Junto Project 0603: Animated Suspension [repost]

Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.

In a 2004 photograph by performance artist and painter Keith Boadwee, the artist is shown jumping off the roof of a house, his naked body horizontally splitting the frame in half. The piece, titled Leap Into The Yard, is arguably the most benign of Boadwee’s works. (Google him if you dare).

Boadwee’s image serves as tangible evidence of suspension, both literally and figuratively: a moment caught between decision and consequence, a physical body arrested in the flow of time. Performance artists have long documented their efforts with photographs or films, the ephemerality of their works legitimized through a process of ocularity. Think of it as an early harbinger of the meme “pics or it didn’t happen.”

Then again, maybe the pictorial act of suspension is itself a lie. Art critic Martin Jay reminds us that photographs taken in the 19th century often produced ghostly double-exposures, and that any image we view represents at best a distorted truth. “Artists insistently stage their desire to be present, to have an immediate effect on their audience,” Jay writes, “yet this very desire bespeaks an awareness that images will inevitably interpose themselves, and that all images can mislead as well as inform.”

With the above in mind, Suss Müsik tackled this week’s Junto project as an exploration in ghostly, there-or-not-there suspension. A metallic percussion rhythm was looped through a distressed synth filter, while a chord sequence was played on electric piano. A DIY electronic instrument (built from an old computer heat sink and run through a hazy reverb modulator) provides floaty background atmospherics.

It’s music that you hear, then you don’t; a sonic depiction of the blur between action and impact.

The piece is titled Ocularity and was recorded live to 8-track in July 2023.

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