What do you do?
I preserve the obsolete. Take this instrument, for example. Plucked keys, no mallets, every note the same volume––rigid, raw, it sounds almost modern.
Why the harpsichord?
Because we always think of music as living. But I am always thinking in terms of loss.
How do you select your materials?
I look for what is unfashionable. I look for what people have turned from. I want to make them think about it again.
I am constantly stressed about what is disappearing. It’s a kind of chaos swirling around.
Can you describe your process?
I am the last to know the relationships between these materials.
What is your ideal workspace?
I like the idea of a studio that looks like one of those outmoded cubicle offices, where everyone is together but separated by partitions, and everyone is working on their art, but you wouldn’t even know it.
What do you do?
Usually, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out something that has no purpose.
When I was a child, I used to mix liquids in containers. I called them potions.
Exactly, that’s what I mean! Ask anyone to consider some of the things they most loved doing as children. Then have them try to find the point.
So, you’re preserving childhood?
That sounds too lofty. Childhood’s an ideal, anyway. I’m not sure what to make of it. Maybe I’m just interested in preserving a kind of sensibility, a space where a kid can just––be, you know? I don’t want this to disappear, this space.
I saw a video with the artist Cory Arcangel, whose primary obsession is working with near-obsolete technologies. I encountered him in a video from the Met’s (now discontinued) Artist Project Series. He was speaking about the harpsichord. I felt a strong affinity to some of his impulses. The above is an imagined conversation that borrows some of Arcangel’s ideas, but should not be taken as an accurate rendering of his vision, which I have heavily distorted with my own useless play. .
2 thoughts on “Obsolete”
I love this piece and the fact that I gleaned an insight into your likes and dislikes. Really interesting. I like your idea of an ideal workspace. I would choose this for myself too. Just my own space to work in uninterrupted but near enough to other people should I require some help, feedback or a helpful conversation. Ellie
Ellie, I love the helpful conversation of your company : )