I was asked by Philip von Zweck to contribute an “original” artwork to a project he was doing for the MDW Fair in Chicago in late April of 2011. (Actually, Philip was asked to present some work by Steve Ruiz of Chicago Art Review (who was offered a booth) at the fair.) So Philip recruited myself and other artists to produce a work for this show that was 8 ½” x 11” in size. These works were not for sale, but would hang on the wall and be taken down and photocopied on a copy machine at the request of any fair-goer. Each copy was stamped and numbered “to ensure its authenticity” and given to the requestor. The copies were free and the print run was limited only to the total number given out during the run of the 2-day fair. Great idea, Mr. von Zweck! Naturally, I made available a “Certificate of Duplication” for the event.
Window projections in two locations outside of the gallery space which can be seen from the gallery space’s two locations (front lawn and back lawn):
Location 1) My 2nd floor bedroom window at 2817 N. Albany, visible from select vantage points in the backyard lawn space.
Location 2) Our neighbors 2nd floor window across the street at 28__ N. Albany, visible from the front lawn space.
Inspired by the color-coded LED indicators used in the recent presidential debates to inform and alert candidates about how much time they have to speak on a given topic, I will project 3 solid fields of color in the two 2nd floor windows: Green, Yellow, and Red.
The cycle of colors will be preceded by a randomly generated topic. The topics (text pulled randomly from a database) will be visible for 15 seconds and may include:
Dave Matthews Band
Fades, Braids & Blowouts
Good vs. Evil
Logan Square History
The suggested topics made available for debate will be informed by the location in which the projection is visible: East Lawn vs. West Lawn, Front Yard vs. Back Yard, Bedroom vs. Living Room, etc…
The projections will be rear projections, meaning the projectors will be inside the respective apartments projecting outwards onto a scrim affixed to the windows.
Inspired by a conversation with past Lawn Gallery exhibitor, Seth Hunter, I want to continue the investigation of the “monochrome” as presented in this setting. Seth explained to me that acknowledging the work of preceding Lawn artists was important to him, and it is important to me, as well. The use of the color fields (green, yellow, and red) as monochromes is a shout out to Lawn’s short history. Yes, there are six monochromes – three in Location #1 and three in Location #2.
The video sample is just a mock-up: it is sped-up to show the transitions between the suggested topic, green monochrome, yellow monochrome, and red monochrome.
Detritus: Radio Regurgitation is a performance art/music/audio art piece for radio created from discarded cassette tape collected over a three-year period from the streets of Chicago. The piece is a musical interpretation of the wide variety of sound and music consumed and disgorged by the community. These “sound ribbons” were salvaged on my day-to-day travels - untangled from bushes, trees, and street signs, or picked out of gutters and off the pavement. The focus of this piece is sonic regurgitation. As the piece is broadcast, it reintroduces the reinterpreted musical material back into the Chicago neighborhoods in which it was found. The first “radio regurgitation” took place in the spring of 2000 and subsequent transmissions continue to this day.
I was awarded an artist’s residency to create Detritus: Radio Regurgitation at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. After untangling these urban tumbleweeds and re-spooling them back into cassette cartridges, I played the tapes through a cassette deck and into a computer where were they were digitally manipulated to exploit the sounds for my own composition. Experimental Sound Studio functioned both as a dissection table from where the found tapes were sampled; as well as an apparatus of cultivation, digestion and regeneration of the sounds on these tapes - all of which were found within a ten-mile radius of the recording studio.
Aside from being a radio piece, Detritus: Radio Regurgitation was also released on cassette. I thought it important to keep the final physical form of this work as genuine as possible and ruled out a Compact Disc release, opting for the conceptual consistency of cassette tape over higher quality digital sound.
The cued segment for your review starts about two-thirds of the way into the piece. It represents the role I took in the manipulation of the found material as the segment begins, and mellows into a simple loop of Latin tubas. The segment (and the piece) end with a redesign of one of the only discernable bits of music on the tape - the opening keyboard line from Iron Butterfly’s “Inna Godda Davida.”
Detritus: Radio Regurgitation was debuted in March 2000 on WLUW-FM 88.7 at Loyola University in Chicago. It has been rebroadcast many times on WLUW as well as WHPK-FM 88.5 at the University of Chicago and WNYU-FM 89.1 at New York University. An excerpt from the piece is included on the UK’s BBC Radio 3 website as part of a web-documentary on Chicago audio artists and experimental musicians.