Thursday, April 28, 2016

endurance piece.



a skill that you haven't learned.

materials required to learn that skill.

instruct your audience to watch you learning a new skill. do not stop until the skill is completed to your satisfaction or you physically cannot continue.

my performance:

i gave the audience a choice between 5 simple longboard tricks that i either never learned or had forgotten.

the audience chose the trick whose name they found most appealing as they had no context as to what each trick name entailed.

i informed the audience that this was my world that i'm letting them into and that this is something that i do regularly. this was to create a certain mood of casual voyeurism or romanticism giving some context into what activities make me happy. skateboarding and longboarding can be relatively foreign to the average viewer. and showing my proscess was meant to make me seem more human doing seemingly superhuman things.

i regularly encourage those around me to learn how to board and regularly get responses such as "i would die" "i'd bust my ass" "i'm too clumsy" but generally: "i could never do that" letting an audience into my world serves to make it seem more easy than people think. people sometimes say "you make it look so easy" and that is true because it absolutely is easy i think it could be easy for anyone. i think this is true for a lot of skills all they need is to find their motivation behind it.

that motivation was a key piece to my work because there are a couple  things that encourage me to risk life and limb for this sport.
1: connection
      -longbaroding and skateboarding is a community that encourages and spends time with each other
2: endorphins?
      -learning new skills as a longboarder often requires a lot exertion. all of the effort put into a new trick is released in a split second and the feeling associated with it is indescribable.
      - also the exercise associated with skateboarding is mildly rewarding to me.

here is a poem that i wrote back in high school separate from class or anything about why i board.

There is no better feeling in this world that landing a trick for the first time. Even if it is the sloppiest shittiest landing.. its still a landing, and it still makes me jump for joy. That is why I brave the scraped knees, broken bones, and (god forbid) the occasional concussion. One can only try to describe this feeling to other people, but the fact that only a select few know how i feel makes it all the more special.

this peice was trying to let people into that feeling along with me. everyone had the same 'WOAHHHH' reaction to when i sort of half landed my trick and i did too. if i was out there longer or had some breaks to catch my breath maybe i would've landed it for real 

(also a video featuring analogous sounds will be featured soon)

Second Performance: Higgs and Jim


musical instruments



microphone and speaker

written word in the stream of consciousness style.

speaker playing :

The audience is instructed to form a circle facing outwards. shakers are handed out to every other person using duck-goose-duck-goose method (gooses get shakers ducks get none). Two performers operate the instrument and microphone respectively at opposite ends of the circle. The mirror is set up between the two performers on the outside of the circle and reflects the audiences' image while they are performing.  the speaker playing the song is opposite the mirror and perpendicular to the performers at opposite ends of the audience. the audience is instructed to step sideways in the circle, those with shakers are told to play them to the cadence of their steps.

make sure that each respective sound can only be heard by those passing each "station". as the people with shakers tend to create a white noise that creates a feeling of isolation.

collaboration with Higgs was phenomenal and i had fun working with him. To tell you the truth we threw together the project relatively quickly in relation to my other projects. This was mostly because the additional criteria of working in a group was added by the class and I was scrambling to find the "odd man out"

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Vibrations performance I. 

materials needed: electric string instrument, amplifier, speaker, audience

to produce sound, physically apply the instrument to the speaker housing and turn up the volume until vibration feedback starts to occur. 

when one string reaches its maximum amplitude of vibration, mute that string and allow another string to create feedback

after each string has been "played" experiment with the tuning pegs on the headstock to create different tones. first tune the instrument down as tuning the strings any tighter than standard tuning often results in broken strings.

please limit yourself from pressing down the string onto the frets or fingerboard as this is too close to the conventional way of playing string instruments.

feel free to use any effect/ loop pedals to create interesting sounds/ interactions

disclaimer: keeping your instrument fully un-tuned for any length of time after this performance is ill advised as the instruments neck may drift out of its proper alignment.

-Jim Wehmeier

Performance results. 

     i played this piece for an audience and originally tried to manipulate the sound using string harmonics on the neck of the instrument (harmonics are when a player only partially presses on a string  at specific frets of the neck of an instrument allowing both halves of the string to vibrate. see Jaco Pastorius' portrait of tracy) this form of manipulation of the instrument was unsuccessful because it did not change the tone of the vibration and it also did not mute the vibrating string either. 

while performing i wished that i had a third hand arm. for my performance i routed the strong signal from an amplifier at max settings into a small speaker. the force of the extremely high gain signal made the speaker shake violently. i held that small speaker to the bridge of the instrument facing outwards.. so as i was saying about wishing i had a third hand: one hand was holding the speaker to the instrument and the other was managing the strings on the neck, i wanted a third hand to cup around the small speaker and manipulate the sound my moving my hand over the sound holes. this concept works similarly to how a musician with a talk box (see peter frampton or bon jovi's living on a prayer guitar riff) shapes the sound of their instrument with their mouth

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

that plant doe

here is a photo of my favorite plant. its species is called lapidary margaretae. most people call it the karoo rose

i recently purchased one of these plants from etsy and I'm growing it in my dorm room.

pics to follow.