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Object Collection present a live, staged adaptation of Robert Ashley’s seminal 1979 studio composition Automatic Writing alongside a performance of their own New York Girls - an exercise in extremes, and a fanfare for the dispersed. False pretenses, controlled feedback, plagiarism, and precisely-placed things. A performance for objects, voices, instruments, and video, it is developed from Object Collection's March 2012 duo performances in Italy.
"I went toward the idea of sounds having a kind of magical function - of being able to actually conjure characters. It seemed to me that in a sort of psycho-physical sense sounds can actually make you see things, can give you images that are quite specific." – Robert Ashley on Automatic Writing
On a stage strewn with television monitors, video cameras, and dim light, Object Collection invokes these four characters, crafting an environment that aims to heighten the enigma of the original.
"Ashley’s Automatic Writing (and like Music with Roots, justified as opera) was composed for a recorded medium. Over the course of 46 minutes, barely audible electronic sounds and words are formed but not articulated. The effect is hypnotizing, on the verge of what we hear as music. Nurse with Wound’s Steven Stapleton claimed it the only record he could listen to on acid. Object Collection’s live interpretation remained absolutely faithful to the studio production values of the original LP, connecting its synthetic ambience with the ensemble’s somewhat darksided approach to electronic music theater. Soft French syllables from Mimi Johnson’s original performance were translated into gutteral German and brought into view through Fulya Peker’s near dominatrix characterization. The only thing missing from the cyber-BDSM atmosphere of it all—complete with shiny black surfaces and CCTV—was the whip." - BOMB