I'm taking the biggest plunge of my artistic life thus far (other than the daily practice of keep-on-keeping-on) and putting my all into publishing "RECORDS", the read-along-record and artist's book I've been working on and avoiding in turns, for the last 10 years.
"RECORDS" is an audio/visual essay on impermanence and archiving, in the form of an artist's book and pressed vinyl companion record. The form is borrowed from the read-along-record stories enjoyed by the children of the late 1970's and 1980's. This form was chosen for its analog integration of audio and visual information, and because of its concurrence with the birth of Hip Hop culture, in which the artist (a photographer and turntablist) has found her creative praxis in the present day. The title of the project is a play on words, directly addressing the subject of recording and archiving information, while engaging the interest of audiophiles, DJs, secretaries, librarians, and others interested in 20th century music history and the human compulsion to and practice of organize(-ing) information. The suggested subtext of the essay is that the practice of recording and archiving audio and visual information is a (healthy) response to the awareness of our impermanence. There is something juicy and real in the act of organizing information for safekeeping, as evidenced by the recipe books, geneologies, discographies, herbariums, legers, and memoirs we are compelled to preserve.
RECORDS will occupy its position in various archives as a 24-page, full color artist's book filled with photographs, handwritten discographies and setlists, diagrams, liner notes, and album covers, accompanied by a double-sided 7" vinyl soundtrack record. It will be fully indexed and documented, with any necessary appendices. Grant monies will produce a 200-item run of the book/record and promotional materials. The soundtrack is composed in the spirit of the Hip Hop mixtape, using traditional sampling methods as well as archivist field recordings to create a textural and rhythmic listening experience.
I'll share more samples and juxtapositions in the coming weeks. Feel free to cheer me on and suggest funders or just put me in touch with other archive geeks. Please leave thoughts and suggestions in the comment form. Thanks!