Rice : Composition in the style of La Monte Young's 1960,  perfo


1999-2009, variable dimensions; multi-channel video installation

RICE contains abstract and non-objective images and sounds. The video is a realization of ever-changing sustained images. There can be an ever-larger number of fluctuations of ever-smaller amplitude. Unlike a repetitive optical pattern, the RICE images are a process in time that reflects the self-organized formation systems used to create structure by all living things in nature.

The work was inspired by the visionary artists, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. For the music, Composition in the style of La Monte Young’s 1960 sustained friction sounds, the audience hears the amplification of multiple pre-recorded layers of sounds produced by continuously inscribing a circle with a wooden rice paddle on the underside of a metal cooking pot, generating harmonics in systems of both rational and irrational intervals. Accompanied by these multiple overlays of the audio environment and using the same instrument and technique in the live concert, I perform in a state of focus on the universe of the sound, allowing the vibrations to materialize with a minimum of manipulation.

In Western classical music, variations and development of thematic and motivic structure are usually precisely notated. As a result, each performance will be substantially the same. However, both the video and audio elements of RICE have a similarity to Korean and Indian traditional music, jazz, and the work pioneered by Young, Terry Jennings and Terry Riley in the early ‘60s, in that the material in each of the media is created through continuous subtle variations improvised in real time. Compared to the precisely notated approach, this can produce performances that are recognizable as the same work, but sometimes quite different from each other in detail.

The video is produced independently and has no relationship to the audio other than my intention to exploit the inherent nature of the media concomitantly in the same space-time continuum. Together, the media resonate in the realm of metaphorical sensibility. Over periods of time, relationships gradually emerge: the audience can experience the precise synchronization of video and audio as these elements traverse a reciprocal universality, while the human mind constantly seeks logic and the interrelationship of information. The environmental aspects of the work will be sounding before the audience enters, then the live performance will begin–and end. The environment will continue.

Copyright © Jung Hee Choi 2003, 2005, 2009

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