Bonnie Jones & Tim Albro on WJCT 89.9

This is an unedited performance by noise musicians Bonnie Jones and Time Albro for “Lost in the Stacks.” The original episode aired on 1/10/2013 on WJCT 89.9, Jacksonville, FL.

In addition to the performance, Tim and I chose a playlist for the show from the Jacksonville Public Library. Here’s our selections!

Ma Rainey – Jealous Hearted Blues
Southern Journey: Sacred Harp Compilation – Sardis
Hildegard Von Bingen – Praise For the Virgin
Joan Barbara – Time(d) Trials and Unscheduled Events
Elizabeth Cotton – Freight Train
Carter Family – Don’t Forget This Song
Ruth Crawford Seeger – Diaphonic Suite #2
Japon Gagaku – Bato

“by the time” Commissioned for London ICA “Soundworks”

19 June 2012 – 16 September 2012

“by the time” by Bonnie Jones (electronics, voice, field recordings)

London Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

As part of our season on sound, this exhibition presents one hundred new sound commissions produced by artists from all over the world. Selected by our curators and art institutions worldwide, the artists have been invited to submit a sound file, taking its stimulus from the themes evoked in Bruce Nauman’s Days, which will be presented in the lower gallery during the exhibition.

Soundworks embraces the ephemeral nature of sound, creating an online platform that doubles as a virtual exhibition space. The online presentation aims to make the works internationally accessible, a site to explore the genre as a medium which is simultaneously inclusive, interactive, and subversive.The exhibition includes a wide range of audible approaches by artists who have been working with the medium for many years, as well as artists taking their first venture into the sonic arts.

“Notes on Sound”, text video published online Continent Journal

A recent text video work titled “Notes on Sound” in the latest edition of Continent Journal.

Notes on Notes on Sound, July 18, 8:34pm Isaac Linder

Paul de Man begins his landmark text, Allegories of Reading, with a cheeky epigraph from the philosopher Blaise Pascal. It reads, ‘Quand on lit trop vite ou trop doucement on n’entend rien’ (When you read too quickly or too slowly you hear nothing). The epigraph is cheeky because in the course of de Man’s work he avoids elucidating at what speed one would one would be able to properly hear the texts to which they are attending. For de Man the force of literary tropes—the way they seduce and structure their multiple readings—relies on the intimate proximity of figures and properties in the relational linkages of a text. Textual spatialization trumps and belies the importance of the tempo and temporality.

Enter the “site”-specific text videos by the Korean-American writer and improvising musician, Bonnie Jones. In these works, unique to the venues that have solicited them, the time of writing is captured and stored in a complex digital apparatus in the first instance, along with all of the hesitations, repetitions, and sudden keystrokes attending its production. Speed is pro-scribed— written in advance—and the time (five minutes and sixteen seconds) of Notes on Sound is spatialized into an affective mesh that ensnares the viewer in a doppler effect created between the speed of writing and the speed of reading. We’re caught in the tempo of Jones’ decisions (that is, unless we fast forward, pause, or rewind the text; unless it freezes or takes too long to load). We find ourselves subvocalizing along to a deceptively simple prompt (“please now together count back from one hundred”) as the phonetic units that comprise the video permute into polyphony and warp like the minimalist pixelations of a concrete poem into the grammar of the Notes (that is, unless we are reading along out loud). We are forced to feel our form of reading as it unfolds, in a manner arguably more proliferate and protocolized than would have been known in Pascal’s time. Would he have been able to hear anything?

With its understated use of syntax and short-circuiting Notes on Sound is without a soundtrack, but by no means silent: Meditation on counting, on the sound of counting, and what counts as sounding; on the way we count on sound as a pre-text for things to ring true, as they do in the famously less calculable arenas of, say, emotion and poetry. Notes on Sound is a record of these. If I become more emotional about this it is only because it forces us to hear her.