With time based art--music or video--how does one dodge the "but what happens" question? People expect happenings. A piece begins, it unfolds over time, it ends. Something happens. We analyze its development, its harmonic changes, how motives transformed from this or that. But what if nothing really happens? I am beginning to realize with some of my own projects that I am quite content to reveal my ingredients--a sound, an image, a combination or plurality of the two--but I am less interested in making something happen with them. (I also have long
arguments with myself about a certain very bad word: laziness
.) I do insist upon time frames--three minutes here, eight minutes eight seconds there--and so in that sense I still feel very connected to the "time based art" forms. Given a slice of time, I like to pose
something. And maybe it's such an intense, visceral, quirky, fanciful thing that I've posited, that maybe you--YOU--walk away and in your own head
something happens. But I didn't need to make a "happening" in any certain way for you. In theory I like this idea (no, I love it!). What worries me is how to convince an audience that nothing needs to happen.
I want to tell people, "It's like adding a flutter
to "still" art." Somehow that resonates more truly with me than thinking that I am stilling
the ephemeral qualities of music and the moving image.
I think these things while not sleeping.