I’m working on an exciting new project with Oxford Contemporary Music for AudioGraft 2014 this March. It’s a mechanical sequencer that generates an acid house score. The intention is to have a deep hypnotic sound inspired by Richie Hawtin’s slower tempo work. As the title suggests, play is the central idea here, not just in its presentation but in the process of making the piece, so I’m going to blog the development progress on what will be an incredibly fun build.
Most of my posts will be technical notes on circuits and mechanisms and also – and this bit is tricky because I have a difficult relationship with the language of contemporary art – I will talk about the conceptual development of the piece. ‘Artspeak’ at its worst is used for artistic posturing: ‘working in relation with…’, ‘questioning the boundaries of…’, ‘investigating the interplay of…’ (shudder). This is very frustrating because, like an overused swearword, it dilutes what is trying to be said. Art can work outside language so cobbling such text together reads as a) the artist thinks the audience is stupid, b) the artist is trying to impress a gallery, or worst-case c) the artist is just making shit up.
Anyway, rant ends. My problem here is that because like many others I find artspeak oppressive which makes me reluctant to talk about my work. I don’t put text with work unless the text is part of the piece itself. Perhaps it’s just laziness but I’d rather avoid setting up the wrong expectations, instead I’d rather see how close the audience get to my experience without cues.
Despite this everything I do starts from a conceptual root, and it is something that means a hell of a lot to me – I wouldn’t be doing this stuff otherwise! – so I’m going to use the blog to practice talking about it without feeling like a bell end. We shall see.