Thursday, January 29, 2009

If you are a writer, please follow his lead and remix/mash-up an existing text. I'm doing it. So should you. It will be the future. It will be the post-postmodern.


The estimable Adam Robinson tagged me in facebook-world, but since I don't really participate much in that world (or in myspace-world, for that matter, despite the fact that I do exist in both) I figured I would address his inquiry about my position on Alvin Lucier's "I Am Sitting in a Room" right here.

To be honest, I had never heard of Lucier or his work before. So I did some research and can now share what I've discovered:

"I am sitting in a room" is a composition in which Lucier records himself speaking this text:

"I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have."

Then, he plays the recording back in a room where he records the recording. Then, he repeats the process until the recording is simulacra of simulacra.

It was composed in 1970 and was first performed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City that same year.

You can here the original iteration, before it becomes multi-generational, here.

More Lucier stuff, including the complete 15minute original recording, at UbuWeb.

"Collage artist Residuum takes the text by Lucier and lets the computer speak it. And as a computer can only speak virtually, the technique is applied to virtual space, i.e. a plugin, that simulates the echoes of real space. Over and over again, 59 times, to be precise."

Also, Digital/new media artists Joel Kraut and David Tinapple created a live, interactive digital version of Lucier's piece.


William T. Vollmann shares his ten favorite books, and what makes them special to him.


"Paradoxes and Oxymorons" by John Ashbery
Created by Kate Raney
Read by DJ Spooky


"Beckett with Lacan"


Slavoj Žižek

part one
part two


Sci-fi movies at this year's Sundance Film Festival.


Martinez Bourguet String Quartet
Silvestre Revueltas's Cuarteto No. 4 Musica de feria


Martha Argerich
Ravel's "Jeux d'eau"


French Canadian band Karkwa "Oublie pas"