As an homage to Box with the Sound of Its Own Making by Robert Morris (1961), while making a simple white dress, I recorded the sound of the dress-making for about nine hours. The previous unheard sound for the birth of a garment now becomes the acoustic documentation of a one-time performance of making of the dress. The white colour and the simple design was my intention to be neutral, absorbed into the white gallery wall, but my tacit making style is unavoidably revealed.
Dress with the Sound of Its Own Making
I focus on neither the sound of making nor the resulting dress, but on inviting the viewer to encounter the dress. Whatever their response to it,
it would complete this work.
Their attention would oscillate between the dress and the sound. There is little detail of dress and the sound is tedious to listen to for a long time, so few people would stay for the entire duration of the sound recording, just as many art gallery-goers tend to spend only a few seconds in front of each work.
I read somewhere that John Cage sat down and listened to Morris’s ‘box’ for the entire duration—more than three hours! How could he listen to it for such a long time? His attitude for unintentional sound is shown here: as not just trivial ambient sound, but the temporal space that we are living in, like his 4’33”. Like him, the experience of the dress with the sound of its making can be experiencing the embodied, the temporal and the spatial form as an ‘overheard’ part of our environment.
A journal entry on Thursday 28 November 2013