Saturdays, February 1, 8, 15 & 22, 2003
6 PM - Midnight
Sounds of Failure
a sound installation created by
Lary Seven and Fabio Roberti
(a.k.a. Directart Productions Ltd.)
Lary Seven and Fabio Roberti (a.k.a. Directart Productions Ltd.
Sounds of Failure, a sound-installation created by Lary Seven and Fabio Roberti (a.k.a. Directart Productions Ltd.), utilizes thirty-two discrete audio channels of pre-recorded sound events. Each channel may contain up to several dozen archival audio edits from a variety of sources
This work is an attempt to portray a cross-section of social, political, historical and artistic events of the 20th century by sourcing the deep historical well of sounds which have been archived for over a hundred years.
A major component of the work is the use of eight-track tape players. As one of many examples of an ever-expanding pile of leisure-time, technological "wonders" thrust upon the public, eight-track was ultimately discarded as obsolete and, by some accounts, a failure. However, the imprecise nature of eight-track itself suits "Sounds of Failure" perfectly: an analog, endless-loop system affording continuous play.
The sound edits for this piece were constructed directly onto eight-track cartridges. No two cycles of the tapes will ever be the same (due to subtle differences in speed, tape drag, and other electro-mechanical variances), thus ensuring a constant, random and ever-evolving audio collage containing the possibility of new discoveries with each consecutive revolution.
We chose the Fentone tubular speakers for their unique audio and visual properties. These speakers have limited bandwidth, giving the sound sources a peculiar and distant quality. They create a sound field which is environmental, yet unnatural. These speakers are also a visual touchstone of the era from which eight-track emerged.
Alternate versions of "Sounds of Failure" have been presented at the Girdle Factory installation in New York City, in 2000, and in conjunction with the Transnational Republic Pavilion at the Torino Biennial in Italy in 2002.
About Directart Productions Ltd.
New York-based collaborative Directart Productions Ltd. works in a variety of disciplines. These include music, film, video, live performance, radio and visual art. Directart has been the vehicle for numerous creative projects by its principals, Lary Seven and Fabio Roberti, for more than twenty years.
Foremost among its many endeavors is Plastikville Studios, Directart's music-production resource. Plastikville was formed in the early eighties and is an ongoing interest for musicians from around the world.
Directart has also curated film and 3-D slide screenings both locally and internationally. In 1991, Directart collaborated with VRcades on "The Knowledge Bazaar," with their sound and 3-D slide tableaux, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. And a collaboration with the internationalist KBZ-200 group included film, slide and live performances in Berlin ('93), Munich ('94) and Brighton ('94).
Lary Seven continues to expand his live-performance repertoire to include experimental music utilizing custom-built electro-acoustic devices. Recent live performances include Barbican (London 2000) and Fonotactik (Vienna 2002).
Fabio Roberti has done film and video production and occasionally produces work for musicians. He continues to host the weekly, live, "Strength Through Failure" radio show on WFMU, where he has been a host for seventeen years. Fabio hosted the 1996 live broadcast of "The Inauguration of the Kingdoms of Elgaland/Vargaland," on WFMU radio, from New York City's Thomas Nordanstad Gallery.
Directart attempts to create works that bring into question received ideas, cherished slogans and commonly held views toward music, art, film, culture and celebrity.
For example, in the Directart promotional film "Chett Grant: A Portrait of the Man" (1984), much is made of a seemingly ordinary individual who may or may not be a celebrity - a well-respected artist with an impressive history of achievements. Yet, as the film progresses, it becomes strangely apparent the man's background and "talent" are not quite what they appear to be. Something very similar happens in "Avant Garde Showcase" (1993), the video documentary of "famous and important" avant-garde composers.
Further explorations in experimental music and artistic concepts are made on vinyl: Plastikville Records was created in order to release one of-a-kind, limited-edition packages. The Jim Sharpe Project's "Piece of Wood" and "Opus 23," and Lary Seven's "Can You Hear the Dust?" were the label's first releases, produced between 1991 and 1993. Plastikville continues its release-schedule into the present day with "Burlap Fantasy," a user-participatory, double seven-inch, released in the fall of 2002.
Though all of Directart's efforts are infused with irony and the absurd, they nonetheless present the viewer-listener with questions that ultimately become impossible to avoid: What is the meaning of this "work of art"? Why is that "celebrity" important? Why should we be interested? Is "art" really important at all?