Radical Writing (The original Album)

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I'm always asked to explain what my message is, what I mean.

In a evolution of my series of projects on communication, I've moved from first evasive communication, then to direct communication, and finally now to a mediated version of the first two projects in the form of a translation tool.

This project is an experiment in production of music and understanding using my classmates as my medium. When I tell people I am music-brained, I'm always asked to explain what I mean. By this they intend for me to explain in word-based language, and the act of translation of the way I experience the world through word-based communication always leaves me with a sense of lack, misunderstanding. So to remedy that problem I figured the best solution would be to explain that lack rather than to explain the music.

I've used clips from songs in Bob Dylan's (a musician whose audience has not only notoriously and I believe incorrectly put his poetic skills on a pedestal above his musical skills, but also repeatedly demanded that he reveal the "hidden message" in his words) Genuine Basement Tapes, a series of bootleg songs in which uniquely and interestingly the lyrics are near impossible to make out due to the poor recording quality of the sessions to craft what I'm calling a sentence composed of music through play with the differences in experience of time between music and written word. Participants in my experiment are asked to translate my musical sentence into a word-based sentence and then input that sentence into a bad translator that translates their text back and forth between dozens of languages in an unstoppable flow so that they experience what it's like to have their message obscured by being made to conform to the nature of a different medium than that which it's suited to.

The discomfort and confusion my participants will likely feel during this experiment is meant to recreate the discomfort and confusion I feel daily in the societal necessity of writing and speech, the difficulty I have in translating the slippery flow of my song-thoughts into disjointed word. I hope to de-hierarchize the status of the word as the most clear and truthful medium of communication.

This is what I mean.

Note: The title of this piece was generated by inputting the phrase "Radical Writing" into the bad translator. How odd that it made the connection between writing and an album...



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