Comments on "Suspicious Minds"

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"Suspicious Minds" (working title) borrows from the genre of Karaoke with a twist: The actual lyrics of the song have been replaced. Each line of the new written lyrics rhymes with the old version of the heard text, which is the original sung by Elvis. As part of my ongoing interest in the simultaneity of difference, the work seeks to explore the possibility of two alternative accounts--different perspectives--of the same situation sounding at the same time.

Feedback on the work was generally positive. But it's my sense it would further benefit from a "bouncing ball" or "filling words" to make its reference Karaoke more exact (Josh is going to send me a FCP plug in).

The piece looked more sculptural than anticipated. The projection, the speakers, the mic, the Karaoke machine: these things worked well together as “parts of a whole”

There was a concern about the language of the lyrics – specifically “dastard”. Viewers wondered if I meant “bastard”. I used dastard for two reasons: (1) because it’s more precise than bastard: dastard means a “dishonorable or despicable person” but this didn’t quite...register; and (2) because I thought it worked as a euphemism for "bastard". This also missed the mark.

I was concerned about the timing of the written lyrics – Some of the utterances sound early, others sound late, and still others mesh exactly with the sung lyrics. Through this (intentional) combination I aimed to create a kind of push and pull between the different utterances. I wanted to experiment with how they sounded when overlapping exactly and only partially. There’s also the question of possibly projecting the entire stanza at once rather than staggering the lines' presentation. I’d like to experiment with this for the next iteration.

I’m not sure I need to match each utterance line for line and think I can make the visual text a little leaner through some thoughtful editing.

I’m generally pleased with how the dissonance between the heard and visual aspects reifies the dialogic complexity of this utterance, replete with its references to both Josh's, Pierre's and my specific situation and the experience of betrayal more generally. I also think the Karaoke aspect insinuates the viewer in an interesting way by creating a literal space in the work for him or her to occupy.

See notes on the production of this piece here.


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