Subtropics

Friend from many-moons-ago Kabir Carter is helping to open Miami’s Subtropics music festival by performing a real-time moblogging project from New York.

Walking in the city (or elsewhere), sounds are heard and recorded without employing the subjective and limiting filter of conventional, transducer based sound recording technology.

So he’s describing sounds in text rather than laying them down magnetically, posting aural impressions from the field, without sound. For the opening, they set up a projector in a space in Miami and showed the posts. Sample results:

SFX #75
SFX: Folding Subway Seat Recoiling

SFX #73
SFX: Over Twenty Trash Bags Buffeted by Breeze

SFX #56
SFX: Sliced Potatoes Frying in Oil Filled Vat

SFX #40
SFX: Three Helium Filled Ballons Rubbing against Corrugated Metal Scaffolding

Music: The Kinks :: Alcohol

3 Replies to “Subtropics”

  1. His street poetry is pretty interesting, but his ontology — “without employing the subjective and limiting filter of conventional, transducer based sound recording technology” — is highly problematic. His attempt to escape filtration is itself a filter.

    Let’s take SFX #6: “Relatively Quiet Ambience Enveloping Small to Medium Size Cast Iron Buildings and Reflecting off of Street Paved with Bricks”. It’s loaded with subjective and limited filters. Small to medium size compared to what? Relatively quiet for whose ears? What “street” is this “paved” with “bricks” — and whose bricks are they? What is the ideological relationship between the writer and the paver of the street? And how did he come to be standing there, on those bricks, on that particular day?

    Wait, I think he’s being ironic about those subjective and limiting filters. Or, rather, “ironic”.

  2. Chris — I think Kabir’s point is simply to do an experiment — recording without conventional recording technology. He doesn’t seem to me to be making a point about filters in the _general_ sense.

  3. recording without conventional recording technology

    I think it makes the point that there is no such thing as pure “recording” – even the “recording” of conventional audio equipment has its filters, since there will be inaudibles, and things heard that are incomprehensible, and there are no visuals in any case. Even the choice of where to stand and record is a filter. The filters of Kabir’s poetic “recording” should be obvious.

    In other words, the project shows that recording is still representation, even if he doesn’t explicitly (or consciously) make that point..

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