In inaguration of Richard Garet’s three-month tenure as Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room—the first event is this Thursday, and like all AIR concerts it’s free—he’s generously shared a bundle of excellent tracks. One of these, “Gap,” is the sound component to a video piece, but we’ve got it both with and without the video.
In “Dislocations” there is an implied space—reverberations, short-delay slap echos—in ways that are realistic but fictionalized. That is, when we hear a slap echo, or a steady tone that sounds like it’s meant to sound like wind rushing through a pipe, the immediate physical association (“it’s wind through a pipe!”) is shortly squelched by our knowledge that this is not the case. Even in (well, especially in) the most blockbustery Hollywood films there is a combination of falsehood and realism. The camera shows Manhattan either as incomprehensible and ripe for psychoanalysis (Annie Hall) or as grimy and full of dark secrets (Taxi Driver) and these are taken to be artistic implications rather than realistic depictions.
In Garet’s work, this acknowledgement of fiction is subverted; locations change immediately, and sonic “objects” (like the wind-through-a-pipe from “Dislocations”) shift location and implication of space at a whim; it seems that his work seeks full control over the viewer’s/listener’s perceptions. At the Invisible Dog Art Gallery, Garet’s current installation “Sonochrome” is built inside of a huge black light-tight box in the center of the main floor of the gallery. Walking inside, the projections and sound make up the participant’s entire perceptual experience; there is no outside.
Yet, there is an outside. Many of his pieces (“In the Open,” specifically) open to the outside in the interest of perceptual fiction. There is noise (the seemingly realistic kind, not the fake electronic kind) and field recordings interspersed with electronic sound. The fictitious along with the electronic is admitted into the real world.
I’d recommend listening to the below pieces with headphones on, in the interest of fully getting into the sound. I don’t often force myself to sit and really listen (which is probably why I go to concerts) but about a minute into “Dislocations” I just had to take my glasses off, shut my eyes, and cede control.