SEEING SOUND (AND OTHER THINGS).

I spend most waking hours these days doing one of the following things:
– procrastinating
– thinking about the next few letters for 36 Days
– trying not to sleep, and
– staring at a blinking cursor somewhere in the middle of the seemingly never-ending document that is my dissertation.

Given that it’s generally that last option, I believe it’s high time I said a little something about what this whole thing is about and how it has somehow taken over my life and messed up my sleeping pattern.

My final-year project is called Seeing Sound, and it brings together my two passions: visual art, and music. It’s also heavily-based on notions of authorship, collaboration (or contribution) and curation, all of which I find quite fascinating.

So, long story short and elaborate terminology aside, the heart of the project was me asking a bunch of artists and musicians to interpret a piece of the opposite nature in their own, preferred medium – that is, creating a translation of the original piece.

I’ll give an example.

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Here is Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square, a work of art (yes) declared ‘suprematist’. Of the musicians I sent the work to, one sent back the following sound piece as a response.

There’s a lot to it (I was actually blown away by some of the thoughts expressed throughout the project and the detail that some participants went into) but here’s a teaser:

Looking at this image, I saw crinkles – something that was alive, died and dried up. This made me realise that we humans are all here only for a limited time, as we too will eventually wrinkle, die and dry up. Almost instantly, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and I knew what I wanted to do.

It’s been interesting. And I’m going to share the results super soon, which is exciting. The subject is immense and it’s overwhelming to think about the ground that’s being covered, of all the topics and individual areas that come into it, and also of all the places it could go and the work it could lead to. It’s also been long – including other people in your work means you have to do quite a lot of hardcore badgering, chasing and begging, not to mention proofreading – and quite exhausting.

Writing non-academically for the past few minutes has been nothing short of therapeutic. You’ll probably see another post of this sort in 27 days or so (submission date for the writing), the contents of which will probably include an art book, something called L-għ, and God knows what else.

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