David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

28 February 2013

The Reproducing Building

A project by SLAVE PIANOS  
intended for the Design Hub at RMIT University.
a moment from the sequence XENAKIS : EVRYALI

The following extracts are from the unsuccessful SLAVE PIANOS application to the City of Melbourne Public Art Commissions 2013
... a project by the art-music collective SLAVE PIANOS in collaboration with the architectural-art studio KRaK.
... to transform RMIT University’s architectural landmark The Design Hub (Sean Godsell and Peddle Thorpe Architects) into a towering keyboard and digitally scrolling piano roll.
... the glass cells of the building’s ‘second-skin’ on the southern and eastern walls will be internally illuminated. Computer controlled LEDs will animate a curated program of transcriptions of 20th century avant-garde art, architecture and experimental music.

... a mechanically operated grand piano inside the building will perform the transcriptions in real time. This ‘music’ will then be transmitted over FM bandwidth for radio access by anyone in proximity to the building.

a moment from the sequence XENAKIS : EVRYALI
bLOGOS/HA HA digs Conlon Nancarrow, Kraftwerk, Primitive Calculators, Ben Frost - Theory Of Machines ...
... Conlon Nancarrow argued that the piano roll is the perfect notation for musical temporal patterning, and is a representation that is not only capable of being immediately apprehended by untrained listeners, but which directly aids in ‘seeing’ musical structures that may otherwise remain ‘unheard’.

... In this sense the RMIT work would continue SLAVE PIANOS’ recent works where elaborate architectural and sculptural forms have provided physical and visual modes for communicating intricate musical and artistic ideas.
a moment from the sequence XENAKIS : EVRYALI
the 'reproducing building'
... the proposed work would, after having drawn attention to itself in an unsubtle manner derivative of advertising procedures, engage audiences at a more considered and indirect level by presenting a carefully curated 'exhibition' using the 'reproducing building' as display mechanism, and the 'reproducing piano' as auditory analogue.

a moment from the sequence XENAKIS : EVRYALI
... would elaborate a concise and coherent visual and musical argument, transferring acknowledged ‘masterworks’ from the rarefied atmospheres of the recital hall and university library (Xenakis' ‘Evryali’ and Tenney's ‘Spectral CANON for CONLON Nancarrow’) and the institutionalised public art gallery (Stella's ‘Black Painting’ and Tyndall's ‘Black Square Regarded by Members of the White Art Cult’) onto the ‘street’ and into a form and language familiar from advertising and computer games.
... the ground floor ‘piano control room’ will provide public access to detailed information about the work, housing scores, recordings, commentaries, working diagrams and archival materials.


Further sequences by James Tenney, Frank Stella and Sol LeWitt can be seen at slavepianos.org
                                                .  .  .  .  

From one Melbourne building  
(Art Projects, 566 Lonsdale Street ) 
to another
(Design Hub, Cnr Victoria and Swanston Streets) 


From a yellowing photograph of Peter Tyndall's exhibition at Art Projects in February 1980
to bLOGOS/HA HA here now

In the centre of the room is an exact model of the interior of the room. Same lino, same four light bulbs shining, same sash windows all at scale. 

Inside the meta-room is a meta-exhibition of Tyndall's dependent projection-space ideogram, shown as if turning through it's four revolutions - one right-angle turn for each of the four walls.

On the floor, in the centre of the meta-room model is a|the black square.
On the outside, the model room is supported some distance above the floor, just as Art Projects the gallery was at that time suspended three floors above the ground. (The building has since been demolished.) The gallery was accessible by a flight of stairs, the model by a fretted ladder. Same diff.

The overall exterior design of the object has the form of the Slave Guitar. This evolved from the Puppet Culture Framing System, as illustrated here.

The extended sub-Title of this Art Projects meta-work makes a mention of these Slave Guitar and Puppet Culture forms :
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something …


Art Projects (A Gallery) 566 Lonsdale St. Melbourne
An Exhibition. February. 1980. (Painting, Sculpture, Conceptual Works)
The Fourth Room (The Third Room)
The Red Gallery/ The Blue Gallery/ The Yellow Gallery/ The Clear Vision Gallery

(The Red City/ The Blue City/ The Yellow City/ The Clear Vision City)
The Three Dimensional Guitar (Puppet Culture Framing System)
The Head (The Dream)

From the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, here is the  
thingo from 1979.
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...


 (Puppet Culture Framing System)