Premonition 2037 - Intro
Can everyone hear me? Is it coming through?
Thanks to Ben Roberts inviting us to respond to the history of Modern Art Oxford and the archive here, for the exhibition KALEIDOSCOPE - celebrating Modern Art Oxford's 50th Anniversary.
And thank you for coming tonight.
Our contribution sits in relation to a wider project Open Music Archive - our collaborative project to source, digitize and distribute copyright-expired works and to use these shared resources as a vehicle to generate new work.
The acoustics are very bad, can you hear me ok?
And so a bit about the project we've developed here over the past few months:
In the spirit of the 1960s project of Museum of Modern Art Oxford, to make contemporary art freely available to the widest audience, we produce an archive of recorded sounds - auditory traces of activity in the gallery - available for use by a future public without restriction and beyond the scope of current copyright term.\
Tape hiss, voices, musical fragments, audience shuffles and applause recorded at past public events have been digitised from audio tapes and cassettes held in the Modern Art Oxford archive - to generate a new sonic inventory. These incidental moments, from 1970s, 1980s and 1990s were recorded before and after events, between speakers, in the pauses before questions or during the run-out of tape left recording, they provide a series of audio traces -recorded fragments that occupy a grey zone in relation to authorship and ownership - omitting the voices of artists: Tony Cragg, Victor Burgin, Helen Chadwick, Marina Abromovic etc and foregrounding their audiences.
In addition, fragments of vinyl 45rpm 7" singles of chart hits, recorded in 1966 - popular sounds from the year the museum opened, have been ripped and processed using information retrieval technologies - to separate out thousands of sounds to create a bank of source material. Sounds like - a saturated drum hit, the metallic vibration of a guitar string, snippets of synths and voices.
You can hear all of these archive sounds upstairs in the upper gallery, assembled by Ben and I and pressed to vinyl. And you could also hear these sounds as you arrived today.
Tonight's event is the last in a series - for which we've invited collaborators to further reanimate and reassemble the collected archive sounds, during a series of live public events that fast-forward to 2037 - the year that much of the material will legally fall into public ownership. The events have all happened on this specially constructed platform.
On Saturday 14th May - Young Women's Music Project
On Thursday 5th May - Bambooman
If you haven't already you can take a giveaway poster with all of the dates listed.
And Tonight! In a moment, we have Lutto Lento. A brilliant Warsaw-based producer - who we have invited to make a brand new set of music - heard for the first time tonight.
He draws from the inventory of archive sounds. You will hear echoes and fragments from the recorded history of Modern Art Oxford, as the work assembles.
Tonight's event is a live recording session of around 30 minutes - for future copyleft release. The recording will be pressed to vinyl and lodged in the Modern Art Oxford archive - awaiting its future audiences and uses - for unrestricted release from 2037.
And, finally, a few words about 2037.
Premonition 2037 imagines a future public domain 20 years in advance of its legal reality. In some ways, this is a response following extensive lobbying by the proprietors of intellectual property. Copyright in sound recordings has recently been extended from 50 years to 70 years from the date of recording.
Recordings made in 1966, Modern Art Oxford's inaugural year - whose copyright was due to expire 50 years after recording and in time for the 50th Anniversary celebrations of this public institution, won't enter the public domain until 20 years after the 50th anniversary year. Or Jan 1st 2037.
And so this platform convenes a future public, and the performances on it, including the samples used, are carried out without restriction and beyond the scope of current copyright term.
Welcome to 2037 - This is Lutto Lento!