[microsound] Exit Through the Gift Shop

Boris Klompus boris.klompus at gmail.com
Thu Feb 17 03:07:20 EST 2011

What separates the work of a street artist/graffiti writer from other visual
artists? Is it the placement, the risk in doing it, the message? Speaking of
which, what is the message -- is it disruption, thus vandalism, is it just
for fun or notoriety? Is it just a matter of breaking out of the schmoozy
art world, and letting one's art out there for others to see, or ignore, or
etc, rather than proving your worth with grants, CV's and etc in order to
get a chance to hang some art up on the walls of a predescribed gallery? The
audio equivalent to acting out based on such questions, would depend on how
one answers them.

Is it the same thing to tag over someone's wall piece as hiding a speaker on
stage before a performance and using it to interrupt the flow of the concert
once it has begun?

And what are you going for, startling people, and with it seeing their
reactions, making people think about things in a different way, taking what
is normally a mundane moment (potentially) in someone's day and pulling them
out briefly?

There are plenty of things that make noise already, for instance the
pre-recorded lady voice telling my to watch my step on the escalator.
Changing the recording that gets played back through those speakers, that
one is so desensitized to hearing, could be much more startling than placing
a new sound making source in the environment and adding an extra level of
sound. It's like the taxis in Mumbai that Hans mentioned.

On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 6:38 PM, hans w. koch <kochhw at netcologne.de> wrote:

> actually, you are of course right, about noise pollution in cities.
> thats why i choose a spot for the installation, which was not easily
> accessible.
> mostly people from the neighbouring residential area would use the traffic
> island for a stop while crossing the road to the opposite park, when going
> to walk their dogs.
> i even bought the trashscan to mount it there myself.
> (and it wasn´t playing continously, only when somebody threw something in)
> but i would also consider, that there are different types of noise
> pollution. i was in mumbai 2 years ago, where basically everybody is driving
> by ear, constantly honking.
> it is loud, but after a couple of days, it fades into background, except of
> the modern cars, which have a horns especially developped to surpass the
> prevalent horns of the old taxis.
> high pitched, ultraloud, absolutely killing. it happended to me a couple of
> times sitting in a moto-rickshaw, that suddenly a new car would pull up on
> my side and i didn´t cover my ears fast enough and was suffering long after.
> the old horns on the other hand, i learned to hear as a kind of spacial
> composition, made of hundreds of grains of honking.
> hans
> www.hans-w-koch.net
> Am 16.02.2011 um 18:31 schrieb microsound-request at or8.net:
> > Message: 4
> > Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 11:07:12 -0600
> > From: David Powers <cyborgk at gmail.com>
> > To: microsound at microsound.org
> > Subject: Re: [microsound] Exit Through the Gift Shop
> > Message-ID:
> >       <AANLkTin_iuD0o3jfhyskrGgJTiVcOsnF=PkJCsftxZYM at mail.gmail.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252
> >
> > A little food for thought:
> >
> > Do we not suffer from too much noise in our cities already? At least
> > in Chicago, I am subjected to large amounts of unwanted noise, whether
> > it is the dangerously loud sound of elevated trains, or the unwanted
> > (and almosty always terrible) background music that plays incessantly
> > indoors everywhere one goes.
> >
> > So I suggest that the ultimate sonic intervention would not create
> > noise, but SUBTRACT noise--creating an unexpected pocket of silence in
> > the midst of the city would be fantastic, in my opinion.
> >
> > ~David
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