Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Nerve Metre (re) 3.0063336555 (In Modular Mode)

The Nerve Metre (re) 3.0063336555 (In Modular Mode) Xek, Abelard, Didrik and Trone venture west in search of the plane of Immanence, and more experiential potlatch.
2006 - 2009

Showing Off - Bathurst Regional Art Gallery -
7 August - 20 September 2009

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Sound of Failure - 08 (Main Exhibition)

August19-September 7 - 2008. Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Sydney AU.

The Nerve Metre (In Modular Mode 2.00113) –
Dasein is half the fun … more potlatch please…

This contact and activation of a sensory as well as intellectual response is at the core of Minimalism as an important forerunner of the broader practice of installation, as a phenomenological experience. O'Donoghue embraces and acknowledges the roots of this fundamental shift in twentieth century art practice and expands and consolidates its onto-phenomenological aspect through late twentieth and twenty-first century micropractices.
Ann Finegan, 2006.

David O'Donoghue ,b 1974, is a Sydney based Artist; crossing territories of installation, sound design and composition, music, video and music video, object making, semiotic engineering, micro-assemblage, drawing - (extended drawing) and contemporary bricolage. He has an interest in post-cultural mythology, micro-philosophy, and self propelled propaganda mechanisms. His most enjoyable pass times are the Dérive; and Synthesis.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Nerve Metre (In Modular Mode)

At the Vanishing Point…The Show to launch the Space!
At The Vanishing Point, Contemporary Art Space, Newtown, Sydney. April 2007.

Labels: ,

Saturday, November 04, 2006

SPEECH: The Nerve Meter(re) 0.0011

Continued Dialogue....

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Nerve Metre

The Nerve Metre: Full Title:
Marker Scheme No: 333.890.00 avoid the micro-politics of a-signifying semeiology, Xek, Abelard and Trone go fishing in the Georges river; See me, ...hear me, (The Nerve Metre). (2002-2006), 2006

"Subjectivity is becoming isomorphic to capital - an axiomatic governed by a fractal attractor. It is being disengaged from the plane of transcendence of 'human' being, becoming an immanent abstract machine of mutation (with the mass media serving as its collective assemblage of enunciation, and a range of apparatuses from television studios to fashion shows to health clubs combining to form its machinic assemblages)"
Brain Massumi, "Monstrosity" in A user's guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia,
Cambridge: MIT, 1992. p135.

the now...
Mechanisms of Fabrication have become increasingly evident, as mainstream semeiology is molded into a non-signifying, though perpetually malleable material flux; a point of pressure now encompasses social structures, attempting to re-fabricate them at will into structures of transparent reference; conversely, a-signification continues to formulate, initiating a semeiology of rhythms and fluid indices.
These re-configured, fabricated modes exist for the purpose of, among others, producing and selling mis-guided information for mass consumption. A need to reevaluate hitherto utilised semeiological systems now appears more necessary than ever; as this previously less tampered of methodologies now gathers momentum as another potential instrument of fabrication by accumulating numbers of corporate, political, mass-media, and social conglomerates.
The Marker Scheme installations endeavour to negotiate a space in-between ideological systems, philosophy, and actuality. A project of an accumulative nature, the installations re-combine contemporary consumables, pre-fabricated objects and technologies, old and new, into mechanisms, instruments, devices; machines of activation. The series is an ongoing body of work that aims at a continued re-evaluation of the implications that technologies have on our reception, interaction, and relationship to the physical realm - the capriciousness of technological 'development' and the ramifications of genetic engineering upon the individual and society.
The resulting installations become, empirical laboratories, low-fi sculptures and recombinant: (re-fabricated) objects, sounds, situations, and identities. Objects and ideas re-applied and re-combined to activate, or be activated by the space in which the work is installed.
The Nerve Metre takes its title from one of Antonin Artaud's later collections of prose poetry; a re-applied title. The installation attepts to simultaneously inhabit the inherent beauty of the indecipherable, a moment(s) of apprehension and a perpetual state of espial. Interstitial space can be indecipherable. In a world where physical space is at a premium, sanctioning space into presciptive zones proliferates, Political, social, theological, epistemological, perhaps even meta-physical connections accumulate, a papable essence, again not immune to the mechanisms of fabrication. Our shifting relationship to physicality is in part instigated by technology and ideology. The Casula Power House (where the work was first exhibited) tests the notion of gallery space; the exhibition spaces float in the building, its permanent artworks, and its industrial heritage - frozen in time, a building that watches over itself, history and structure constantly shifting in dominance. The Nerve Metre installation will ignore these distinctions between designated gallery space and the other. Its readymades', resonating with short wave frequencies, electrostatic, and manipulated recordings of the space itself, will derive through the building. A network, or system, hiding and illuminating, amplifying and distorting, at once; object, light, and sound reducing the interstitial space perceived as between.

David O'Donoghue. Sydney, October 2005.

Images: Ian Hobbs

(Not to be reproduced without prior consent!) Contact.

Preparative Marker Scheme's...

Images: the artist- October 2005.


The Nerve Metre (re) 0.0011 /… re:capitulation/
(Marker Scheme No: 375.007623).
Conical Inc, Melbourne Australia. October 2006.

(What we see here is an advertent attempt to make people oscillate with their own empiricity).
The Nerve Metre was conceived as an activation device, a mediatory mechanism for employment of the inherent sonorous and physical qualities of a given space; for the broadcast, recapitulation, and re-fabrication of our negotiation of an inhabited space. An apparatus producing a subliminal soundtrack composed from field recordings taken, exhumed, from within the exhibition environment in which the work will be situated. The Nerve Metre utilises manipulated short wave radio signals; inhabiting the live realm of the radio frequency, in combination with the manipulated pre-recordings, to perform a composition which becomes played out, amplified, through and by the very fabric or structure of the installation and its immediate surrounds. The installation process opens out to an enveloping matrix of connectivity between the notions of instrumentation, accumulative installation methodologies and applied drawing techniques. The Nerve Metre is an on-going project to produce a sound making/manipulating instrument, or device, for composing with the inherent sonorous/physical qualities existing within the space in which the work inhabits. There is an attempt for temporal transformation, a tuning into, and of, the inhabited space through the installed instrument, device; which never quite reveals its own mechanisms, or workings. These mechanisms, inhabit, and are fabricated into the re-fabricated aesthetic of the modular now, with its modern colour infused plasticity and insatiable synthesisation strategies. The second version, or materialization, of The Nerve Metre subscribes to a notion of the adaptability to the now as being relevant in this situation; where we see the shift, the slippage of a concept into a new spatial zone, and in turn a shifted conceptual relationship to the situation at hand, the space at hand. Becoming manifest within an environment that resonates with pre-existent histrionics’, this version of The Nerve Metre suggests a positioning for this installation as one that attempts to articulate, whilst concurrently activating, an inherent-ness pre-existent in the gallery environment. The re-fabrication of a pre-fabricated work, into the environment of Conical Gallery introduces an invigorating site of negotiation; and a repositioning through a methodology of re-applied re-fabrication. In a bid to avoid pre-disposure a desire to remain within the moment of a decision making process during the installation of this work will be initiated. This has been a prevailing mode within the Marker Scheme Series, of which The Nerve Metre is the latest incarnation. A delineation of the prescribed; or predetermined, is indomitably assigned to differing positions, or states of activation. The immediacy of the decision making process is engaged as an active mode in relationship to the designation, and delineation, of physical, prescribed, space by object and sound. The Nerve Metre situates, literally, its objects in positions to activate the inherent sonority of the gallery environment, and indeed through the materiality of the object itself; in combination with the inherent randomness of SW (short wave radio signals). Radio waves and the related positioning of distance to the state of now, the now, or prevailing situation at hand, becomes a malleable composition material. An active mode of re-composition through, and of, sound, object, and physical space. A transition of transmitted detritus into a sensory/spatial activation mechanism.TNM is now a series, a series within a series, a rhizomatic mapping technique of the observed contemporary realm. One particular interest is the relationship of human physicality to the prevailing technological mode, examined through an epistemology of sound and object making principles. In this situation to capture and amplify - be it in an altered fashion - the inherent sonorities of the space at hand, the gallery landscape, provides a zone in which to situate the act of looking, and the act of listening, and the potentially heightened physicality provided, in parallel to one another, to become the espial with a sound track, or micro-sound track. There is the objective to occupy, and invariably an occupiable objectified physicality. The Nerve Metre situates the infused colour of the plastic contemporary modular readymade into the position of instrument, mechanism; physically and conceptually. Artaud, Debord /and the derive/ give us the infusion of the self within the empiro-physico structures of now, and the re-mapping of an invented physicality as a process of sampling. The Nerve Metre series, can be seen to exist as an analogue technique of conceptual montage, in part inspired by these illustrious art heroes. The space between drawing and the derive come into question during this particular mode. A situation that allows for the acting out of the work and its relationship to the environment in which it is becoming manifest are necessary questionings within this version of The Nerve Metre. As with the re-application of an aesthetic we see to the re-application of a methodology, and indeed the activation of a mechanism designed to articulate space through the inherent sonorities/physicalities of that particular space, in the case of Conical, an already pre-articulated zone. There is an application of the pre-existent to a pre-existent, a re-manipulation installed into a re-manipulation, however what is created is not a doubling, it is an aperture for a view of the interstitialis of here and now. The interstitial can be used as the primary object of activation, however to activate or promote the interstitial to a position of immediacy shifts the material and conceptual relationship to a physicality in relationship to an ideology. To propel an intermediary realm into a position seen as foreground, rather than in-between, immediately unleashes mechanisms for re-fabrication. The notion that once the interstitial is highlighted it immediately shifts its context, becoming un-interstitialis, oscillates with the shifting fabric of existence becoming re-fabricated and highlighted through numerous expanding and deliberate re-fabricatory mechanisms. Existence and hence human physicality are being re-mapped, re-configured, and increasingly re-concontextualised. We are at risk of over fabricating at all moments of this invented process; should this be embraced, inacted into the mix? A pre-disposure to the object(s), and objectives of the installation in its first manifestation, a work that tailored a path, a linear incurrence into the realm where fabrication acts on several oscillatory realms, now attributes re-application as becoming the imperative, the objective, of the re-fabricative mechanism at play, the re-installation in avoidance of pre-disposition. What does re-presentation bring to this, exhibition, situation? What does it mean to re-inhabit a space, although a different physical space? The re-habitation is taking place through the act of installing of pre-fabricated objects, and objectives. This is a re-fabrication machine, that is its job. The re-contextualisation of everything that the machine can sublimate by the act of habituating. A calculated reinterpretation can be activated by the installation, and the very fabric of the gallery environment, its harmonious frequencies, whereby the negotiation on the part of both objects, and objectives begin to oscillate at both conflicting and harmonious frequencies. The Neural network supposes connectivity of the present contemporary technological manifest, that we invariably inhabit. It also suggest a continued slippage of the relationship to the moment. The inherentness of now. The very fabric of the now is the malleable material flux to which this installation process seeks to contort. What is the relationship of the static to the contorted, what if the static itself becomes the malleable material flux of the installation? There is a substance to every space which can be drawn to the surface by, and through, its inherent sonorities. This is an important part of the working contextualisation of The Nerve Metre as an installation, and an on-going process within the realm of contemporary art making methodologies. On reflection this is a core issue at question within The NM series. Inhabitation is another, and very important in relation the Conical show, which also asks how does inherent-ness manifests in the urban fabric of the contemporary city, the structure, at a macro and micro level. Drawing with, drawing from, drawing too, drawing forward, or more succinctly drawing out from the interstitial to the position of prominence. Does the intention to draw out the very fabric of that which is interstitial, reduce the validity, or potency, of that which it has been drawn out, or highlighted, propelled into the fore. Why it so potent at this point in history? Histrionic exhumation through inherent sonority.
David O’Donoghue, Sydney, March 2006.

The Nerve Metre/ Ann Finegan

David O'Donoghue's The Nerve Metre is about "activating the space", perhaps, one might think, a core, but timeworn installation concept. Yet what O'Donoghue does with this notion goes way, way beyond the usual heightened sensitization to an act of noticing through principally visual triggers. O'Donoghue multiplies the sensory registers and expands the usual experiences of awareness by raising the threshold of aliveness and 'being-there' to one in which the Powerhouse resonates in tune with the resident frequencies of its environment.First and foremost, The Nerve Metre is a soundwork. O'Donoghue has filled the entire fabric of the structure with an amplified and distorted feedback loop of its own soundtrack; in Frank Zappa's terms its very own "dynamo hum" - the white noise which permeates every space, and which, in this case, literally reflects the buidling's former use as a power station. O'Donoghue seemingly steeps every pore and microinterval of space with this modulated soundtrack, which, in turn, is mixed with simple detuned radio signals picked up by two humble transistor radios strategically located in the space. The result is a three-way mix in which static and occasional accidentally tuned sound snatches are passed through relays of reverb and wah wah [ripped from the world of the rock guitar] to blend with the prerecorded feedback composition. The result is a deeply evocative, subtle soundwork with rich rumbling base notes and the 'intensive' quality of microsound works: a mix of tones, glitches and frequencies, which, when looped and distorted, produce the characteristic syrupy, flowing sounds which saturate space [think Jesus & Mary Chain's Just Like Honey]. The varied and variable soundscape brings the building to a state of aliveness which fluctuates with the galler-goer's movement as s/he explores the site and articulates each sector with its own intensive quality.But none of the workings are quite hidden. O'Donoghue hasn't fallen back on a speaker system of surround sound stategically placed, as if the resultant soundpiece was the invisible work. There's much more to this work that the notion of bare building activated by sound, in turn directing the visitor to the act of noticing, of taking the building in, in a studied way, because the building itself is the only thing to occupy the visual field. Certainly, the overwhelming first impression of the deep and infiltrating sound source has this initial effect of making one look, and look attentively, but that is only the beginning of the work. O'Donoghue goes much, much further, into the heart of the electromagnetosphere.The radio antennas are literally plugging into the static of the waves pulsing through the atmosphere and the amplified micrsounds are picking up on resonant static within the powerhouse. In this respect the work extends the tradition pioneered by Reich [his orgone energy boxes, capacitors for recharging the body], the spectacles of Tesla [electrical storms of static electricity which alarmingly sparked in enormous arcs across his studio], de Maria's The Lightning Field [a vast area of two square kilometres of 'field' punctuated at regular intervals with metre high steel lightning rods to attract and 'manifest' the natural event of 'lightning' within the framework of art], and Hinterding's seminal Aeriology series, in which immense but semi-transparent coils of fine copper wire .amplified and listened in to the microsounds of the electromagnetosphere directly.Inside this rich heritage, O'Donoghue is in closest dialogue with Hinterding who expanded on the sound component of electromagnetic works within a visual field [for example, the sound of more than a hundred specially coated beer glasses, turned capacitors, filling with electricity], and, more directly, her sound practice of manipulating feeback by moving her Hill's hoist antennae through space, in a 'visual' performance in which she telecommands the sound at a distance, like the conductor of an invisible orchestra of microsounds in a black box.It's this element of the mysterious soundbox, delightfully absurdist, and relating back to so many black boxes of electronic sound, which provides key elements of the visual aspect of O'Donoghue's show. The radio antenna provocatively protrude from carefully crafted openings in the top of remodelled Ikea kit boxes of colour-coded plastic, connected, in turn, by a superfluity of coloured electrical cabling and gaffer tape. A Minimalist colour coding connects the installation components - all of which are plastic -with the exposed existent electrical cabling of the building. Literally, O'Donoghue's installation functions as the bulding's prosthesis, his exuberant use of an excess of connective cabling an extension of itself, which doubles, multiples and enjoys itself in a kind of extended play. The cables occasionally loop decadentally on a wall or floor, held in place with a three way power point aesthetically pinned or clipped into position. Every element of hardware and its positioning, even that of humble gaffer tape, becomes aestheticized, part of the art of style and making, that craft element through which Heidegger argued, in The Origin of the Work of Art, that works of art 'deconceal' from the humble materials such as stone or wood [or, in more recent times, more twentieth century materials]. In the tradition of Hinterding, O'Donoghue works the magic of deconcealing [loosely translated a mode of 'revealing' which emphasises the act of the 'de', of undoing nature's 'concealing']. Electrical cabling and tape become a mode of drawing as one follows O'Donoghue's flourishes of loop, line and dashes, and the drawing never stops, for seaguing into the powerhouse's original cabling, the act of 'drawing' extends up into the building, a code of secret graffiti written into its construction.Hinterding, too, had followed this line, drawing the sound component of the Aeriology series from the invisible of the electromagnetosphere into the visible of the copper line or cable, compounding electrical function with artistic form. O'Donoghue paints and sculpts with coloured cabling [metres and metres of it], and, as in Hinterding;s Aeriology, function overlays with form- the nerve metre is referencing the actual aliveness of the cable which draws, colours and plays with form at the same time as it carries the current which is then transformed into the saturating micro soundwork.The installation thus works simultaneously on a multitude of dimensions. Overall, as a soundwork it occupies the powerhouse on the terms of its monumental scale, activating each element of the massive interior [over three huge levels] as far as the eye, cast upwards and around, can penetrate. But, on a micro level, the combination of sound, drawing and sculpture activates more intimate moments. Behind pillars, around corners, sometimes commanding from platforms, the installation radically and dramatically has the power to switch scale.Behind a steel pillar and a red wall [leftover from a previous show], a discreet plastic and steel sculpture reminiscent of one of Susan Norrie's non-functioning 'tables' draws the viewer into the detail of old politcal graffiti on the pole [a hand holding a lightning bolt]. At the right distance it's a carefully composed still life moment with intimate sound. Then, up on one of the viewing platforms, where your attention is drawn to one of the mysterious towers of plastic boxes, you're aware that you have been strategically placed to enjoy the sound-enhanced vista of the powerhouse's sublime proportions. In the sole antechamber, remodelled in standard art gallery white-cube mode, O'Donoghue teases with Dan Flavin style coloured flourescent tubes, and thus directly with Minimalism, but then he places some half out of sight, partially hidden by ceiling beams so that their glow rather reflects details of the buidling, revealed again as the result of 'an act of making'.The direct reference to Flavin and Minimalism consolidates the installation into fine arts, as it also compounds Minimalism's use of modular, industrial ready-made materials. If Tony Schwenson's "signature" is BBC hardware, O'Donoghue's is Ikea plastics. But, Minimalism aim wasn't only stylistic, an aesthetic break from Victorian clutter and what modernist architst Loos famously termed 'ornament'. It had more in common with modernism's design-for-living1, pared down lines and a quality of space and light, in short, a shift from an aesthetics of the pleasures of enjoying art's sealed off picture/pedestal world, to one of a phenomenological interaction with art as one of bodies in space. One of Minimalism's key concepts, argued in Donald Judd's "Specific Objects," is the end of the painting/sculpture divide, the end of the frame and the pedestal designating art's cut off "other place" of reverie, for one of interaction with art as objects inhabiting the same phenomenological world. In general, installation brings the body and sensory experience into this kind of contact - body to body - whether it be a Schwenson installation [complicated with video's performative of this close contact with the world of matter - for Schwenson always humously so], or a Jason Rhoades pile of articulate junk.This contact and activation of a sensory as well as intellectual response is at the core of Minimalism as an important forerunner of the broader practice of installation, as a phenomenological experience. O'Donoghue embraces and acknowledges the roots of this fundamental shift in twentieth century art practice and expands and consolidates its onto-phenomenological aspect through late twentieth and twenty-first century micropractices. The Nerve Metre is this conducting current which takes the viewer into the amplified and accentuated experience of the Casula powerhouse through what Heidegger called our phenomenological being-there (Dasein). Not only do we sense ourselves as more present, more aware of ourselves as bodies moving through and exporing a particular space, structure and sound-construct, but the majestic scale of the building, itself, also presences more readily, and intimately, opening itself through a tuning-in on a microlevel which allows us to experience its aliveness more directly.
Ann Finegan
Note.1. Of course, Minimalism was a response to Greenbergian high modernist colourfield painting, which Judd explcitly rejected because of its its reduction to the two-dimensional frame. Qua frame (or pedestal in the case of sculpture) the viewer was cut off from the phenomenological response to art as object- hence Judd's title "Specific Objects." For a fuller discussion see Hal Foster's chapter, "The Crux of Minimalism" in The Return of the Real.

Haunted Weather_ The Nerve in the Factory/ Mark Brown

The location, a gutted factory deployed on the banks of a silted over and congested river, wherebird calls mixed with the roar of the ingress and egress of goods trains and the occasional crackand echo of gun fire. Beyond the river a tract of Grader ravished brown soil, felled trees and Dieselengine roar. An endless re coagulation and fortification of the earth was daily executed across theriver bank from the factory.Inside, veins and tendons that once fed and actuated Industrial organs remained now quarterised.Platforms, gantries and promontories jutted and floated inside the monumental concrete shell. Thisawesome empty edifice was, during the time that I spent there, the architectural ’host’ of a complexaudio entity. An entity that slept, awoke, breathed and seemed to assimilate invisible phenomenonharnessing and harvesting this quantity and in turn converting it into the potential energy it requiredto catalyse a tangible though temporal ’atmosphere’. In turn it excreted an alchemised precipitation,an auditory meteorology. The Nerve Meter’s sonic circadian rhythms were however prone toagitation by certain electro-magnetic infections and inflections of it’s nervous system.The Nerve Meter’s morning calibration and thus the onset of it’s particular mood depended on thetinkering of it’s creator / conductor / architect. Slippages and delays in ‘booting’ it into life andinterference from within the concrete stratosphere at times seemed to leave the entity suffering fromsome form of jet lag.I worked day to day isolated inside the vast cement Cathedral bathed in frequencies, found, foreignand fractured engulfed by a weather machine whose pressure systems filled the space and clung toall who resided and toiled within. I speculated even as to it’s ability to effect a sudden teleportationof myself and all lose matter, tools and detritus inside the Powerhouse to another time previouswhen the mechanised hum it now amplified through a matrix of distributed modular sound emittingunits would have oscillated with the vibration of the machines and furnaces that once were theorgans of this facility.One day we gathered outside the threshold of the concrete resonance chamber under cover from aheavy rain storm. Looking out across the river and churned up earth of the nearby artillery range, aflash of distant light, a measurable delay was proceeded by a loud thunder clap. The Nerve Meter,already on edge in the storm, responded with a sonic shiver that fed back and in turn infected the‘haunted weather’ it had generated inside the gutted factory. Like a fight-flight response to a suddenairborne strafing of its outer shell.I imagined far off in the midst of this crescendo of weather, electricity and sound in some soddenentrenchment, field guns glistening in the rain turning slowly on their base plates towards thefactory and a barrage of shells searing the air as they arced invisible but audible across the sky,penetrating the outer shell of the building and stopping dead in mid air inside the edifice. The NerveMeter held the foreign projectiles suspended as it scrutinised them trying to define their function.They dropped harmlessly to the floor rolling in concentric circles with a syncopation tapped out bythe still steaming hot rifling engraved on their shafts as they rolled around on the floor beforecoming to rest.
Mark Brown 2006

The Nerve Meter(re) 0.0011 at Conical Inc. Melbourne. October 2006.

IMAGES: Christian Capurro/Conical Inc. (Not to be reproduced without prior consent!)