May 6, 2023
Today I had my first art opening in 35 years. “Repercussions: Cross Examinations” is a work I started in 1982. Below is the installation which opened today at Art Buoy, Kingston, New York. Thanks to Laurie De Chiara and Stefan Saffer of ArtPort for supporting the installation.
Repercussions: Cross Examinations
Repercussions is a series of sound and image projection works (investigations) which examines how we speak and how we listen. The use of language and phonetics to create rhythms are a method used to examine what we say and how we say it in hopes to understand meaning.
My interest in language, in retrospect, stems from a year in which I became a selective mute so my focus was on listening.
The title “Repercussions” refers to the aftermath of speaking and the beginning of listening/comprehension, the moment when speech ends and meaning begins to sink in.
Repercussions: Cross Examinations (sound, video, photographs)
While studying phonetics and the physical mechanics of forming speech, the phrase “Stop the Voice, End the Movement” is used to indicate the end of speaking and the start of silence. In “Cross Examinations” this phrase, spoken by a male and female, is used as the raw material to create rhythmic sounds traveling around the space.
The legal term of cross examinations is to “interrogate” or formally question. Taking the other meanings of “cross”, is “to pass in an opposite or different direction”, or “to be annoyed”, the video is woven with the sound intended to display the fractures in our society today.
One video is projected by two projectors side by side with one of the images being projected as a mirror image. With one exception, the video material gives no reference as to right or left. Which is the real image and which is false?
The text (the only image on the video that has a reference of which image might be mirrored), gives instructions on how we use our teeth, tongue and lips to form the speech sounds in the video. These details of our unconscious method of speaking is an attempt to energize the complexities of our speech. Taken together, this work is intended to create not an atmosphere of debate (from the Latin de battuere, “to beat down”) rather to create an atmosphere of discussion (L. discutere, “to investigate”).