Beijing 2016​-​2017

by Edward Sanderson

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about

Edward Sanderson is a freelance art critic and editor, living and working between Japan and China. His writing focuses on contemporary art in the Asian context, focusing on alternative cultural practices, independent art groups and sound in art

Beijing 2016-2017 is Edward's field recording work. Although during the time he made these recordings, he did not have any plan to make this publication.

blog.escdotdot.com

李蔼德(Edward Sanderson)是一个自由艺术评论家,编辑和策展人,从2007年至今一直生活并工作在中国。他的研究和写作专注于在中国背景下工作的文化生产者所制造出的当代艺术。他对“另类”群体的历史发展和当代表现形式,实验声音艺术和音乐家抱有浓烈的兴趣。

这盘磁带是李霭德的实地录音作品,尽管在录制的时候,他并没有任何出版它们的计划。

credits

released December 14, 2017

What effect can captured sounds have in the world? What process are we setting in motion by switching on an audio recorder at a certain moment, and then switching it off again after a certain period of time? What is the significance of this act by the holder of the recording machine? What is the significance of the movement from sound as a register of location, to the abstract representation of sounds, to the registration of their playback format as a new location? 

All the pieces on this cassette represent cuts out of time, taken from specific locations (in this case, between 2016 and 2017 in the city of Beijing, China). As snippets of sound, maybe they actually tell us very little, as they are abstracted from their original situation and limited to the single sense of hearing. Yet in themselves it is expected that they provide some minimal description of a place and time; they can be appreciated as a limited reportage of the situations they were recorded in.

Beyond these sounds there may also be a presumption that the listener can hear a “truth” about these situations. Maybe this truth appears by separating the sounds from the original environment encompassing all sensory data, through the process of abstraction that takes place in the recording process, between the creation of the sounds by various in situ situations, and the subsequent capturing and representation of the sounds by the recorder.

Such an expectation of a truth would have to be approached with caution, in that the various technologies involved are by their nature mediations, interposing themselves between an original and a listener. The truth may lie more in those technologies than in a message purportedly being transferred.

But the pieces also work as a whole, as an arrangement of sound pieces on the technological form of the cassette tape (or in a different way as the digital download). Their presentation on cassette is specific; the pieces deliberately lack intervening silences, and are without fade-ins or -outs, to prevent them from being considered as entries and exits from the situations each piece is recording, a movement that might imply narrative progress.

The pieces are also very simple in terms of their technical generation. No audio equipment specifically designed for professional results was used; the pieces were all recorded using an iPhone’s internal microphone, in mono, with no protection from wind noise for instance.

By pointing out here these aspects of the production and presentation of the recordings, I am trying to expose the essential “distractions” from the ostensible subject matter of each piece. Such distractions would include the emphasis on the technologies involved, on a particular quality of the recording, on the idea of representation itself (that the recording represents anything but its reception).

These distractions represent the fundamental, insurmountable disconnection between the original setting and the playback of the recording. It is not even worth thinking there is any possibility or hope of recreating any aspect of an original setting. Each hearing therefore is a new setting. But it is certainly possible to hold an idea of the original setting in our heads while simultaneously knowing that we are absolutely in the here and now of the listening process.

—Edward Sanderson 李蔼德, November 2017


采集到的声音可以给世界带来怎样的影响?在一个时刻按下录音机的录音键,过了一段时间后再停止录音,通过这样做,我们启动了怎样的一个过程?对那个拿着录音机的人来说,这个行动有什么意义?从用声音来联系起一个地点,到声音的抽象表现,再到用回放介质联系起来的新的地点,这个过程又有什么意义?

这盘磁带收录的作品,全都从时间中截取,且取自特定地点(2016-2017年在中国北京录的)。作为一些声音的片段,它们能告诉我们的很少,尤其是它们抽离了原本的环境,而且仅以听觉呈现。不过从它们自身之中,仍可以期待它们带来极少的关于时间和地点的描述;它们可以被人当作录音时的情景的有限的报告来欣赏。

在这些声音之外,或许还有一种假设,即,听众可以听到这些场景的“真相”。或许真相会出现——经历录音这一抽象化的过程,将声音从原本那个包含了全部知觉的环境中分离出来——或许在现场的种种情景所创造出的声音、随之而来的用录音机做到的声音捕捉和声音再现之间,就存在着真相。

这种对真相的期待需要谨慎对待。因为大量的技术被引入进自然调节中,它们在原来状态与听众之间摆动。真相可能更多地存在于这些技术之中,而不是在据说传递出来的信息中。

这些作品会作为一个整体,作为一种声音的编排存在于技术形式之中,也就是磁带之中(数字下载的形式或有不同)。它们在磁带中的再现是特定的;段落之间的空白间隔被刻意去掉了,没有淡入和淡出,以此防止它们被当作录音场景的入口和出口,这种空白或者淡入淡出通常会暗示着叙事。

在技术层面,这些作品也都非常的简单,并没有使用什么特别设计的专业设备。它们都是用iPhone的内置麦克风录制的,单声道,也没有防风罩之类的保护措施。

通过在这里列出这些录音的制作和再现的方方面面,我试图将一些重要的“偏移”(译注:原文为“distractions”,也就是“走神”、“分心”、“干扰”,也就是说田野录音的重心并非表面上的记录,而是其他的“任何东西”)从每一个作品的表面主题中揭示出来。这种偏移包括对所涉及技术的强调,包括录音的特定品质,包括再现本身的概念(也就是录音可以再现任何东西,除了它的对应物)。

这些偏移再现了原始环境和录音回放之间根本的、不可逾越的鸿沟。甚至不值得去想像一下重建原始环境的某一方面的可能性。每次聆听也因此成为一个新的环境。不过,在知道我们绝对是身处聆听过程的此时此地的同时,也确实有可能对那个原始环境略知一二。

翻译:朱文博
校对:罗万象

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Zoomin' Night Beijing, China

Zoomin' Night
燥眠夜 is a cassette label based in Beijing, run by Zhu Wenbo since 2015.

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