Thursday, 24 February 2011

Music for Bicycles

I am perhaps slightly re-inventing the wheel (groan) by considering music for bicycle wheels: a quick internet search uncovered "Eine Brise", by Mauricio Kagel, and "Travelon Gamelon" by Richard Lerman. Here's a review of a performance of the Kagel last year in Los Angeles. Both of these pieces involved multiple bicyclists actually riding the streets, a lovely idea, no?! This stationary bicycle wheel roulette/altar is quite different, of course, more about the connection of wheels and spindles, necessary and otherwise....

Gopnik on Information

I thought this was interesting regarding our eranisteon, it's from an article about how the internet is changing us (yawn), but it's by Adam Gopnik, so it's better than average on the subject.

In her book “Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information Before the Modern Age,” [the Harvard historian Ann Blair] makes the case that what we’re going through is like what others went through a very long while ago. Against the cartoon history of Shirky or Tooby, Blair argues that the sense of “information overload” was not the consequence of Gutenberg but already in place before printing began. She wants us to resist “trying to reduce the complex causal nexus behind the transition from Renaissance to Enlightenment to the impact of a technology or any particular set of ideas.” Anyway, the crucial revolution was not of print but of paper: “During the later Middle Ages a staggering growth in the production of manuscripts, facilitated by the use of paper, accompanied a great expansion of readers outside the monastic and scholastic contexts.” For that matter, our minds were altered less by books than by index slips. Activities that seem quite twenty-first century, she shows, began when people cut and pasted from one manuscript to another; made aggregated news in compendiums; passed around prĂ©cis. “Early modern finding devices” were forced into existence: lists of authorities, lists of headings.

(my emphasis: source here)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

shrines and sea caves

All right - last post of the day! I was turning over the idea of the shrine as a sea cave and typed 'shrine' and 'sea cave' into google. The hits included these two images of a Shinto shrine in a cave in Japan. Extraordinarily, the images date from the 1890s and are hand-tinted. Take a look:


I like the fact that transcription - and the transformation that transcription brings about - is part of one of your pieces for this project because it is an idea that connects all of our three terms: archive, exile, and voice. I'm posting this really just to remind myself that transcription was an idea that emerged fairly early in our collaboration and seems to be coming to the surface again now. One of the earlier postings on this theme was yours on Xu Bing and I'm putting a link to it here, just as a reminder:

If the 'gifts' bestowed by the wheel and located on the computer are to include texts and images as well as music, then maybe I should contribute something textual on transcription.


When we spoke, I mentioned Nick Bax from the design consultancy, 'Human'. I'm thinking that he might be the guy to help us with the public display of our blog material and maybe also with the technology we use in the 'shrine' itself to give visitors access to music, text, and images. (Actually, I showed Jess some of his stuff and she's keen to involve him in thinking through the higher order issues as well - not how individual works are displayed but how to display explanatory text and so on.) Given all this, I thought you might like to look at his website. It's here:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

cave of the sirens

I really enjoyed talking last night and I'm excited by the idea of that cellar space as a temple to the sirens with the wheel taking pride of place. I was wondering whether the shrine might have something of the quality of a sea cave? Could we whitewash the brick vault and cover the floor with pebbles?