Saturday, June 3, 2023

"An Aggregation of Dipsomaniacs..." A New Recording for Orchestra. (Commentary from Ai Weiwei)

"An Aggregation of Dipsomaniacs (The Facile Identification of People by the Floors On Which They Lived)"

Bil Smith Composer.

For Orchestra.

In the program notes we read:  I’D LIKE YOU / TO CONSUME PART(S) / I PROMISE

"This is a manifestation of Smith's open-ended approach, and a suggestion of intimacy between the composer and his performers.

With its many layers, "An Aggregation..." successfully undermines the exiguous, cause/effect trajectory between the performative act and its archiving:  execution, conception, and documentation were collapsed and then restacked.

Smith's repetition is relentless yet evolving, approaching a point of excess well suited to the context of a club scene.   Energy drinks appeared in piles around the performers were imbibed during the performance (part of the performance directives)—a mischievous nod, perhaps, to performance art’s tests of endurance, and one that effectively dislodged the cliché of that practice’s discipline and orthodoxy.

Smith's work deals with stamina, but his vision is fortified by late-night “performance” enhancers: Going to the club is about “letting go,” and here the ostensible rigor of the Judsonesque improvised gesture is nudged toward a caffeinated, youth-cultural counterpart."

-Ai Weiwei

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