as a reinterpretation of the notion of the Fluxus score.
Departing form Nam June Paik’s “Music for High Tower and Without Audience” composed for Alison Knowles in 1962, Allen’s scores are for a music not only without audience, but potentially without performer or performance. A set of prepared Fluxus scores are voiced via radio broadcast to whomever is listening. Specific individual performers are notified a-priori of a time and date when a score, written just for them, will be aired. If the performer tunes in, they might listen and might follow the directives, but no audience, nor the composer, ever knows if the score has ever been performed (correctly or at all).
Each score is composed with a specific person in mind, read aloud on-air, and is to be carried out in any location, synchronously with the radio broadcast. Individual performers are sent an email to notify them of a time to listen in, but no confirmation of receipt of this notification will be sought. During the below precise times of day, the selected score may (or may not) be being performed.
Thomas Gokey – October 22nd, 12.03 PM (Greenwich Mean Time)
Ian Curry – October 22nd, 01.05 PM (Greenwich Mean Time)
Paul Boshears – October 22nd, 1.30 PM (Greenwich Mean Time)
Yoko Ono – October 22nd, 2.05 PM (Greenwich Mean Time)
Paula Velez – October 22nd, 2.30 PM (Greenwich Mean Time)
Hankil Ryu – October 22nd, 2.44 PM (Greenwich Mean Time)
Alison Knowles – October 22nd, 3.55PM (Greenwich Mean Time)
Alejo Duque – October 22nd, 6.00PM (Greenwich Mean Time)
Laura Harrington – October 22nd, 7.03PM (Greenwich Mean Time)
Bernhard Garnicnig – October 22nd, 7.56PM (Greenwich Mean Time)
There are many varied discourses about the relationship between object-hood, medium and site, starting from Walter Benjamin’s observations on mechanical reproduction: from looking at base materiality to social interaction, from the aura of the work of art to the disappearance of medium-specificity. For Maurice Merleau-Ponty “to turn an object upside-down is to deprive it of its meaning” because when confronted with the viewer it loses its spatial coordinates; it loses its “natural position”. (in “Phenomenology of Perception”, 1945). Rosalind Krauss discusses spatiality through looking at the relationship between the object and the viewer’s field. When writing about Robert Smithson’s mirrors in “Enantiomorphic Chambers” (1964), Krauss states “it is not just the viewer’s body that cannot occupy this space, then, it is the beholder’s visual logic as well; Chambers explores what must be called a kind of ‘structural blindness’”. (in “Formless. A User’s Guide”, 2007). Others, such as writers and critics more concerned with the status of the digital object or those allied with the so-called Post-Internet art, write about objects in connection to current “Internet-users tactics” employed by artists (Artie Vierkant, “The Image Object Post-Internet”, 2010). They focus upon information dispersal, multiplicity of formats and convergence of mediums. “Objects have lost exclusive singular spatial properties. They exist and manifest in fluid forms through different media. In this, there is no moral hierarchy or pure differentiation in authenticity”, as artist Harm van den Dorpel states in the press release of his exhibition “Rhododendron”, 2011.
128kbps objects is a week-long internet radio exhibition which explores ideas of objects in transformation across a variety of artistic practices, mediums and sites.
22 — 28 October 2012 at http://basic.fm/radio
With new commissioned works by Jamie Allen, André Avelãs, Victoria Bradbury, Helen Brown, Ellie and Oliver, Claudia Fonti, Juneau Projects and Sara Nunes Fernandes; works by artists featured in previous or-bits.com online programmes and events (Angus Braithwaite and Beth Collar, Erik Bünger, Rob Canning, Patrick Coyle, Benedict Drew, Extra-conjugale, Jamie George and Richard Whitby, Emma Hart, David Horvitz, Irini Karayannopoulou and Yannis Saxonis, IOCOSE, Tamarin Norwood, Radiomentale, Adam Rompel, Richard Sides and Simon Werner, Maria Theodoraki, Tonylight, Nathan Witt); works by artists selected from 128kbps Open Call (Sol Archer, Steven Ball, Sarah Boothroyd, Paul Carr, Osvaldo Cibils, Ami Clarke, Richard Crow/Institution of Rot, Steven Dickie,Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh, Adam Knight, Haydn Jones, Scott Mason, Material Studies Group, Chiara Passa, James Prevett, Stuart Pound, Erica Scourti, Andy Weir, Tom White and Mark Peter Wright), along with curated interventions by CuratingYouTube.net (CYT), Tim Dixon and Anne Duffau, a workshop by Daniela Cascella, and many other sounds.
128kbps objects presents newly commissioned and already existing artworks in the form of sound works, live performances and recordings, interviews, readings, thematic playlists and music. These works contemplate and expand on notions of object-hood, looking at the potentials of displaying objects sonically, such as exploring ideas related to the erasure of visual language and the loss of direct interaction with artistic content. They also reflect on the characteristics inherent in the medium employed for the exhibition, an internet radio, interrogating the relationship between speed and quality in the transmission of information on the web, where all the sonic data above a quality threshold of 128 kilo bytes per second is cancelled out.
How would an object manifest itself, be described or narrated when its inherent material quality is taken away, when the viewer is not confronted with its visual appearance? How can an art object be thought of in relation to the nature of its reception and social presence within the context of an internet radio broadcast? These were the two questions proposed to the artists, curators and writers contributing to 128kbps objects.
What the audience will be listening to throughout the week are explorations of the malleable and fluctuating relationship between object-hood, medium and site, and their possible impact on the listener. This broadcast is an exploration of ideas of objects in transformation that stretches the often rigid borders created by definitions of materiality and immateriality, interrogating a terrain which is, perhaps, that of a “realism without materialism” (Graham Harman, 2011)*.
mailing…video-postcard to jamie allen.