Thursday, February 01, 2007


Sometimes you just gotta go. While I'm totally knuckled under with papers papers papers (catching up from last year's conferences this year...) K's friend was showing a piece in an opening of "[silence]". I somehow managed to survive the mild traffic home (although the LIE is generally quiescent in winter for the most part) by nearly finishing up my listen to David Foster Wallace's excellent (if ridiculously-abridged) audiobook of "Consider the Lobster" and wound my way from the Midtown Tunnel to Franklin Street in Tribeca to Gigantic Artspace. There I walked into a maelstrom of, well, sound. Not exactly silent at all, as one of the pieces consisted of transmitters and various radios. K's friend Michelle Rosenberg had a lovely piece: a necklace made of headphone speakers, delicately connected by wires that conducted the signal being delivered by a pen-size Sony radio. Couldn't hear it above the din (silence, indeed) but it looked great.

In the way back was another fun piece, this one by Douglas Repetto. This one was a room-sized array of wooden blocks (shown on that web page), densely packed, suspended from the ceiling by thin wires. A switch was placed at head-level with "puff" on a slat of plywood. Blowing on it tripped the switch, which activated a small gadget near the ceiling that jostled one of the blocks hard enough to induce some "sound waves" in the "liquid" of blocks. I see physics everywhere, but this one wasn't trying to hide it at all.

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