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.