The media artists, Rafaël Rozendaal and Jeremy Bailey are producing a podcast called „Good Point“. It usually ends with a field recording they made or which got sent in by a listener of their podcast. For Rozendaal: „Noise turns into great sound once you make a field recording out of it.“
It seems as the mere shift of attention through a recording device renders most usually unnoticed forms of ambient sound into a potential option for relaxation. Not that this shift of attention could not happen without it, but when our concentration is continually scattered or directed towards the screen it can function as a reminder or amplifier for what is out of focus. May it be the eight hour sounds of a far away thunderstorm, a police car somewhere in the ghetto around you or a warzone with distant artillery.
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When there is enough distance between yourself and the space where the action takes place it largely reduces the experience of such to the passing of time. It opens up space for the observations of a distant viewer, waiting for the plot to continue. This waiting sharpens one's senses for details. Minor changes light up and transform into a bigger gesture. Particularly in works made from video games, in a setting where constant action becomes the crucial element of the narrative, the tendency towards the opposite is at hand. Think of Jodis, MAX PAYNE CHEATS ONLY!, Jon Rafman's, A Man Digging, Kent Shelley’s, Ready for Action or Cory Arcangel, Super Mario Clouds. In these action heavy environments moments of contemplation are a recurring theme. In the form of “Max Payne Car Park Ambient Sound for 12 Hours” or “GTA V Pause Menu Music for 10 Hours” this absence of action finds its way back into the fleeting loop of stillness.
From the Pause Menu to One-Liners like: Imagine someone clicking on every link on a website. Imagine someone performing a DVD Screensaver. Imagine someone making a website where the preloader is the content. The act of lingering on the UI reveals its meditative qualities. Meticulous movement for the sake of progression renders itself dysfunctional. These sensible observations result in big gestures. They allow room to dwell. Room for not-doing. A revolt against efficiency,freeing one from any need for action, in favor of a profanity which comes along so unspectacular that it screams for spontaneous combustion.