Recorded (on) Delivery 2012
collaboration with Stephen Cornford
reel to reel machines, audio tape, shelves, guiders, text, variable duration
Recorded (on) Delivery forms part of an ongoing collaborative practice in which the post is used not to send recorded sounds but the objects to be used in their production. Each artist completely dismantled a tape machine of their own, right down to the components, wires and even collections of dust. Once the parts were listed they were methodically posted to the other collaborator over a period of time. Upon receiving a package of listed parts chosen specifically by the sender, the receiver then performs a single sound-producing action with each item in any way that they feel adequate. These actions were recorded to 1/4” tape.
The culmination of this process has become the work itself, a form of composition that is strictly governed by the physical components of the two machines yet also encompasses free interpretation of an object in hand. Resistors and capacitors have been used as styluses for the playback of a record, valves have been heated and smashed, leather ripped and torn, plastic cracked and smashed. Sounds have been produced out of the intrigue each artist gets with every delivery and in turn the role of each component shifts from being part of a recording device into the subject.
In the increasingly crossed areas of music and fine art, the ground of Sound Art and Improvising music has a strong trend of amplified sound practices that focus on the aesthetics inherent in all manners of objects, situations and spaces. Often the focus on pre-recorded material (external) is shifted to the mechanics of its recording and playback (internal). Recorded (on) delivery explores such a focus. The role of amplification is to perform the object, its relationship to other components and also to frame what composition is. By choosing the contents of each package the sender hands the compositional direction to the receiver.
The unheard element is the way in which the collaboration happens, decisions made by the physical aspects of each component are sounded. It is the re-construction in the gallery space where the recordings are now interpretations of all the elements of making a tape recording, they are now heard in way which re-integrates the collaborators work at arms length.
Recorded (on) Delivery was commissioned as part of 'Audiograft 2012', Oxford Brookes annual festival of sound art & experimental music and was exhibited at Modern Art Oxford.