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 text lyrics rhymes the old version of the heard version sung by Elvis. As part of my ongoing interest in the simultaneity of difference, the work seeks to explore the possibility of two different accounts of a situation sounding at the same time.

The feedback on the work was generally positive. But it's my sense it will work better with a bouncing ball or stronger Karaoke connection (Josh is going to send me a FCP plug in).

The piece looked more sculptural than I 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 worked as a euphemism for "bastard". No dice.

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 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 appearance. 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, Pierre and my specific situation. I also think the Karaoke aspect insinuates the viewer in an interesting way by creating a literal space in the work for them to occupy.

See notes on the production of this piece here.


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