- Sanded Recording of a Decade
- Audio file, presented by Non-Event (2020)
“To have a definite beginning and a definite, predictable end is the mark of fabrication, which through this characteristic alone distinguishes itself from all other human activities. Labor, caught in the cyclical movement of the body’s life process, has neither beginning nor an end.”
-Hannah Arendt, “Work” in The Human Condition
It's a recording of me sanding down a small wooden object. This is only one short document of a ten-year period I spent working intermittently on this object- even though in musical terms, 40-minutes might be considered a long duration. While sanding this piece of wood, I was thinking about "work" in Hannah Arendt's sense of human activity directed towards particular ends, which become concrete aspects of the world; i.e. tables, chairs, buildings, etc.. I was just mulling this over while sanding this fork, and thought that it would be good to record for a while, since the sounds are integral to the aesthetics of work, in which the mind is circumscribed briefly to a very small activity whose residue is a distinct form. It strikes me as a very musical activity, this sanding and forming. The rhythms and resonance of the wood, and especially the breaks in the activity, where I quietly (invisibly) contemplate where to sand further (towards an image), or leave the room to pursue some different activity. Overall, I began to interpret the sounds as a pretty informative or at least musically interesting palimpsest of this work-oriented thought, more accurate to its contours than the wooden object that is its result.