Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An Imaginary Dialogue

Michael Thomas Jackson - Space Projective 1 (2004)
1. Space Projective 1
2. Feldspar In Ballast

Local avante garde composer Michael Thomas Jackson and other artists, were commisioned to construct sound pieces by Project Space 211 for a May 7, 2004 Art Installation. Joe Morgan was on the board of directors for P.S.211 at the time, and conceptualized the exhibition entitled; ECHO CHAMBER. A West Coast artist was flown in and received his commision, but there were not enough funds to pay Jackson as planned. This change compromised his resources and original intentions, resulting in a shorter, more simply fashioned piece. However, what was created might be of greater historical value for our purposes than the originally planned piece! Jackson captured sounds within the building, in several separate sessions; mainly in the empty room beside the performance space. Previously this room had been the site of the Creature Tease experiments (which we hope to feature later), and become a storage space over time. By this point it had been cleared out and a hole cut in the wall, for a second floor doorway leading to the back lot. This was in anticipation of future plans for an art gallery, and artist studio space (which is what currently exists there). In the empty concrete shell with a gapeing hole into open space; Jackson rolled objects around the floor, captured toilets flushing, water in pipes rushing, snippets of conversation, and other sounds. These sources became the sound collage titled, "Space Projective 1". In Jackson's own words:

"Space Projective 1 is a work of musique concrète. I assembled a variety of sounds from inside The Wherehouse with a variable-speed cassette recorder and realized the composition on a multi-track hard disc recorder. In a way I guess I was trying to breathe sentience into the walls and floors of the space or create an imaginary dialogue between its many ghosts, but that proved a ridiculous idea. It is what it is and was composed asystematically with the intention of providing some sort of dramatic trajectory. The title is a bit of a pun since the work has nothing to do with geometry. The term projective was borrowed from the lexicon of psychology, thus considering the work a subjective commentary on the space emerging from my subconcious. Whatever, right?

The exhibition aspect of the piece consisted of a CD player and 2 speakers mounted on one of the space's mighty wooden posts. Ah, so many nights spent leaning on that post. The same source recordings were used in the concert I performed the night of the opening, a piece entitled "Feldspar In Ballast." In addition to the tapes I also employed a deer hunter's call, a short wave radio, some signal processors, and both electronic and acoustic feedback. This is a slightly edited version of the piece...I kinda like."


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