Known for presenting experimental work by emerging artists, Brooklyn performance center ISSUE Project Room will embark on a new venture this October with Distributed Objects, a publishing imprint featuring recorded and written documents. The imprint's inaugural release will consist of double 12-inch LPs from artists Sabisha Friedberg and Sergei Tcherepnin. A Kickstarter campaign is aimed at funding production costs; for their donations supporters receive discounts, limited-edition posters and tote bags, among other gifts.
"We're trying to take the work we're doing here and reach a more global audience, the people who can't come to our performances," artistic director Lawrence Kumpf told A.i.A. in an interview at the center's downtown space. As the name implies, Distributed Objects focuses on items "defined by their object-ness, so to speak," said Kumpf. The imprint will not merely distribute ISSUE's archive, but will be generative in nature. "It's about making a record as a record, and not just recording a live show," Kumpf remarked. Other planned projects include a book containing writings by Swedish-American composer, philosopher and visual artist Catherine Christer Hennix, known for her pioneering work in drone music and her collaborations with anti-art philosopher and composer Henry Flynt.
Hennix's sort of roving, eclectic experimentalism is of a kindred spirit with the work of Friedberg and Tcherepnin, both of whom have been artists-in-residence at ISSUE in recent years. The Brooklyn-based Tcherepnin, who participated in the most recent Whitney Biennial and currently has a solo show at the MIT List Visual Arts Center (through Oct. 19), in Cambridge, Mass., creates multichannel sound works with a sculptural bent, installing speakers in architectural elements and various objects (including a wooden New York subway bench in a work shown at the show "Soundings" last year at New York's Museum of Modern Art).
Quasar ⇔ Lanterns, Tcherepnin's record for Distributed Objects, previously existed as an 8-channel installation at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, created by Tcherepnin with New York-based artist Ei Arakawa. Now remixed for stereo, the trio of works combine field recordings with synthesizers and other instrumentation, and include Horse, a recording of a horseback ride (with hooves clip-clopping on stone and, at one point, an agitated dog barking) overlaid with keening synthesizer tones and oscillating percussive noises and rumbles.
The Paris- and Brooklyn-based Friedberg's The Hant Variance is a more abstract affair. Created with Holland-based artist Peter Edwards and recorded at the facilities of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., The Hant Variance plays with pure tones and intensive infrasound (low-frequency sound at the limits of human hearing), as Friedberg's sonic shifts create fleeting apparitions of space. That sense of a haunting informs the work's title, which refers to the writings of Vic Tandy, a British engineer interested in the possibility that ghost sightings may have been caused by infrasound. There are eerie moments in the recording, said Friedberg, "aleatory things that I really don't remember recording." That said, the title was born more from coincidence than a direct inspiration, and is meant somewhat humorously.
"Tandy was a bit of a dandy and was very funny," Friedberg said. "Not everything in his writing is so serious, and I think that's why I like it."