Wednesday, 10 December 2008

‘series invisible: audio work by Christoph Korn and Lasse-Marc Riek’

Over the last couple of years I have talked & written more about my work than before & one thing I often find myself talking about in a workshop or lecture situation is that very often some of the most important sounds I hear are the ones I don’t record, that it is equally important to press ‘record’ as it is to not press that button. It’s a tricky thing to explain as it is related to personal feelings and a momentary intuitive action.

This small book by Christoph & Lasse-Marc explores an act that could perhaps be seen as a theoretical attempt to remove the sound but retain the recording process.

‘Specific locations and their sounds are recorded on MD or DAT. Later on these recordings were deleted. This process of finding a location, recording and deleting it is then captured textually. The result is an audio-event noted and transformed into script’ (extract from the introduction - Korn / Riek)

The following pages each contain one set of details: location, date & time of recording, date & time of deletion & duration of original recording. After that there are several pages of notes with small details of some of the locations or related events.

It’s a hard book to review. In fact I feel that an essential element of this book is that, like the recordings themselves, it exists as an object on the edge of existing. Something to view out of the corner of ones eye rather than with full attention. For me, that is the best way to view this book. To glance at it, read the emptiness of the pages below the two or three lines of text and it’s blank dark blue cover.

So, when is a field recording not an actual physical recorded object....but still a recording, a creative act ? There are two answers that come immediately to mind:

1) When the process is retained and valued by those participating.

2) Simply, when we actively listen, when we turn on our ears. Whether we press record, don’t press record or press record & then lose or delete said recording does not alter the act of a sound passing into our memory, being recorded into our life experience.

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