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Crackers

(1998)




AUDIO (320 kbps mp3s):
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(14:25)
(0:14)
(9:58)
(1:53)
(12:44)
(7:09)
(5:06)

A joint is the locale where bones articulate a tension. Crackers are compulsive about the release of that tension. A crack is incontinent. A cracker too. As the sound of the cracks echo, some wince, others feel relief. A crack is a body nonsequitur, a crack is a bone edit, a crack is a broken break.

The material for Crackers was recorded during a residency at Gallery 101 in Ottawa, Canada, in October 1997. Crackers were solicited through the radio, classified ads in the weekly paper, and via the Gallery's membership. The recording sessions consisted of an interview succeeded by a cracking session. Crackers: Justine Akman, Tony Daye, Marguerite Dehler, Sarah Dobbin, Vera Greenwood, Germaine Koh, Louise Levergneux, Christof Migone, Michael Sutton.

The tapes were edited at Avatar in Québec City. Crackers was then first presented as an installation in a group show curated by Emmanuel Madan entitled "Incredibly Soft Sounds" at Gallery 101, in January 1998. This show was documented with an exhibition catalogue and limited cdr. Documentation of Crackers was also featured in "Site of Sound: Of Architecture and The Ear," a book with CD edited by Brandon LaBelle and Steve Roden (Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press, 1999) and presented the following year as a solo installation curated by Michael J. Schumacher and Ursula Scherrer at Studio 5 Beekman in New York City, January 2000. The installation version also features a video of my right ankle cracking repeatedly for twenty minutes (presented as a projection at ankle level).

The CD for Locust Music was done in Montréal in the Summer of 2000. The CD booklet features drawings by Onya Hogan-Finlay.

In live performance, the prerecorded visual (but also containing sound) material features 2 different recordings of my bare feet where I repeatedly crack my right ankle (the only joint I can crack at will). This is projected on one screen while I repeat the same action live and this is projected on another screen. The sound of the live ankle cracking is not only heard but is also sent to make (via Max/MSP software on a laptop) the image and sound of the prerecorded version stutter. In addition, the treated sounds of the initial recordings done in Ottawa are added.



Presentation History

2006 Montréal (exhibition, Galerie de l'UQAM)
2001 Halifax (performance, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design)
2001 Montreal (performance, Ultrazone.01/micro, Théâtre La Chapelle)
2001 Chicago (audio publication, solo CD, Locust)
2001 Geneva (performance, Festival de la Bâtie)
2001 Paris (performance, Statuts/Association Edna , La Ménagerie de Verre)
2000 New York (installation, solo show, Studio5Beekman)
1999 Los Angeles (publication, image+text+sound, in book+CD Site of Sound: Of Architecture and the Ear). Track on CD entitled Crackers #4. This track does not appear on the full length Crackers CD on Locust.
1998 Ottawa (installation, group show, Incredibly Soft Sounds, Gallery 101)

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Do you crack your fingers? your neck? your back? your knees? your elbows? your ankles? your hips? your jaws? your toes? your...?

... ahhhh... ok and now in order to do my elbows I will have to make a quick motion like this, so I'll make sure I don't bust into the mic but I usually have to be standing to do it... so you keep it in one place... that's as close I can go there... now the jaw which is usually on this side... it's not one that a lot of people like to hear.... now... neck, if you can put the mic back in here, tell me when you're ready... ok... I was hoping for a better one than that... not much no... toes, of course... alright so you're going to have to be right on the floor for this... no, just a second, I can do it here... ok, the other one, mine as well exhaust all of the areas and then get to my back... ok.... now when I do my back I have to swing it as well... so stay in one place... the best sounds usually come out of about right there...

(transcript from recordings done during the Gallery 101 residency)