Andio Lai / Analog Tapes and Digital Files: A U D I O_ a pop-up exhibition 錄音帶和數碼檔案:《音》,一個即興展

Andio Lai / Analog Tapes and Digital Files: A U D I O_ a pop-up exhibition 錄音帶和數碼檔案:《音》,一個即興展

LAI Chung-man Andio 黎仲民

LAI Chung-man Andio 黎仲民

發表於: 10 Oct 2020

10月10-25日在據點現場發生的即興展/演《音》,是句點成員黎仲民的又一次實驗。新冠狀病毒期間可以搞怎樣的展覽?聲音的表演和展覽可以如何結合?取來的素材,是黃竹坑時期的 FP1.0 表演的翻新,以及石硤尾年頭的 FP2.0的表演紀錄,那會產生的是甚麼新活動?On site on 10-25 October at Floating Projects, A U D I O, a pop-up, is another one of FPC member Andio Lai‘s experimental events of impromptu nature. With raw material from performances of FP1.0 (Wong Chuk Hang) and FP2.0 (Shek Kip Mei) as they were documented in different formats, what would be the outcome of the integration of sound, performance and exhibition? Is there more to sound art?

Event Details: A U D I O_ a pop-up exhibition on analog tapes and digital files
_ 一個關於錄音帶和數碼檔案的即興展覧 | 10-25 October 2020

Feature image: courtesy of Andio Lai



Theme of the Exhibition

The content of the exhibition is to show different series of “audio” files. These files include records of performances, exercises, experimentation and so on. As for the format of the exhibition, there will be analog and digital systems for visitors to browse and listen to. Within the timeframe of the event, there will be selected time slots dedicated to live “Upload” and “Jamming”.

Concept Description: [scroll down for English version]


爲什麼會有《音》AUDIO 這個即興展覧?

很想在FP 做一個跟聲音有關的展。展覧的名字,早在整個概念成行之前已經有,主要來自於某個名字的吃字遊戲 …。確定型式反而是在夏天的時候跟朋友對話想起來的。這裡,我會列出一個又一個相關的原由。

第一個原因關乎到空間。回想在 「據點2.0」(fp2.0) 的日子竟然不知不覺已進入第三年,感覺比當年fp1.0過得更加快。疫情的新常態下令我重新再想像展覽形式和 fp 空間上可採用的彈性型式。比起有系統的展覽組織方法,一個慢慢建構和較閒常隨心的過程可能更能連結身邊的眾人加入參展。記得往往對沒有做開藝術的朋友提起要搞展覧都有一份不必要的重量,好像很大件事。因爲這樣,又想於整個過程中邀請到多些人加入,決定再一次以 pop-up 展覧的形式出發。記得 fp 2.0第一年的時侯,就以 pop-up概念組織了 Sketch Out!稿展,其中一個原因就是去想像一個大家也能容易加入的展覧。那麼,就讓我們再來一次吧!

第二個原因是和媒介有關的問題。在fp1.0到2.0之間,以聲音創作錄製聲音的實驗和實踐算是從沒有間斷過的媒介創作 。大部份時侯,這些現場表演或練習都沒有再一次在展覧的情景下再被觀看/聆聽。在FP的media archive 內也有一定數目的作品值得我們自己再重溫,內化爲新的東西,尤其1.0的Spatial Calibration系列。回想起來是有趣和頗具影響力的經驗。FP以外,在個人電腦和手提電話上的舊文件夾存放了無數的沒用的聲音檔案,沒有得到處理而成爲任何藝術。確是有些在重播時帶給我美好的回憶、未知的好奇,在最近的氣氛下給予我一些啓發。我想在這整個守候疫情的過程中,該有時間和空間,可跟大家整理重溫舊檔案吧!

第三個原因是關於人和資源上的。統計自己在fp2.0的空間的時候,最常做的活動都是試驗聲音器材和JAMMING有關的練習。跟據點成員和朋友在這裏也錄過一些非公開的表演錄音。也由於疫情的關係,我進行了一些彩排和新的實驗。如果可以借一個活動去整理一下這三年來累積的檔案,以及重溫fp1.0的表演,那就好了!當然,在這段時間,也會創作新的錄音 。

前面所提及的原因是這次活動的出發點和構成條件,多過是動機或是展覧背景。回到展覧的主題上,這個出發點帶領我把想法推進去實行這一個實驗。如果要以一個目標去界定整個展覧,那便是「空間作為點唱機」(“space as a Jukebox”)。這是一個理想的畫面。而這個「點唱機」是有分享意味的,不是一般的娛樂的用途。在它身上,有著人的回憶、的努力,以至於個人的聲音記錄。

對於聲音的記錄媒介和機械而言,除當今的檔次的電腦外,在這次會放幾部「過氣」的錄播機器,分別是:一台用itunes 的eMac。展場的空間上會出現一些錄音帶,用來重灌部份聲音。我又自家中帶來一台Reel Tape來當創作工具,再配上FP儲存的部分合成器和喇叭(揚聲器),希望可為主題提供多幾個介面和面向。

從媒體考古角度來看,知道錄音技術的留聲機的發明本是帶著延伸商業電話的目的。而JUKEBOX的起源,有記載說是留聲機公司的經理Louis Glass所有份改做的 nikel-in-the-slot (1888-1890) 而來的,往後才多出現聲音記錄向娛樂面向邁進。(這想法來自疫情時期我所看的一本書 — Lisa Gitelmann 著的Always Already New – Media, History, and the data of Culture, MIT Press, 2006)。長時間發展來看,這項科技確變得更容易更準確的被操作,但有沒有令這媒介更具啓發性?還是單單令聲音變得更容易計算和運算,抽走了人參與創造的元素? 以聲音記錄作爲記憶文檔成為至要,蓋過爲表演者的過程留下細節的證據?某些聲音檔案可能早被忘記,某些又可能已衍生成為其它東西的一部分。我希望大家可透過這個即興展的經驗,對這些躲在hard disk 的聲音FILES有更多新的看法。




Why Audio ?

The idea to hold a sound-related event in FP has been on for a while. The name of the exhibition, which was set much earlier, came from a pun (word-play) related to a name. As for the exact format, it resulted from a discussion with friends this past summer. Below, I will list out the reasons for organizing this event to flesh out the whole idea.

The first reason concerns space. As I look back, I am amazed that we have already spent three swift years on the current FP2.0 site. The three years really feel so brief, running past much faster than FP1.0. The pandemic situation led me to think about a possible new “status quo” of exhibitions run at the FP space, especially the possibilities of a much flexible format. Compared to the regular systematic way of planning an event, the method of slowly constructing and casually progressing may create a stronger connection with participants including artists and audience. I realize that when mentioning the plan of “organizing an exhibition” to friends who are not familiar with the routines,  the idea often gives others a stressful weight and seriousness. I remembered the first year at FP2.0, we held <Sketch Out !>, a sketch show with a pop-up exhibition concept in mind. Our hope was to create an event that every of us could join. Thinking of inviting more friends and members to participate during this period, I decided to create another pop-up exhibition. Let’s do it again!

The second reason concerns the question of medium. From FP1.0 to 2.0, the practice of recording audio has been a continuous act in our creative activities. However, many of these performances or exercises are seldom revisited (i.e., being watched /listened to) in an exhibition setting. Inside the Floating Projects Media Archive, I believe many of these works deserve our revision, and the experiences within awaiting transformation into new art objects and events. That includes, for example, the Spatial Calibration series, among others, remembered as innovative and influential experiences. Besides FP’s media archive, there are numerous audio files inside our computers and phones folders, which never turn into any form of art work. Indeed, many often carry precious memories and a sense of the past to be formed as our curiosity intensifies during replay. These files could be inspiring under the current atmosphere. With the extra time and mental space prompted by this special period of the pandemic, it is time we revisited the files together!

The third reason is about people and resources. On the current space of FP2.0, audio equipment testing and jamming sound are my most usual activities. I also did performances and recording sessions with FPC members and friends that were not open to the public. Under the pandemic situation, new practices and experimentation happened too. If this indeed opens an opportunity for me to organize these files archived over the years, it will be great. The chance is not only to review FP1.0 performance files, but also, surely, during this event, new recordings will be created.

Image courtesy of Andio Lai

The reasons mentioned above are the anchors of a path rather than the executive motives or background for the on-going pop-up event. These stated objectives anchor my thoughts and guide my practice, allowing me to visualize and act out on the concept. If I were to boil down these thoughts to one goal to define this event, that would be “space as a Jukebox.” A U D I O is the ideal visualization. As a jukebox itself, “sharing” is an assumed element. It is not the typical jukebox for entertainment; it links to memories and engagement of individuals, through the assemblage of personal records in the form of audio files.

As for the medium of audio recording and machines used, apart from a computer of contemporary spec, a few “obsolete” playing and recording machines will be located. These are: an eMac running itunes. There are also old cassette tapes for recordings. A reel tape deck was deployed as a creative tool. Besides, speakers and synths in FP’s inventory are being used in various parts of the event.

From the point of view of media archeology, the audio recording technology, especially for the phonograph, had a strong intention for the use in business and telephone related applications. The Jukebox’s origin could reportedly be traced back to Louis Glass, manager of the Phonograph Company, and specifically to his nickel-in-the-slot (1888-1890) modification. Afterwards, audio recording seemed to bend towards entertainment. (This idea is from a book I read during the pandemics, Always Already New – Media, History, and the data of Culture by Lisa Gitelmann, MIT Press, 2006). On-going development shows this technology has become easier for operation. But has it become more inspiring? How do we assess the trend of making audios easier for computing without the need of human input? And what about audio records as memory documents as opposed to performers’ evidence of work-in-progress? What does current development favor? Some files were forgotten (or simply could not be played back as the play-back machines constantly become obsolete), while others were transcended into new things. I wish we could all discover new ideas about those audio files, such as the dates they were created, and how they were preserved inside the hard disk.


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