Alphanumeric

Screen shot 2013-01-18 at 11.30.39 AMA personal alphanumeric system of 36 alphabetic and numeric characters (A-Z and 0-9) developed by the artist to be used by the audience in a museum/gallery setting. As with all language, Each character has two forms the visual and the sonic.  In this case the sound of each character is a short audio composition by the artist.  When one combines characters to form a text, one is also composing with sound by determining the playback order of the audio files. The act of writing produces a rich, multi-layered sonic experience as each character represents a complete composition made in advance by the artist according to a set of rules.  “First I choose an object, person, place or concept that I associate with each Character.  For example I often use a five tone twirling pipe in my live performances.  I have an affinity for this simple instrument and since it is capable of producing five tones, I chose it to represent the number 5 in my personal alphanumeric system.”  Then every sound that can possibly be generated by this instrument is recorded. These recordings are distributed in the time line of an audio editing program so that the overlapping tracks physically spell out the number 5 while still sounding balanced as a composition. The same process is used for each of the 36 characters.

Upon entering the gallery, the audience finds prints of the alphanumeric system on the wall.  There is a computer kiosk in the room with which they can enter text.  Audience members may also tweet their texts from mobile devices, which will add them to a cue for playback in the space. The collective composition can be heard in the space while it is being composed the texts can be seen projected on the wall in real time as they are played back.