By Any Name: Institutional Memory at The New School - WHERE ARE WE GOING? AND WHAT ARE WE DOING? A Sound Project by Lin + Lam and Robert Sember

Sound Installation Mon 19 Oct 2009 11.00AM - Sat 24 Oct 2009 12.00AM Parts & Labor Gallery at The New School
66 West 12th St
Free admission
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In this re-visitation of John Cage's 1961 sound work WHERE ARE WE GOING? AND WHAT ARE WE DOING?, sounds of The New School, sampled from recordings collected across campus, are re-configured through processes involving various methods of chance and randomization. Cage was first asked to respond to the questions in the title when he addressed art students at the evening school of Pratt Institute. He has also described the resulting piece as emerging from conversations with friends about the mutually influential relationship between art, science and nature.

Echoing the structural elements of Cage's original piece, this response to the questions "where are we going and what are we doing? " draws on site recordings made during sound walks through The New School. These recordings are superimposed on each other using chance procedures and amplified as a two-channel composition onto the street around The New School's main building. The live ambient sounds function as the performer does in Cage's work. While drawing attention to ongoing shifts in time they also encourage attention to and reflection on the conditions that produce those shifts–conditions that may themselves, be shifted.

When no events are taking place in the gallery and Parts & Labor lies inactive and mute, these recordings will emanate from the vicinity of the truck, evocative of the institution and the activities around it.

Presented as part of the week-long exhibition and event series, "By Any Name: Institutional Memory at The New School."


Lin + Lam
Artists and 2009/2010 Vera List Center Fellows

Robert Sember
Artist, 2009/2010 Vera List Center Fellow and co-founder of Ultra-red