Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Liz Phillips

This week I have had the fortune of encountering sound artist Liz Phillips. She is presenting a series of workshops and an installation. I have spent some time discussing her work with her and have discovered a great deal. Liz has intuitively discovered and worked with the spatial aspect of sound/life. Furthermore, she has reached the point of dealing in depth with the perceptual apparatus of humans. This is of course very interesting to me. What I mean by all of this is that her work is driven by her desire to explore space and reflect that space that she is investigating back upon itself. This results in work that refers to the observer, which I find to be a unique and provocative position. This critical view of mine is neglecting the human aspect. Liz spends a great deal of time tuning the space. What I have come to understand this activity as, is the investigation of the specific characteristics of the space of her installation as well as investigating her own work anew,.. each time! This is indeed a remarkable thing.

As if that was not enough, there was a panel discussion last night with Liz and Curtis Roads. In my mind there is a great deal of aesthetic difference between these two artists. As I have got to know them both, it has been revealed that they have a great deal in common. In fact, they are both very concerned with the investigation of space and how sound enables that. Of course there is a difference in the works that they present, but the similarities are there.

Like many artists Liz is able to talk about herself. This type of self referential perspective used to annoy me, but having spent a considerable amount of time talking directly with Liz, it was fascinating to watch her speak about herself and her work to the public. It was in these talks that I began to understand her work, because the act of talking about herself was more about her talking about her work. I suppose I shall develop this ability at some point, especially now that it has entered my consciousness. Actually, it was even more remarkable to contrast this with Curtis. Liz is critically aware of the position of her work in the evolution of sound sculpture and speaks off the cuff, with themes that have are currently of interest. In contrast, Curtis prefers to read a prepared statement, I assume that this is in order to perfectly (and rather eloquently I might add) articulate his thoughts. It has been a great pleasure to get to know Liz's work in such a close and personal manner. I am thankful for the opportunity. Oh, and the perceptional issues... I see it and she does as well. It is simple things like recording stereo images for ones eyes, a TV is a mono picture, as is you computer. Liz records stereo and then installs a 3D visual. Likewise, in sound, she pursues sound in terms of the spacial morphology. It seems almost stupid to say it, but something as simple as a binaural installation is still a revolutionary act. And there you are ... 2008!

By the by. 2 is ease and god luck for the Chinese and 8 is prosperity. 2008 is the year in which it is easy to be prosperous. May we all be prosperous, myself included.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog. I have attached it to my website,
which I have finally had a moment to work on.
Please link and let me know if it is coming down.
Le tme know if you are coming to NYC.
Keep in touch! My email is:
My website is :

1/17/2009 08:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris --I have never left a blog before .
Can this be deleted?
I meant to send you a note.

1/17/2009 08:15:00 AM  

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