Gust Burns /


2013 - ongoing

inaudible performances

regarding the arrangement and manipulation of constituents of listening within the context of performance

This is a large collection of performances and scores, comprised of smaller collections whose individual members are related primarily through variation.

The pieces examine the directives and prescriptions given to listening by taking the context of concert performance, the arrangement or manipulation of listening within performance, as material. The disagreement, agreement, and confusion between what is seen and heard in these staged (non-)concert performances help me to consider the extent to which our listening is directed by cultural modes and rules.

In inaudible performance in the field, a solo bass performance is stretched out so that the audience and performer are separated by the diameter of an outdoor grass field – performer visible to the audience but not audible.
In performance and sonic obstruction of sounds (1a, 1b, 1c…) an instrumental performer plays while the sounds she produces are masked by the amplified “noise” of a recording of the performance space when empty and silent. The instrumentalist's now over-evidently immaterial labor, her virtuosity, is rendered inaudible by the over-hearing of the performance site. The pieces perform a materialization of the concept (inverse to Conceptualism's dematerialization of the object), sonifying the conceptual and privileging listening and/as material.

performance and sonic obstruction of sounds (1a) full score
performance and sonic obstruction of sounds (1b) full score
performance and sonic obstruction of sounds (1c) full score

video documentation of performance and sonic obstruction of sounds (early version), performed by Matana Roberts and Christopher Willes


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inaudible performances