Music Overheard, edited by Damon Krukowski

An audio response to the exhibition Super Vision at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, December 10 2006 to April 29 2007

CD 1 curated by Bhob Rainey
Full liner notes, biographies, & essays can be found here

1. Greg Kelley Thistlalia (03:47)
2. Sean Meehan Sectors (Study II) (09:03)
3. Charles Curtis Unison Offset (06:30)
4. Bhob Rainey Fold-out (05:30)
5. Taku Unami Kitsune 5 (09:13)
6. Chris Corsano Island of Hammers (Dumb as an) (07:12)
7. Liz Tonne Ristretto (03:53)
8. Ellen Fullman Hiss, Louder (10:00)

CD 2 curated by Kenneth Goldsmith
Full liner notes, biographies, & essays can be found here

1. Gregory Whitehead The Problem with Bodies (01:19)
2. Language Removal Services Marilyn Monroe (00:55)
3. Henri Chopin Le corps est une usine à sons [excerpt] (05:19)
4. Matmos Memento Mori (07:32)
5. John Duncan The Keening Towers [excerpt] (07:35)
6. Caroline Bergvall About Face, Part 1 (05:00)
7. Paul Dutton Lips Is (03:49)
8. Language Removal Services Marcel Duchamp (00:47)
9. Lauren Lesko Thirst [excerpt] (05:09)
10. Christof Migone Crackers [excerpt] (05:00)
11. Miya Masakoa Ritual with Giant Hissing Madagascar Cockroaches [excerpt] (05:00)
12. Jim Roche Straight Razor (09:20)
13. Language Removal Services William S. Burroughs (00:56)
14. People Like Us Hayfever (02:36)
15. Christof Migone P (01:00)
16. Leif Elggren and Thomas Liljenberg Zzz... [excerpt] (09:33)

Damon Krukowski

Art can predict technology - Jules Verne was the first to launch a ship under water, and Méliès traveled to the moon long before Apollo 8. Perhaps this is even a logical necessity; after all, without conceiving of something first, how could anyone invent it? But Super Vision, the inaugural exhibition for the ICA Boston's new building, is more interested in the inverse of that relationship. "The question posed," says curator Nicholas Baume in his essay for the show's catalogue, "is how artists have responded to and interpreted the changing nature of visuality" in the emerging digital era. To answer that question, Super Vision gathers work executed almost exclusively in traditional (pre-digital) media: paintings, sculpture, photographs, film. It is not a futuristic, or speculative show-it does not ask the work to predict technological times to come. Rather, Super Vision measures the technological times we are in, by their warp and pull on the art that already is.

In constructing an audio response (you could call it a soundtrack) to Super Vision, I followed this lead. Rather than look to the latest computer-based electronica-the futuristic sounds of tomorrow-I wanted to gather work made by traditional means, which would not have been possible outside today's digital audio environment. Thus CD 1 poses the question: What happens to the sound of acoustic instruments, once musicians are familiar with the tools and techniques of electronic music? And CD 2 asks a related question about our ur-instrument, the body: How do we hear the body's sounds, now that technology has given us superhuman ears?

The title, Music Overheard, is a term from anthropologist Christine R. Yano's study of Japanese enka, Tears of Longing-there, she uses it to describe the music we cannot help but absorb as members of a given culture, even if we never choose to listen to it. In the same manner, I feel the musicians and artists on these CDs have thoroughly absorbed our current technological relationship to audio, even as they continue to focus on our most ancient soundmakers: the instrument, and the body. Or, given the approach many of these musicians and artists take, we might say: the instrument as body, the body as instrument.

Music Overheard
© Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston 2006
Copyright to individual works retained by the artists
Edited by Damon Krukowski
Curated by Bhob Rainey and Kenneth Goldsmith
Produced for the ICA by David Henry, Director of Programs
Mastering by Bhob Rainey

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