Sunday, October 25, 2009

form



When I was completing my Qualification Exams (and that must be capitalized), I created an installation in conjunction with Alejandro Casazi. We later made a movie from that same material and we are once again working on that material and developing it further. For the exam, I completed the installation in 2 days. And upon completion had to answer questions about the installation and then my written answers from the previous week. One question that has stuck in my head since the exam was asked by Curtis Roads, "What is the form of the piece?" At the time I provided an answer about my experience of the piece, remarking quite honestly, that I had thought very little about that aspect but rather had entrusted that component to my subconscious or intuition.

I am led back to the that question tonight having spent some time with the words of Adorno. He goes into some discussion on what is an expressionist form and a surrealist form and offhandedly remarks about montage. This remark on montage got me thinking about the ideas of montage in Luc Ferrari and micromontage in Curtis Roads or Horracio Vaggione. Then it occurred to me that there is another form, one that is often present in electro acoustic music (but certainly not limited to that medium), that of the unfolding. By this I mean to indicate an algorithm or maybe more basically a set of procedures that are allowed to unfold, when the process has completed, the piece is done. James Tenney and Clarence Barlow come to mind. This is a form that has often drawn my admiration and attention, yet I can't think of a time that I have come across it in "the literature" (please, dear reader, alert me if you are aware of the verbiage and bibliographic information that I am so necessarily need_. Surely, this is an over-site on my part. I shall spend some time in the library to rectify this.

All this thought about form brought me to notions of exactly what role it plays in our existence. Chunking and demarcation of cognitive bits... is it our role as creative artists to suggest new and elaborate/elegant forms? Such that these new forms allow us access to new and possibly better means of experiencing life and the universe? What formal designs do other animals appreciate?

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