Sean Norris

“Cool Jackets!” performed at the Guildhall New Music Society Autumn Concert on the 20th of November 2019, is a pretty corny piece for voice and electronics. It involves a performed spoken text and a custom Max/MSP patch that records the live performance into a buffer, using amplitude detection to identify and scramble words and sentences in the recorded buffer. This piece is intended as a commentary on surreal abstract art and its vulnerability to inevitable cooptations, inspired by surreal meme artists on Instagram and my growing collection of casual photographs of advertising, as well as the writing of Jacques Attali and Naomi Klein.
In reaction to a perceived trajectory of contemporary abstract/absurdist/surreal art that seems to rapidly result in distorted co-optation by commercial media, my goal with this piece was to depict speech by a surreal artifical intelligence becoming inundated and subsequently muffled by a cacophony of mutated duplicates. The material aesthetic of the text is easily duplicated, but its meaning and substance are missed entirely, distorted and lost in repeated blunt copies.