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Theatre and Its Double


As I continue doing Art Dirt Redux I realize how different and advanced the series is. All art works bring realizations. As a working artist part of the work is to focus on the process and through that focus understand what you are doing. It’s odd because art making, the creative process is by its nature partially unconscious. That’s why it is different from say, computer programming or a manufacturing procedure. With any procedural process one expects a specific outcome. There are no surprises and no realizations. With art it's different. You engage in the process to be surprised by the outcome. Art Dirt Redux is sound art. It’s influences are Musique Concrete and early conceptual art documentation works such as Robert Morris’ piece, Sculpture With The Sound Of Its Own Making.

When I listen to each successive piece I understand its unique identity. The works are made for a specific audience. A person listening to Art Dirt Redux must listen intently to get the piece. The meaning does not reveal itself immediately. It is like an Avant-Garde music piece. You don’t listen to Avant-Garde music to be entertained. You listen to stimulate thought, to unlock the underlying structure of the music, to come in contact with the artist’s mind. I think of the pieces as individual small theatre pieces, a sort of, private theatre. The audience is a single individual listening and wondering. The process is tied to the technology. Whether a person listens to the work on a computer via the web or downloads it onto their iPod, they are still an audience of one. A very special audience.

I try with each piece to look at the soundscape and amplify the underlying emotion. With the Share, Share Widely piece I conveyed the sense of intelligent, boisterous debate. With a recent piece Chelsea May Part Deux, I heard the low rumble of trucks on the street and the echoed sound of the art galleries, I added a phase shift effect to my sidewalk café conversation with Rob and boosted the bass. Rob's voice weaves in and out of the other overlaid tracks. The rhythmic wave of the phase shift creates unease. Interestingly enough, one third of the way through the piece, the rhythm abates. There’s a calm that takes over. This is quite like a movement in a symphony. Indeed, One might say that Chelsea May Part Deux is a private theatre work in three acts.
As short theatre pieces, maybe one would call them “sound theatre,” Art Dirt Redux begins to make sense. I would liken them to what Antonin Artaud w calls, “Theatre and Its Double.”