Following the complete disappearance of abstract sounds, we can regard this piece as a sonic snapshot and the culmination of an evolution. This is a realistic rendering (as faithful as possible) of a fishing village waking up. The first idea of minimalism. - Luc Ferrari on his "Presque Rien n. 1. ou lever du jour au bord de la mer/dawn by the sea (1967 - 70).
Through poetic investigation, CONDITION OF FORM aims to reproduce a compound portrait of life on, under, and around fishing boats while out at sea. Taking cues from Luc Ferrari's approach to composition, we are interested in creating an environment that can shift perceptions about what sound is, and how poetic combinations of sound and image can produce transformational experiences for audiences around broader social and cultural phenomena.
Given the adverse impacts on our oceans today, from radiation in the Pacific to global warming trends altering fisheries, the project documents a unique way of life that is under threat due to rapidly changing environmental conditions. The project is not a documentary, rather, it will serve as an organic set of variables interpreted through research in the form of sounds and images. Unlike data driven research that informs the intellect, this research will be delivered to inform the senses, and thereby the intellect.
Using surface tension as a metaphor for what separates two worlds, sounds from under and on top of the water will be recorded from the boats, while 16mm motion picture film will be used to document fragments of time from on and around the vessels. The sounds and images will be reproduced for live audiences as well as for studio release, creating sympathetic relationships with, and a deeper connection to human impacts on the natural world.
- Graphic by The Pew Charitable Trusts' ocean science division. Read more HERE.
Alongside the 16mm motion picture camera, we will employ multiple hydrophones, contact as well as directional microphones to reproduce a real-time multi-channel audio visual composite that could never otherwise be experienced by a singe individual.
The live component will include magnetic tape devices running sound through a 4.1 channel (quadrophonic) audio PA and a two channel film projection alongside other electronic music processing equipment, including analogue synthesizer and effects. The studio release will be in the form of an LP with accompanying DVD and printed materials related to the research.
Artists often cite one another as influences; it is easy enough to name what inspires or repels us, creatively. But the many-pronged relationships between people and objects, places and daily routine, labor and creativity—these are much more complex and harder to articulate. — Jessica Brier, foreword to Episteme
This project interpreted workplace interiors within the San Francisco Musuem of Modern Art as a way to document through sound and image the physical transformation of the museum resulting from its recent expansion process. The project arose as a commission through the publishing arm of Little Paper Planes, seeing it's final form as a perfect bound full color book of photography and video stills containing a 7″ vinyl record of processed phonography. Included was an introduction by Jessica Brier, Associate Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and an interview with John Davis and Collin McKelvey by Maggie Haas. Additionally, performances utilizing recorded sound material from the project were held during the book launch.
As the museum neared its complete physical transformation, all traces of habitation and day-to-day occupation would to be obliterated. Framed around the museum's workplace interior as an institutional environment marked with imprints of human activity, the project sought to capture those traces through poetic response, highlighting fragments of workspace environments, human labor and the passage of time. IN/S used sound sources taken directly from within SFMOMA to create the 7″ record that served as an an ideal format to accompany the images and writing.
Read the interview of Collin and John by Maggie Haas at the LITTLE PAPER PLANES BLOG, plus two reviews of the project - One by Kara Smith for the SFMOMA OPEN SPACE BLOG, and one by Monique Williams for SF ART ENTHUSIAST.