Sunday, May 20, 2012

April 2012- 33-1/3, Indian ceremonial mound and scenes from Orlando

April 2012 has been a blur of constant work at Universal Studios Orlando, little side trips to Sarasota and a visit to the 33-1/3 installation at the Tampa Museum of Art. Between the bizarre tasks of troubleshooting  and touching up the floats for Universal Studios new street parade (like adding lead buckshot as ballast to fiberglas jellyfish) I made it out to Sarasota for a weekend trip with Kym O'Donnell. We stopped along the way at Madira Bickel Mound State Archeological Site near Bradenton finding our way there along Bayshore Dr. on Terra Ceia Island. This 20ft high ceremonial mound is about 170ft at its base and the state has put a wooden stairway to the cleared top which sports a fence to protect the mound itself from more foot traffic. This structure is dated at about 2000 years old and is very tranquil. It is, however, not remote. There is an incredible variety of homes around this site which are worth eyeing by themselves.
The top of the mound with Kym looking into the canopy (probably for ghosts). I found a very unusual manifestation at the top of the mound in the form of a tree.
We named it the "Lady Tree" I show it here inverted to get the sense of anatomy.
View of the path descending from the mound- strange and beautiful.

Recently we attended a Tampa Museum of Art "Art After Dark" event to get a glimpse of the 33-1/3 installation attributed to John Cage in use. The installation consists of multiple turn tables and a curated collection of records that are to be used by the audience to create a spontaneous overlapping of sound. The installation had been exhibited since January 29th 2012 and, at the time we viewed it, was to run through May 6th.
The record bins of this installation are filled with selections by invited personalities listed below
 Yoko Ono  Iggy Pop  Graham Nash  David Byrne (Talking Heads)  Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music) Jack White (The White Stripes) Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) Richie Ramone (The Ramones) Jad Fair (Half-Japanese) Alex James (Blur) Meredith Monk Terry Allen Irwin Chusid Arto Lindsay (DNA & Lounge Lizards) Blixa Bargeld (Einsturzende Neubauten) Mike Kelley (Destroy All Monsters) S.A. Martinez (311) David Harrington (Kronos Quartet) Emil Schult (Kraftwerk) Pauline Oliveros The Residents Vito Acconci The Art Guys Martin Atkins (Public Image Ltd.) John Baldessari Matthew Barney William Wegman Christian Marclay Joan LaBarbara Ed Ruscha Jim Rosenquist

This created a very interesting curatorial layer to the project. The project was organized and curated by Jade Dellinger. The selections could have very well been acquired randomly at a thrift store ( I do not think that the installation has any requirements in way of the selection of the records available to the audience.). Curiously, there are statements by John Cage in interviews that he disapproved of recorded sound ( as a record ). One of these examples can be during a scene in a Peter Greenaway short based on John Cage called "4 American Composers: John Cage" which was, as one would gather from the title, one of four shorts based on Philip Glass, Meridith Monk, Robert Ashley and Cage. I believe it is quite clear that Cage's opposition to the record is based on recorded performances replacing the experience of listening to live performances of musical compositions. In a very direct way this artwork seems to invert the technology of record and record player to create a situation where there is no predictable outcome in the sonic menu and it is being produced and experienced in public by the audience.

My next post is all about Orlando....or mostly about Orlando.
It will be filled with confusing pop culture images like the one above and below but I will do my best to decode them.