Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Project Advisor 1
Project Advisor 2
December 2, 2014
Making the Acquaintance
Thinking back to my first two years at Bard College, I remember a person with interests of a completely different focus and thoughts of a very different nature. It could be that time has warped the perception of me from two years past but I know the sentiment is true. My studies at Bard College have expanded and enhanced my interests. My studies have enabled me to find my inner voice. Having come from a performing arts high school where I was completely unprepared and unaware of what it took to be a performer and thus developed an insecurity that swallowed my voice whole, I look at myself now with amazement. It is not that I believe myself to be so good at what I do rather that I cannot believe I have made it from there to here, now.
When developing the idea for this piece, I wanted to take all these interests of mine that have matured over the years and press them up to each other; mush them against one another. Regardless of the fact that this was at points physically impossible and therefore had to be taken metaphorically, I was excited by the idea of pulling the tie string on this sack of varied artistic expressions, hence the name, Making the Acquaintance. All these interests of mine were mingling with one another, getting to know each other in an intimate way beyond their coexistence within my brain
The body of this piece was comprised of accordions, CRT monitors, tape players with tape loops, and performance. In an attempts at synthesis, I figured out a cable that would allow sound, in this case both accordions and tape players, to be visually read on a CRT monitor. By converting a ¼” cable into a mono RCA and then splitting that mono signal into a video and audio component, I was able to trigger the tubes in the CRT’s to thus display vibrating white lines when audio was being played. The light from the tubes was sensitive to both volume and speed.
The element of performance in this piece was an attempt to frame the piece and make it a segment out of time, like going to the theatre. I envisioned the whole experience of this piece as a performance and so, bookended it with a theatrical introduction where I had directed the performers in the piece to move the set around for me as I went from one station to the next to introduce what the audience was about to see. I had two characters, the performer as myself and the show host, a shimmery, expressionless, alien-drone. This show host character was created to not only add humor to the performance but also to bring into question “what part of this wasn’t a performance?” The answer to this is nothing. From the moment people entered to when they left, I was performing. I wanted to make a music concert become a theatrical display and ultimately, a spectacle.
The night ended. The performance went according to plan. I served pie to my guests, a gentle end to a bizarre beginning, A cookie dipped in a bit of vulgarity.
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Ivry-Block, Anina B., "Making The Acquaintance" (2014). Senior Projects Fall 2014. 3.