Watcher

Secure a vacant store front in a busy part of town close to existing art galleries. Maybe on Queen. If possiblesome place “vintage” and under renovation/abandoned.

Put an old office desk and chair in the vacant mess facing a large front window to the street. Get a reel to reel and a set of headphones with a monitor speaker and a small fridge for snacks. Typewriter. Hang an obvious old school analog microphone outside up high out of reach that is wired to the recording/monitoring equipment which picks up the sporadic passerby conversation which is in turn recorded on the reel to reel. I can monitor the exterior dialogue/commentary on headphones or the speaker. I can also play back the recording. Figure out if I need 2 reel to reels so I can continually record the conversations.

As people walk by and say stuff I type it out. I transcribe it. Any conversation is written out and recorded. The viewer could be watching me record their conversation or simply watching me complete an earlier transcription if they aren’t saying anything. Regardless the viewer has something of interest to view when they are actually engaged viewing or talking about the subject (me). The audience provides the content and the context of the space. It’s a performance piece that would also be augmented by the typed transcript and the recorded tapes and a series of photos/video.

There’s a 2 way mirror set up behind and over my head that would hide my camera. I could remotely control it by a foot switch set up under the desk. I could therefore document the subjects and the action of what I’m transcribing this way.

Elements of Lives of Others, Krapp’s Last Tape and The Task Also another exercise on the process/meaning of art. Turns the audience into the piece.

I thought about this while performing the task and listening to the audience commentary.

Existential. There is no performance without the audience, the voyeur becomes the subject of observation.

Possible locations
Check where Nuit is happening and explore the possibility of Contact or Luminato.

Part of 170 Bloor West – shop with the walk up and the small round table that I’ve taken pics of. Not bad but the view inside is partially obscured by the hideous door handles.

Identify each passerby in terms of clothing and basic physical. Example Tall, White, Male, Red T-shirt.

Make my attire mimic the time period of my equipment and set. 70s is a good era that speaks to the idea of the Stasi, my youth, and the beginning of the audiophile advances. Is it possible to get 70s stereo equipment?

What about using Camera? Does it still have it’s front curtain.

Another possibility I to set it up on a club or bar in the middle of the floor and wire several locations with microphones. This looses a bit of my initial meaning and concept but it could be a good offshoot. Played back though this could be executed with some of the beauty of the Janet Cardith Motet piece. An aural sculpture mixed to provide snippets of interesting conversation about stills taken of me at the desk. I could hire a team to document what I’m doing then augment that photography and video with the recorded dialogues and the typed transcript.

If Camera is open… I could set up in Bulger’s gallery and rig a mirror so that people could look in through his front door and see me head-on doing the transcription of the stuff I recorded from Camera next door. Fuck, organize the video for the task and have that in a gallery space that people would come look at and talk about while I recorded their commentary on this very Paul Auster / Lives of Others way.

Play Farben Techstar to the people I’m documenting.

Edit and mix the pure vocal tracks to create a symphony of spoken word lyrics. Repeating phrases as recurring themes and slowly layering and unlayerimg them to create a cohesive Peter and the Wolf type piece.

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