This week’s installment RADAR NYC is brought to you by Mary Mattingly (RADAR ep 17 – Waterpod), a well-known New York-based visual artist who uses a variety of different mediums from photography to living installations to explore themes of different relationships. She shared with us some things that inspire her and offer a glimpse into her world, including a book from a famous experimental composer, an Italian organization that focuses on smart city planning, and an avant-garde turntablist from Peru. And while they all come from very different backgrounds, each of the artists she chose have something in common – they all find creative and brilliant ways to reevaluate things that are part of our everyday lives, from time to silence to the city itself.
Christian Marclay – “The Clock”
This is kind of amazing. Would you watch a clock for 24 hours straight? What if it was the most captivating clock ever? Artist Christian Marclay spliced together thousands of film clips from across the history of cinema, each one referencing a different moment in the day. So think of whenever a movie character looks at his or her watch, or mentions what time it is—Marclay has somehow crafted an entire day out of these moments, and presents it in real time, as a living clock. So if you tune in at 8:37 a.m., that’s what time it will be for the characters on screen. The Clock will be showing at the Paula Cooper Gallery until February 19.
Frazey Ford – “Blue Streak Mama”
Frazey Ford has lived quite an interesting life. Born in a Canadian commune in the late 70s, she spent the 80s traveling Asia with her family. Then in the late 90s, she formed the Canadian band The Be Good Tanyas, which split in 2008. And just last year, she released her debut solo album, Obadiah. The album is full of wonderful soulful folk (or is it folky soul?) that’s definitely worth a full listen, but the song “Blue Streak Mama” stands out particularly well. It has a distinctive blues-rock feel to it, sort of like a female-fronted Black Keys. But with more stripped-back instrumentation, the amazing vocals and lyrics take center stage and really shine through.
Free download available at Frazey Ford’s Myspace
John Cage – “Silence: Lectures and Writings”
I have nothing to say/ and I am saying it/ and that is poetry/ as I need it.
-John Cage, “Lecture on Nothing” (1949)
Composer John Cage was a pioneer of American experimental music and one of the most influential American composers of the 20th Century. His most famous composition, 4’33”, consists of four minutes and thirty-three seconds without a note being played, and instead encourages the listener to focus on the sounds of the environment as it is played. Silence is Cage’s first book, published in 1961, made up of a collection of essays and lectures he wrote from 1939 to 1961, including “Lecture on Nothing,” quoted above. It is also his best known book, in which he discusses the nature of writing and ideas.
You can buy the book HERE
Turntable Artist Maria Chavez at The Stone
Maria Chavez is a Brooklyn-based experimental turntablist from Peru. She uses both new and broken needles (she calls them “pencils of sound”) on different records to create live sound installations, of which no two are ever exactly alike. Above is a live video of Chavez at a show in Queens last November. You can see her use a variety of different objects to create her sound, including (very) broken records, showing that a turntablist can many things beyond getting people onto the dance floor. She’ll be joined by harpist Shelley Burgon at The Stone on March 1.
Tuesday, March 1 · 8:00 pm
East 2nd Street @ Avenue C
New York, NY 10009
As we make our way through the 21st Century, one important issue for all urban-dwellers is the ever-growing and changing landscape of cities. Any New Yorker can attest that cities continue to grow quite rapidly. Cluster is a non-profit organization based in Turin, Italy, which seeks to answer these questions, looking for innovative and creative ways to plan and design modern cities. Their goal, to improve and revitalize urban life, has already helped Turin to become a cultural center in northwest Italy, and now they want to reach out to other cities in Europe and beyond, from improving drinking water in Haiti to experimental architecture in Brazil.
Follow Cluster HERE.
Posted in RADAR NYC event music photography