Curator/Witness Response to Lack of Nuclei Vibration’

CAC: Friday, 3rd
– ‘Lack of Nuclei Vibration’
– Wine glasses dotted around in a ring around a singing bowl- microphone laid out on top of the singing bowl and attached to an amp.
– In this piece, rather than it being a concentration on the body and how objects interact with that- its how the body- or just the hands are interacting with the objects- he has disjointed himself in this way- is this more kinetic sculpture or music than “performance art”?
– The form of Jamie’s work is very much tied in with performance art and sound and this is one of the closest to the sound performance side.- he is creating live rather than “being”, as in an end product/process in performance, maybe this is the distinction to be made here.
– Water in the wine glasses gives them a different pitch, so what is coming back into the room from the amp (via the mic) will be more textured.
– Artist- methodically and calmly placing bells in certain glasses that are going to be chosen in reaction to the sound being created. The sound is influencing he placement.
– Rather than Jamie being in control of it as such, he’s letting what’s happening guide his actions.
– Lack of control- performance you assume the performer is in total control
– Jamie: “A the very least, the glasses have changed the interior architecture of the room so it has the effect of coaxing the glasses to perform their own resonant frequency”.
– What’s really interesting is that the glasses could be entirely irrelevant but we (and the artist) can’t tell within this situation.
– Each glass has its own performance
– The mic is getting encased in the glass of water and getting reproduced through the amp so we’re closing a circuit.
– It seems like the glasses are always “alive”/active and the mic going over them is picking it up or giving us a way to access the vibrations with our hearing what is already going on.
– What if the actual performance here is the entire experiment?- if we are thinking about how to frame this- All these things that seem like a before or a building up to an event are actually the event itself because there is endless scope for experimentation here.
– With how concentrated he is and only focussing on the glasses and sound we as audience don’t feel involved, there is a heightened sense of audience-as-observer UNTIL the sound is so piercing it hurts your ears which brings your own body immediately in toward the piece.
– Model universe feel to the set up
– What is the significance of lighting this situation?
Light is important to highlight my potential movement of the liquid.
– So it brings a visual aesthetic level to it
Yes, it looks more epic and we can’t tell in this situation but there is the potential that it could be fundamental to the creation of the sound.
– Wine glasses, liquid, circular bells, controlled feedback and microphone.
– Some are really loud and piercing really quickly, some barely make a sound- this inconsistency can be jarring as a spectator but on the other hand, the buzzing of the amp is consistent and so provides the constant context.
– The lights placed on top of the glasses with the bells in seal off the sound but then also highlight that glass so it’s still activated in the situation but only by the light, its sound has been muted.
– The mic is only picking up sound but it somehow looks like it is giving them the sound, our sight, hearing and knowledge (however that is defined) don’t seem to be matching up.
– What’s interesting like most/all performance is that this couldn’t be done in exactly the same way again- the set up could be the same but if re-performed the movements couldn’t (and maybe shouldn’t) be exactly emulated.
Re-performance- the difficulty is how far into it do you go?- do you search for the “essence” to capture? Do it formulaically step by step even though this really wasn’t the point of the piece here?
– Thinking about Minimalism according to Fried, we are implicated in this piece because it relies so much on our hearing it, he would call this theatricality but isn’t his the same- there is no fantasy or effect of sound trying to be achieved it is an accident which arose from experiment , it is just “being” achieved.
– The closer they were to the amp, it was as if they were repelling him and telling him to move on.
– Jamie’s body is changing the space around the glasses by being near them, so his body is involved in this way.
– How did you react doing this piece?
I felt very out of my comfort zone because it wa a new thing and I didn’t have the total control I can have through planning and prior experiment.
– How would you describe what happened?
I was giving inanimate objects an opinion that influenced the rest of them, some of the glasses were up for it, some weren’t
– He found it technique over output.


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