Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

The White Cube

Imagine you’re sitting in a law office, at your grandfather’s large double “partner’s desk” in front of a computer monitor. You wore your suit, because that works better in your office than, say, tie-dye.

You have a small camera before you, on a stand. In the monitor, you see warm faces and hear kind voices, arranging matters to your complete satisfaction. The reception is amazing—a woman walks in the back of the museum, and you hear the clip-clip-clip of her heels on the floor.

Imagine that times passes, and it’s noon, only it’s really 7:30 in the evening. and a group of folks are gathered in the space.

It all begins with the video of Anchor Mejans and St. Paul’s “mackerel song”, without the needless frippery of introduction.

Then a kind woman says something in Norwegian (or else, you can’t understand her), before she presents St. Paul with a bottle of something appropriate to the season and the locale.

Then imagine that a professor named Rolf is giving a detailed description of the idea of the white cube as a construct of the art space, and about how art has its materials and architecture has its materials and how the white cube is a construct in its own right—but perhaps it could be destroyed.

You’re able to see the people as they listen, and then you are dropped from the call, so that they can call Emily and Jason. Then, a few moments later, this audience of kind people in Norway is standing and watching and listening attentively and they say they wish they could offer you wine and you say you wish you could offer them BBQ. You’re maybe a bit more of your Arkansas than you always show, because you are a bit more effusive than you are in some other arenas of life and you wave to Inger and you say “hi” to everyone. Then Rolf is asking you questions about the project and you’re explaining about foreground and background and sharing music and Susan’s great poem and all the participation and how there are over 68 people from many countries who contributed 96 songs in roughly the space of a month and Creative Commons and our hopes and dreams and notions. Then they go to talk to Susan, and though you can’t hear the things she says, everyone reports later that she read the poem, which was the perfect way to lead into the music.

Then you’re watching the museum, while the music begins to play. The music is in a small RCA mp3 player you shipped via federal express to Oslo, like a flying Victrola dog on a Sputnik that returns to earth. You loaded that mp3 player yourself, on a cold north Texas night, and now it is sitting in Oslo, on a cold Norwegian night. It’s no longer a cheap item you got at an electronics store—it’s the chief instrument of a sound installation.

First, Susan’s poem plays. Then, a song plays. You hadn’t really figured out this particular mp3 player’s song ordering convention, so that the song order so randomly chosen is played back at random.

You see one man sit back against a wall and just take in the sound—and you realize that in all your life, all you ever wanted, was for one person to listen, really listen.

Visitors walk the museum, and the songs play,and it all works, just as everyone had envisioned it
and from the fringes of the cube, you see something growing. Perhaps it’s lotus. Perhaps it’s the residue of some future explosion.Perhaps it’s merely imagination.

What you know for sure is that you are there, and you are sharing it, and listeners are sharing it with you, and what you dreamed up with an architecture professor and a musical genius and 68 brilliant mixters is not only open, but off and running.

What begins with a bang, continues with a vision, and then melts into a horizon of new beginings.

Many thanks to Sackjo22, Professor Rolf Gerstlauer, The Ram Galleri and its wonderful staff, Eirik who set up the video link, snowflake and Spinningmerkaba, St. Paul, and every mixter who participated, as well as everyone i have not remembered to mention but will remedy via more edits.

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