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andrewcsmith on 12/09/2010 at 10:46AM

Richard Garet's Rupture: Material Landscape

Garet's setup from his October performance. Photo by Blair Neal.

Fall 2010 Artist-in-Residence Richard Garet gives his last performance at ISSUE—also, coincidentally, the last ISSUE-sponsored performance of 2011—this Friday at 8:30 pm (FREE | RSVP). Garet is multidisciplinary in that his processes and interests often draw lines between the visual (moving image, photography, or painting) and the auditory (electronic manipulation, or unpredictable analog processes), and that he invests conceptual and technical energy in both realms to great success.

Still from Garet's Rupture: Material Landscape

This latest work, Rupture: Material Landscape, consists of a single video channel created from treated and processed 16mm film. The film was subjected to bleaching and hand-treating, and played back changing its speed and frame rate. In a similar process, the sonic material was recorded onto cassette tapes, which were then subjected to magnetic interference, tape feedback, and erasure. Collaborator Bonnie Jones will be improvising speech while projecting subtitles generated by speech-recognition software on a layer over Garet's own projection. Throughout all of this, programmer and sound artist Wolfgang Gil will be spreading the sound around the in-house 15-channel hanging speaker system using Max/MSP and his custom-made program Roctor.

For now, enjoy this audio excerpt from Garet's first Artist-in-Residence performance back in October, from a series called Light Fields. The entire piece (Light Fields 1, 2, & 3) will be out on a DVD box set in the coming year, so check Garet's site for information as that develops. Although it will eventually be released as a fixed (and edited) work, this particular audio sample was entirely performed live, using the setup in the photo above. The photo also shows the hanging speakers that are a fixture of Friday evening's performance. Hope to see you there.


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andrewcsmith on 11/15/2010 at 03:22PM

Richard Garet presents AREAL (2010)

ISSUE Artist-in-Residence Richard Garet has shared a couple of newer tracks: “Gil’s Symphonic Aura” and “Huskies.” Next Saturday (11/20: FREE | RSVP), he’ll take the phrase “immersive environment” to an extreme level, filling the room with fog and pointing flashing projectors at the floor. This composition, AREAL, is a brand-new piece, and the second of three concerts that Garet’s presenting through the last three months of 2010.

Richard Garet talked on tape with musician Daniel Neumann recently about his artistic and compositional practices. “I’d say, I know maybe fifty percent what things are going to sound like…the performance becomes me trying to keep things stable,” he said, while sitting in his Astoria garden. Just judging from this short video (and from his recent performance), it would seem like Garet’s fixated on sensory overload, and on noise-related processes. But there’s a particular tactile nature to his work, so much so that he sees his performance as more a matter of exploration than of molding material to his own ideas. Even while composing fixed media, he says, “if I force my logic and my ideas on the work, it becomes boring to me.”

“Gil’s Symphonic Aura,” like the track “In The Open” which I wrote about a month ago, seems to incorporate a level of that live-performance unpredictability into the fixed recording. Both of these tracks couple field recordings with electronic sounds—they deal with the outside, physical world as an unpredictable system. There is a feeling of “listening in”—not just via microphones recording rain falling on a tin roof, but listening in on invisible, electronic signals as well, such as when Garet connects a 9-volt battery to an electric guitar string—and this listening, veiling its source by existing as a fixed recording, blends and confuses the worlds of electronic and acoustic sound. Even at their noisiest parts, I like to listen to these two tracks at a much lower volume than I listen to most music; they sound best when they exist as part of the ambient world. 

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andrewcsmith on 10/11/2010 at 05:49AM

Richard Garet: dis-locations

Richard Garet's Light Field, which he's presenting Thursday at ISSUE.

In inaguration of Richard Garet’s three-month tenure as Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room—the first event is this Thursday, and like all AIR concerts it’s free—he’s generously shared a bundle of excellent tracks. One of these, “Gap,” is the sound component to a video piece, but we’ve got it both with and without the video below.

Gap from ISSUE Project Room on Vimeo.
In “Dislocations” there is an implied space—reverberations, short-delay slap echos—in ways that are realistic but fictionalized. That is, when we hear a slap echo, or a steady tone that sounds like it’s meant to sound like wind rushing through a pipe, the immediate physical association (“it’s wind through a pipe!”) is shortly squelched by our knowledge that this is not the case. Even in (well, especially in) the most blockbustery Hollywood films there is a combination of falsehood and realism. The camera shows Manhattan either as incomprehensible and ripe for psychoanalysis (Annie Hall) or as grimy and full of dark secrets (Taxi Driver) and these are taken to be artistic implications rather than realistic depictions.

In Garet’s work, this acknowledgement of fiction is subverted; locations change immediately, and sonic “objects” (like the wind-through-a-pipe from “Dislocations”) shift location and implication of space at a whim; it seems that his work seeks full control over the viewer’s/listener’s perceptions. At The Invisible Dog Art Gallery, Garet’s current installation “ELECTROCHROMA” is built inside of a huge black light-tight box in the center of the main floor of the gallery. Walking inside, the projections and sound make up the participant’s entire perceptual experience; there is no outside.

Yet, there is an outside. Many of his pieces (“In the Open,” specifically) open to the outside in the interest of perceptual fiction. There is noise (the seemingly realistic kind, not the fake electronic kind) and field recordings interspersed with electronic sound. The fictitious along with the electronic is admitted into the real world.

I’d recommend listening to the below pieces with headphones on, in the interest of fully getting into the sound. I don’t often force myself to sit and really listen (which is probably why I go to concerts) but about a minute into “Dislocations” I just had to take my glasses off, shut my eyes, and cede control.

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