Lexicology is an artist’s book and an interactive, two-person performance. The book is an unbound collection of letterpress-printed cards with text excerpted from various children’s books. In our performance of this book, we shuffle the cards, hand each other half the stack, and begin reading them aloud. On our bodies we have “hand-made/D.I.Y.” headset microphones and belt-clip press-buttons. When we read a card, we press our button to record our voice into a computer system that saves our recorded voice as an audio sample. These samples are mixed, remixed, and played back through a two-channel PA system. As we record more samples, (read more pages of the book), the playback mix gets more and more layered resulting in a cacophony of voices. The performance is very indeterminate in nature, amplifying the non-sequential narrative that is our lives. The Children’s books text excerpts, as such simplistic structures of words, makes the reconfiguration strangely poetic.
The performance of this book utilizes custom computer software, (a system written with MaxMSP, based on the Revolve Software created by Ashley), that mixes, loops, modulates and re-mixes the artists voices as they speak the text from the cards. Additional equipment includes microphones and a small, 2-channel PA system for amplification of sound. We prepared technology for our performance in the San Francisco Public Library’s Skylight Gallery at the opening of the exhibition BiblioTech, January, 2012.
The performance is very improvisatory/indeterminate in nature. Audience members are sometimes engaged to create a random-order to the cards, (and suggest their own text), as the performers are speaking.