built with indexhibit

... drawing on paper, listening to the audience looking at an artist in an object made of steel and paper with microphones and speakers which echo the sounds of the audience listening to the sound of the pencil that the artist uses to make a ...

Paper, inox, microphones, exciters, 12-channel-audio, 2,40m x 8m x 8m
Performance on October 5, 2013, 7pm - 3am
Audio-programing at IRCAM: Olivier Pasquet
IRCAM – Centre Pompidou
2013 – NUIT BLANCHE 2013, VILLE de PARIS, Paris 2013

7min / 7h

1 min

Three square stainless steel tubes are screwed together at right angles at their center. Nine of these elements are arranged in a ring and close off a small space. Its boundary is marked by a closed paper band stretched between the metal bars. The tape is a Möbius strip, where the ends of the paper web are connected to each other twisted by 180 degrees - the upper edge to the lower edge, the front to the back. That is, the paper tape has only one edge left and only one surface. Paradoxically, I am therefore always on the same side of the paper.

On the paper, the distinction between inside and outside, which still exists in the ring shape, is lost. Drawing, I move both inside and outside the ring. In three places, where the paper hangs a little higher, I can enter or leave the ring. The threshold is blurred, but it is there. During the performance, I am the only one who enters the interior.

Equipped with two pencils, I crisscross my way through the metal frame. On the paper, I primarily produce sounds with the pencils. The drawing develops almost incidentally as a record of these sounds. The pencils stroke, wipe, scratch, buzz, tap, and hammer over the paper, setting it in vibration. The paper becomes a resonating body. Twelve loudspeakers (structure-borne sound transducers) attached to the paper also use the paper as a membrane. They amplify the drawing sounds and, in addition, transmit the noises, words, sounds and - animated by the friendly reception at IRCAM - even chants of the audience of the Nuit Blanche.
Three microphones are available for recording in the foyer, and three more are attached directly to the ring installation. The sounds of the visitors from the foyer are recorded in real time. Recordings with high volume levels are automatically mixed into a four-second loop by a sampler. The loop continuously transforms with each new sound that drowns out the previous recording at the corresponding point in the sample. The sounds in the hall are played back filtered only by the sampler.

In the process, the pencils retain the upper hand. They deal with the noises, voices, the sampled sound fragments, but are not defenselessly exposed to them: as soon as I draw, the volume of the directly recorded ambient sounds is minimized, and only the loud voices penetrate to the sampler, which sets them into a rhythm and thus gives them duration and influence. But even their power is limited. The sampler is erased when I strike the two pencils against each other. Then it is quiet for a short moment and it is up to the pencils to set the tone and rhythm. But the audience is not intimidated, it does not remain silent. The pencils lose themselves in the hubbub again, they listen, they mingle, or they don't get involved in anything, they let themselves drift or drive the others, they enter into a dialogue, make contact, sharpen the communication and break it off again.

The drawing finds its rhythm in harmony and dissonance with the audience. The process comes to no end. It condenses here and there, just as drawing condenses on paper.