Alvin Lucier's Natural Resonant Frequencies

Download Alvin Lucier's Natural Resonant Frequencies

Post on 17-Jul-2016

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A short, whimsical essay based on the text of Alvin Lucier's I am Sitting in a Room by sound artist Kimberly A. Sutton.

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Alvin Lucier's natural resonant frequencies I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am writing on this page, trying to articulate my thoughts on Alvin Lucier. Also, I suppose, trying to communicate the basic fact implied by the existence of any recording, on stone or paper or magnetic tape--that another present existed, and this was made then, and there. I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am writing on this page, trying to articulate my thoughts on Alvin Lucier. Writing the phrase, and the name Lucier, ghost fragments of silvery undulating pure resonance suggest themselves to my ear, and goose bumps rise up on my arm. Darkness, and space, and echoes, and silvery Lucier bubbles up, just from writing the phrase. I regard this not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as evidence of a neural recording of my intense physical and emotional reaction to Alvin Lucier's I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am writing on this page, trying to articulate my thoughts on Lucier. I am recording my thoughts, articulated by speech, with the hope they will reinforce themselves and gain some resonance. Perhaps if I do this, again and again, and every time my mind wanders I simply start over... I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am recording my thoughts, articulated by speech, about Alvin Lucier. I am trying to write them down, again and again, hoping their natural resonant frequencies reinforce themselves, and all semblance of my speech, leaving pure forms of thought, is destroyed. What you will have then, will not be a physical fact, but a way to smooth over the differences between thought and speech, between right now in my head and the moment you read this in yours. I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am recording my thoughts, articulated by speech, about Alvin Lucier. I am growing bored of this process, and simply want to tell you: do this live, in the room you where are, right now. Record the sound of your speaking voice and play it back into the room, again and again, until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of your speech is destroyed. It is different from understanding the process and hearing the recording. As a demonstration of a physical fact, the room comes alive around you, tuning you to the internal logic of its existence. I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am recording my thoughts, articulated by speech, about Alvin Lucier. Once I breathed life into a large globe, exhaling once and then hearing the globe inhale, again and again, reinforcing its natural resonant frequencies until the breath became its own. Squashes also work well, coming to life with a chorus of resonances animating spongy flesh. I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am recording my thoughts, articulated by speech, about Alvin Lucier. James Fei once told me that Lucier would run the other direction if I suggested his works had anything to do with Marx. When I met Alvin Lucier at Mills I asked him about the importance of the text to I am Sitting in a Room. He couldn't remember the name of the dancer he borrowed the idea from, the idea of literally describing what you are doing as you are doing it. Ill always remember his name, and his turtleneck, so perhaps it is ok that I borrow his process for extracting resonant frequencies to my own Marxist ends. The spongy squash chorus sounds best driven by the sound of the grumbly tractor driven by the human smoothing out any irregularities in the land- a different land from the one you are in now- a land labored over again and again until man reinforces nature and any semblance of alienated labor is destroyed; and a squash sings of the hand that made it, the hand that feeds you that you have never seen, the labor immanent to its spongy flesh, its natural resonant frequencies the silvery transcendence of commodity fetishization.