15.5 x 10.5 in
rubber block, ink, masking paper, newsprint, gel pen, laserjet printer, printer paper, GIF
This piece is a stop-motion animation made from block-printed and hand-annotated frames, depicting a piano score composed through pitch-class set theory transformations; these transformations are shown in the circular diagram above the musical score.
The individual frames are created by re-imaging the musical score through multiple stages: carving the rubber block; printing onto masking paper and newsprint; scanning and layering prints digitally; reprinting layered frames onto printer paper; and finally, annotating with gel pen and rescanning into the computer. This multi-stage translation of the starting image reflects the process of composing with pitch-class set theory transformations, where the same melody line undergoes mathematical operations to generate subsequent measures. Thus, both the music and the frames are created through compounded translations of an initial state. The repetitive medium of the looping GIF also reflects this cyclic nature.
This piece also plays with aspects of im/mutability that are traditionally inherent to these two mediums of block printing and Western music composition.
Block prints are normally implemented for their immutability through reproduction; what you carve is what you print, every single time. In this project, prints are used instead as frames for stop-motion animation, where reproduction must be accompanied by change. Thus the traditional immutability of block printing is made mutable through annotations on each print.
Western music is traditionally composed around a key center that remains fixed throughout large portions of the piece. This piece is composed through pitch-class set theory transformations, which produces an atonal composition whose key center is always changing. Thus the traditional immutability of a piece’s central key is made mutable through this 12-tone composition process.
Additionally, Western music usually consists of several melodies and motifs strung together. This piece only has one single phrase, repeated four times through different transformations. Thus, the traditional mutability of melody is made immutable.
Carved Rubber Block
Ink Prints on Masking Paper & Newsprint
Digitally Layered Frames