Distant Early Warning – Side A

Distant Early Warning: A Side came about at a time when I was increasingly frustrated by what I felt was a need to have clear artistic intent, one that was stuck firmly in a classical acousmatic vein; where preoccupations with timbre, gesture, and space were pre-eminent. I wanted to break with this, attempt something haphazard, something without “intention,” just make some noise, any noise, and let it be something. Questions of choice that are traced back, through Cage, to Duchamp and his l’objet trouvé were initial points of reference. We can see that:

“The idea of l’objet trouvé and the “ready-made” are related to the area of chance, but the latter is charged with more significance than that of a mere acte gratuit, or gratuitous act. The ready-made concept, originated by Duchamp in 1916, provides for an art that dispenses with the artist’s active intervention in its “making.” It is essentially dependent upon the act of choosing and nominating a readymade object as “art.” The act of choosing becomes ritualised in Duchamp’s stance, to the extent that finally it becomes almost everything.”

The removal of choice and intent is in my view largely impossible; the very decision not to do is in itself an expression of choice. Similarly, deciding to sit at a computer and do something, anything, with sound material, requires intent; in my case it was ultimately a reaction that was initiated by frustration with a particular situation at a specific point in time.