Caroline Bouissou & John Roach
– Winner of the Earlid USA sound competition
Message as a meaning
Voices repeat, loop, undermine meaning and elevate it and the self. Intercessions of machinic discourse take over. Intercessions recede and voices materialize, from within and outside the screen, whirling the disappearing knobs of a radio body.
Radio, algorithm and space are intermediaries that connect us to waves, ideas and bodies. They exist seemingly without substance but provide an armature for experience to which we may become attuned and hopelessly attached. The words of the Transmitter, spoken by Caroline Bouissou, express an affirmation of Self. A radio is, like any mediator (or medium), both a trusted guide and a good listener eager to please. A litany of “I ams” was generated by a more recently birthed intermediary agent—the Google algorithm in response to the query, “I AM A RADIO.” John Roach generated sounds from recordings in an abandoned power plant in Isola, an empty apartment in Pontevico (both in Italy) and a cave in Kefalonia, Greece.
about John Roach
Sound is full of difficult questions and slippery answers. I attack these questions in a circuitous and sometimes contrary approach that calls to mind one of my early influences, the author and provocateur Alfred Jarry and his creation of Pataphysics, or “the science of imaginary solutions.” Like Jarry, my results might at first seem ridiculous: flasks appear to bubble and pop on their own, pseudo-scientific experiments torque plaster with heat and cold, and glass percussion instruments shaped by patterns of human DNA are smashed to bits. This exploratory process, while fanciful, always aims to present an altered relationship between sound and its source.