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The Forager’s Breakfast

stimulated object and psychobotanical induction for audiotext capture and rendering

The Forager’s Breakfast is a small group of objects that comprise a small environmental sound installation that can be installed in various ways, alone or with other works. It was first exhibited at a small community space in Huddersfield, UK, and more information on this exhibition and the works shown there is given below.

This is an except from the sound produced by the piece, under certain circumstances:

The Foragers Breakfast is the newest of the three works and came about while considering how I wanted to install and perhaps perform Your Footprints Precede You in Architecture as Instrument, the first version of the exhibition that eventually became Space As An Instrument. In this version of the piece, the standard moss shoe from Footsteps would have been used to mark a path through Huddersfield to the gallery using a bucket of mud that I would carry along, imprinting footprints on the asphalt and sidewalks as I went to eventually reaching and entering the gallery, making my way through the opening night crowd and continuing with the footprints until I reach the place at which the piece was to be installed at which point I would ritually enact a personalized and highly symbolic ceremony using the stimulated objects that compose The Forager’s Breakfast.

The piece is intended as an homage to both Meret and Dennis Oppenheim, who added and subtracted animal, vegetal, and cultural material in their work to create a layered synthesis of meaning and experience. A further exhibition text, also included here highlighted this connection while also drawing attention to morphological similarities between this cup-and-saucer and the adjacent cup-and-ring marks featured in The Work of Sound Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.

Some notes on the first exhibition of the Forager’s Breakfast and related works:

Three of my works were shown together in the Sound Art exhibition Space as an Instrument, held between Saturday, February 9 and Thursday February 14th in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. Space as an Instrument was curated by David Velez of Impulsive Habitat link. The exhibition space was 21 Market Place, a former jewellery shop that was occupied by the Making Space, a local arts and crafts collective and creative initiative.

21 Market Place had by this point been in continuous use over a period of 2 years or so, and had provided a publicly-accessible base for workshops, film screenings, and concerts of experimental music (co-produced by the Making Space and local groups AME and New Weird Huddersfield), as well as studio space for Making Space artists. Before the opening of Space as an Instrument, the Making Space was notified that they would be evicted on the 21st of that month by the management of the adjacent shopping mall and local arts advocacy organization East St Arts.

This impending eviction lent an ironic tone to the exhibition as the initial theme of the planned event was “architecture as instrument”, and the show was intended to be a sounding of, or sonic exploration and mapping of, or sonic response to this building. Artists in the show interpreted this in various ways, David Velez recording the sounds of the building, for example, and collecting them for broadcast in a dark basement space, with the sounds creeping out, emanating from the metallic wall on one side of the room. Meanwhile, Ryoko Akama gathered various bits of material from around the space and assembled them into a lyrical kinetic sculpture that repurposed an overhead projector and fan along with a brass tube left behind from a recent performance upstairs by Boris Bezemer. Akama’s piece used small DC motors to activate movement among pieces of wire and cardboard creating a counterpoint to the strong electrical hum that perennially filled her chosen basement exhibition space, a stooped and cramped room whose ceiling was steadily graded and proved dangerous for anyone over 6 ft to stand inside. Bathed in room hum, the sound of the spinning fan and one of the motors repeatedly striking the brass pipe with an attached wire, listeners where confronted with a continuous but also continuously varied cloud of sound. At the same time, the room regularly cycled through periods of light and darkness as the second small motor alternately interrupted and revealed the beam of light from the projector, in the manner of an endless eclipse.

My own response to this space, chose to view it from a multiplicity of perspectives. Rather than a single objective reading, I sought to create an installation that addressed 21 Market Place as a place, and a place that has changed its identity not only in space but in time.

Therefore, I assembled the three works together with certain bits of connective material present, in, for example, the design and layout of the title cards and in the extra and excessive information furnished on these cards. The audio tracks broadcast by and through each of these pieces also created strong links between the three otherwise discrete works. I intended the three pieces to be read together as a stratified, yet non-hierarchical, pile of information. The experience of the works would be thus constituted by participating visitors by their own navigations through this material and the comparisons they made for themselves between the pieces.

Obviously, in another context these works might be shown separately and aspects of them might be changed. As two of the works consist of living plant material, they will likely have changed form by the time they are next exhibited. Sound tracks may also be altered, as in fact they were in the case of this exhibition, due to mechanical and spatial constraints. That is just how it goes.

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