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For the tenth volume of FRKWYS, composer, percussionist and sound designer David Van Tieghem alongside ten younger artists from across the avant spectrum become a bulletin of Fits & Starts. In July of 2012, RVNG Intl. was invited to participate in Bulletin Boards, a group exhibition at Venus Over Manhattan curated by White Columns’ gallery director Matthew Higgs. An extension of an ongoing project which resides in the entrance of White Columns’ downtown New York gallery, Bulletin Boards featured 24 artists / entities, each given a new bulletin board as an inspirational starting point. In 1981, David Van Tieghem produced the experimental music video Ear To The Ground. The film features Van Tieghem “playing” downtown New York City, a world in which Van Tieghem established his rhythmic roots as a member of the Love Of Life Orchestra, a frequent collaborator with Laurie Anderson, and a player on Steve Reich’s Music For 18 Musicians, Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives (Private Parts) / Perfect Lives and David Byrne and Brian Eno’s My Life in the Bush With Ghosts among other seminal recordings including his own. In Ear To The Ground, all city surfaces become communications – or bulletins – under Van Tieghem’s twiddling, thwacking and thumping thumbs. Partially inspired by this and by our blank but physically limited canvas space, Van Tieghem agreed to take part in a sequence of improvised performances and creative editing to become part of our FRKWYS series.
We also invited ten younger musicians to post objects to the board. A cross section of present day New York artists were represented by way of Sam Hillmer as Diamond Terrifier (with the aid of Max Alper), Future Shuttle, Georgia, Roberto Carlos Lange as Helado Negro, Darren Ho, Eli Keszler, Hiro Kone and Megafortress, alongside the regionally sympathetic Blanche Blanche Blanche and Maxmillion Dunbar. In place of business cards, broadsheets, and flyers, the objects / communications contributed were broken toasters, firecrackers, 2x4s, thunder drums and customized electronics, each intended as a percussive device. On opening night, the bulletin board, disguised as assemblage, welcomed David’s dialogue.
In the spirit of Ear To The Ground’s infinite conversation, Van Tieghem returned to Venus Over Manhattan to “play” the bulletin board without an audience. The process of Van Tieghem discovering and responding to the objects / bulletins again was multi-tracked in high definition.
These recordings were then presented to the ten contributing musicians for further translation, “remix” and interpretation. For the final sequence, the unique pieces were delivered to Van Tieghem to edit and embellish as the sound collages presented across two album length sides of our tenth volume in the FRKWYS series.