Help Me Raise $10,000 To Produce The Sound of Art

by Art Fag City on September 16, 2010 · 12 comments Sound of Art

I’m running a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for the production of an LP full of art sounds heard in New York called The Sound of Art. $10,000 is the base number I’d need to complete the project, a very scary number for an independently run blog such as this to raise. It’s possible the goal won’t be reached, in which case the project receives nothing: Miss your target goal, and Kickstarter doesn’t fund the campaign.

I’m running this fundraiser in spite of numbers that make nervous, because I have to. I passionately believe in this project, and as cliche as it sounds, I would be too deeply burdened by regret if I didn’t do everything I could to make it happen. This project is too large to complete though without the help of everyone who comes here regularly.

Already, countless people have already donated their sounds and time in an effort to make this project, many of whom are mentioned below. In addition to overseeing the project, for my part, I am offering a studio visit or gallery crawl of your choice to those who donate $150 dollars or more. For a mere $50 dollars more, you will receive an offset lithograph by Phillip Neimeyer titled Picturing The Past Ten Years. For $350 more, donors will receive a print made in response to the record, by celebrated artist Michael Smith be given the opportunity to eat dinner with me and twitter maven and art world critic artist William Powhida. We’ll go somewhere better than the local C-Town I promise.

Reach the target number, and none other than AndrewAndrew have promised to host the final party. There are no better night than the one’s they’re involved in, so let’s make this thing happen.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

For the past five years I’ve been looking at art and writing about what I see. But I’ve also been listening. Does art have a distinctive sound? Sometimes I think I could be in a remote cabin in Maine, and still instantly recognize the sound of an art video or a performance piece. Yet the things I hear in galleries and performance spaces don’t seem to share any formal qualities — they run the gamut from noise to melody, recitation to wordless grunts.

I want to produce an album full of the sounds art makes in order to document and investigate this range, but I also want to take such sounds and set them free in the world, to be remixed and reused — sampled, mashed up, Auto-tuned, chopped and screwed.

More people than ever are engaged in this kind of cultural recycling, though they rarely draw their sources from the field of fine art. Frankly, the art world doesn't make it easy — it’s a profession invested in its own scarcity.

More than anything, I want to make a record of the Sound of Art because I want to see what people will do with it. It’s a project guided by Jasper Johns' description of the art-making process: “Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that.”

WHAT IS IT?
The Sound of Art is a limited edition vinyl LP composed of sounds heard in New York galleries, museums, and project spaces over the last five years. Inspired by classic DJ battle records, it features forty tracks of diverse sounds culled from art video, performance footage, and kinetic sculptures. This is not an easy listening record. It’s an audio document and a tool to create new sounds and new work.

WHAT WILL BE ON IT?

Work by artists well-known and not-so-well-known. Difficult electronics. Sounds of stampeding animals, Hebrew prayer, a transformer fire, a children’s carousel. One hundred carpenters pounding 10,000 nails. Field recordings of recordings by guitar genius John Fahey, and archival sound pieces by the pioneering conceptualist Lawrence Weiner. An iPod drum circle and thoughts on nostalgia. Also, yes, a toy monkey with cymbals.

Sounds have been donated by a large spectrum of artists and venues throughout New York City — everywhere from big fancy museums to odd little project spaces. We’ve also introduced Internet artists, as “wild cards” on this album.

Keep checking this page and our kickstarter blog for upcoming teasers and other audio-visual treats. We’ll be profiling various artist work as the campaign progresses.

WHO’S INVOLVED?
This is a collaborative project, with dozens of people donating their work and their services. Project Manager Michelle Halabura has been working from Art Fag City headquarters since last spring to make Sound of Art a reality.

Matt Madly Azzarto at Think Tank Studio will be producing the record.

Phillip Niemeyer of Double Triple is designing the album cover, and is offering a limited edition offset lithograph to 10 lucky funders at the $200 level. Edition of 60, see the print HERE.

Celebrated performance and video artist Michael Smith will create a limited edition screen print of 50 in response to the sounds on the album, available to funders at the $250 level.

Artist Ben Coonley of Valentine for Perfect Stranger and NYUFF Dr. Zizmor Trailor fame will produce our promotional videos.

Men-about-town AndrewAndrew will host the record release party and Sound of Art DJ Battle, to be held at the ever-cool Santos Party House. (More about that soon!)

WHAT DO WE NEED?
We've come up with a plan, brought together a group of fantastic artists and sounds, and have enlisted some of city's greatest creative minds to donate their talent to this project. Now we need to make it happen. We can do it for $10,000. That covers only the direct costs of this project ¬— the pressing and shipping of a limited edition album, 500 in total, the promotion of the release party, and its launch. Additionally, 50 special edition LPs will be available, including the Michael Smith screen print. Any funds we receive beyond that level will be directed to archiving and distributing the remixed music produced from this album.

THE COMPLETE LIST OF ARTISTS

MANHATTAN
Petra Cortright (Internet), Jennie C. Jones, (Sikemma Jenkins) Moyra Davey, (Orchard47) Eli Hansen (Maccarone), Ted Riederer (Marianne Boesky), Cliff Evans, (Luxe Gallery), LoVid, (LMCC), Marcin Ramocki (MOMA), Shannon Plumb (Sarah Melzer Gallery), Cardiff and Miller, (Luhring Augustine), John Fahey (AVA), Miriam Stern (Yshivah University), Jennifer Schmidt (Elizabeth Foundation Project Space), Carolina A. Miranda (Armory show), Tyler Jacobson and Chris Anderson (Canada), Tom Thayor (White Columns), Luke Murphy (Canada), Joel Holmberg (New Museum), Lawrence Weiner (Whitney Museum)

BROOKLYN
Andre Avelas, (Abrons Art Center), Aron Namenwirth (artMovingProjects), Damien Catera (Hogar Collection), Andy Graydon (LMAK Projects), Sonny Smith (Cinders Gallery), Paul Slocum (artMovingProjects), Heidi Neubauer-Winterburn (Louis V. E.S.P.), Eric Laska (Diapason), Elena Wen (AIR Gallery), Joe McKay (Vertexlist), Laura Parnes, (Internet), Heather Dewey (Issue Project Room), Peter Doble (English Kills), Douglas Henderson (Pierogi), Robert McNeil (MonkeyTown), Erick Zuenskes (Real Fine Arts), Wayne Hodge (Fivemyles), Ranjit Bhatnagar and Nick Yulman (Coney Island Museum), Lara Kohl (PS.1), Mike Koller and MTAA (McCarren Park), Brainstormers (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center).

  • Cait

    Quick question: Why not just do it online? It will cost close to $0 then.

    If you’re dead set on pressing a record, you can certainly get it done cheaper. Even with the laquer masters, you can get 500 records pressed for under $5k.

    Not to be a buzzkill or anything, but great sound art happens all over the internet, for $0. No fancy launch party needed, just sound.

  • Cait

    Quick question: Why not just do it online? It will cost close to $0 then.

    If you’re dead set on pressing a record, you can certainly get it done cheaper. Even with the laquer masters, you can get 500 records pressed for under $5k.

    Not to be a buzzkill or anything, but great sound art happens all over the internet, for $0. No fancy launch party needed, just sound.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Hi Cait,

    You could make the same argument about publishing: ie, why publish a book when you can do it online? But in the same way that there’s something nice about smelling the pages of a book, I think there’s a unique sound to vinyl that can’t be replicated. Also, producing a bunch of mp3 files for the internet would not have the benefit of a professional sound engineer, an aspect of the project I think is important. You wouldn’t produce a museum show without an exhibition designer and art handling staff, and we think about the record the same way. Production makes a difference.

    Additionally some of the sounds on this record were donated on the condition they would not be distributed through the web. This is an object built through the community of the web, but is meant to be a unique physical object.

    Now, our records will be pressed for under $5k too, but the shipping and design costs up that. The party costs are factored in there as well as well as the percentage that kickstarter takes for handling the financial transactions.

    The launch party is necessary for two reasons. 1. We will be able to invite people to use the record live. 2. Proceeds from that party will be directed to help fund the blog.

    So yes, I could give some of these sounds away for free on the Internet, but not only would I compromise the integrity of the project, but there would be no product I could sell after the fact to sustain the blog. I would likely have to file for bankruptcy.

    I hope you will consider supporting the project.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Hi Cait,

    You could make the same argument about publishing: ie, why publish a book when you can do it online? But in the same way that there’s something nice about smelling the pages of a book, I think there’s a unique sound to vinyl that can’t be replicated. Also, producing a bunch of mp3 files for the internet would not have the benefit of a professional sound engineer, an aspect of the project I think is important. You wouldn’t produce a museum show without an exhibition designer and art handling staff, and we think about the record the same way. Production makes a difference.

    Additionally some of the sounds on this record were donated on the condition they would not be distributed through the web. This is an object built through the community of the web, but is meant to be a unique physical object.

    Now, our records will be pressed for under $5k too, but the shipping and design costs up that. The party costs are factored in there as well as well as the percentage that kickstarter takes for handling the financial transactions.

    The launch party is necessary for two reasons. 1. We will be able to invite people to use the record live. 2. Proceeds from that party will be directed to help fund the blog.

    So yes, I could give some of these sounds away for free on the Internet, but not only would I compromise the integrity of the project, but there would be no product I could sell after the fact to sustain the blog. I would likely have to file for bankruptcy.

    I hope you will consider supporting the project.

  • B

    Dang, 10k?! 5k?! For 500 LPs. I have run a label for quiet some time and I would suggest you shop this around. You could probably hook this up with masters and 4/4 art for 2-3k. Check out Pirates Press in SF. They are tight.

  • B

    Dang, 10k?! 5k?! For 500 LPs. I have run a label for quiet some time and I would suggest you shop this around. You could probably hook this up with masters and 4/4 art for 2-3k. Check out Pirates Press in SF. They are tight.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Hi Benjamin,

    As I mentioned to Cait, the pressing of the record is only one of many expenses in this project. Since you run a record label you know that shipping is expensive, and will add significantly to the number you’ve quoted.

    Also, because this is an art object, we didn’t think it would be appropriate to use a template design to produce the record. We need to handle the artist’s work with the same care and respect they produced the work, which in the art world means adding a few more costs. It’s also not appropriate to exclude Santos Party House as a venue. In this world, you don’t go to the trouble of bringing together all these artists together, and then fail to offer an exhibition venue.

    All this is to say, I know the number seems high, but it is not random or a reflection of failing to shop around. This is not a regular project, and it does a disservice to everyone involved to treat it that way.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Hi Benjamin,

    As I mentioned to Cait, the pressing of the record is only one of many expenses in this project. Since you run a record label you know that shipping is expensive, and will add significantly to the number you’ve quoted.

    Also, because this is an art object, we didn’t think it would be appropriate to use a template design to produce the record. We need to handle the artist’s work with the same care and respect they produced the work, which in the art world means adding a few more costs. It’s also not appropriate to exclude Santos Party House as a venue. In this world, you don’t go to the trouble of bringing together all these artists together, and then fail to offer an exhibition venue.

    All this is to say, I know the number seems high, but it is not random or a reflection of failing to shop around. This is not a regular project, and it does a disservice to everyone involved to treat it that way.

  • Rebecca

    Amen, kudos to you for aiming high and doing your project justice.

  • Rebecca

    Amen, kudos to you for aiming high and doing your project justice.

  • john john

    have you ever heard of this project?

    ——————not my text below—————

    On Stephen Vitiello’s 2007 album, he salutes another artist from an older generation, outsider sculptor Donald Judd, whose various wood and metal sculptures in the town of Marfa, TX form the basis of this work. Consisting of seven pieces altogether, Listening to Donald Judd finds Vitiello working with various sonic elements taken directly from recordings on the surface of the sculptures themselves, as well as from the surrounding scrub-brush countryside as well as passing trains, one of which starts the disc in a time-extended rush that feels both nostalgic and futuristic, echoed towards the end by another train that appears before an extended conclusion. From there Vitiello’s creations often consist of the kind of deep, meditative drones that reach into sub-bass levels, more readily felt and sensed than heard, counterbalanced by loops and singular notes derived from other sources. While certainly the back story and album art helps to set the mental mood for potential listeners, there’s no question that a kind of hot and dry feeling permeates the disc; high-pitched hums and squeals suggest power lines in the sand in an isolated town, again both familiar and somehow alien. Much of Listening to Donald Judd unfolds in near silence, rewarding detailed concentration. It can function as a classic ambient release if one wants, but the sense of careful hush created, perhaps strangely, is one that invites direct engagement. Insects clearly dominate the second track as well as other points on the disc — or if not insects at least a re-creation thereof, setting the scene of an evening in the dry Texas heat very well. One can almost sense the low skyline and desert hush. ~ Ned Raggett

    http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/7388374/a/Listening+To+Donald+Judd.htm

  • john john

    have you ever heard of this project?

    ——————not my text below—————

    On Stephen Vitiello’s 2007 album, he salutes another artist from an older generation, outsider sculptor Donald Judd, whose various wood and metal sculptures in the town of Marfa, TX form the basis of this work. Consisting of seven pieces altogether, Listening to Donald Judd finds Vitiello working with various sonic elements taken directly from recordings on the surface of the sculptures themselves, as well as from the surrounding scrub-brush countryside as well as passing trains, one of which starts the disc in a time-extended rush that feels both nostalgic and futuristic, echoed towards the end by another train that appears before an extended conclusion. From there Vitiello’s creations often consist of the kind of deep, meditative drones that reach into sub-bass levels, more readily felt and sensed than heard, counterbalanced by loops and singular notes derived from other sources. While certainly the back story and album art helps to set the mental mood for potential listeners, there’s no question that a kind of hot and dry feeling permeates the disc; high-pitched hums and squeals suggest power lines in the sand in an isolated town, again both familiar and somehow alien. Much of Listening to Donald Judd unfolds in near silence, rewarding detailed concentration. It can function as a classic ambient release if one wants, but the sense of careful hush created, perhaps strangely, is one that invites direct engagement. Insects clearly dominate the second track as well as other points on the disc — or if not insects at least a re-creation thereof, setting the scene of an evening in the dry Texas heat very well. One can almost sense the low skyline and desert hush. ~ Ned Raggett

    http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/7388374/a/Listening+To+Donald+Judd.htm

Previous post:

Next post: