Monday, February 02, 2009


i am no longer really using this blog...well not for now.

see what i am doing at

hope all is well.

xoxo. julie

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

i am reading james benning

it has been a little bit since i have put anything up on here. i am reading a great book about the film-maker james benning. this summer i had a crit with alex alberro and he suggested that i look up benning. so i have. and wow. i am pretty amazed. i am not even seeing his films. but am just reading about them. and reading him talking bout them. and now i think i need to see a james benning film. my ears are open. and i am searching and i am waiting. hopefully i stumble upon something this year. we will see. i love this whole idea of the long shot. more specifically the long shot of nothing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

6 july 2008

here is a new piece of work i am working on. it has turned out to be a piece that i will project for now. there is a sound element to it. but here are a few stills from the movie. i set out on july 6 and recorded 2 minutes of sound for 2 minutes every hour that i was awake. the contact microphones that i made created accidental drawings. i documented them with photographs i wrote really quickly about what i heard in the location. i recorded the sound. and then i went on with whatever i was doing. here are a few images. you may see some changes in the weeks to come.

our new house.

and one day we will live in it. so mike and i settled on the house. scary. here are some pictures of it. it is in charles village. and one day it will be nice. we wont be living in it for a while though. here is what we have so far... the back yard is nice. boo radley lucks out.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

This past weekend I took a MICA bus to New York. I wasn't dying to spend 8 hours on a bus to and from New York to only spend 6 hours in the city, but I did it anyway. I really wanted to see the new David Byrnes installation.

For those who aren't familiar, David Byrnes created a sound installation called Playing the Building, in which he turns the infrastructure of the Battery Maritime Building in New York into a giant musical instrument. He used a retro organ and placed it in the center of the room and asked the audience by painting on the floor to "please play."

After I signed a waiver that i didn't even read I walked up a few flights of stairs anticipating what I was about to see. I walked into the huge space and was confronted with an old beat up pipe organ that sat in the middle of an old, paint peeling, and well-abandoned room. The space was beautifully lit in an almost sacred way from the sun that was shining in from the skylit ceiling. The lighting made the organ seem as though it were glowing on an altar of some sort.

Attached to the organ were many tubes and wires hanging on to the ceiling and also to the organ. It was hard to not be overwhelmed by the amount of tubes and wires that fell from the ceiling and were connected to the organ, they made a drawing of their own. I wasnt sure who was keeping who going. Was the building keeping the organ alive, or was the organ keeping the building alive. After a few seconds of being in the room I noticed that the organ was connected to the room to make music and I kind of felt like the organ was keeping the room alive. The room was definitely alive with the sound and with the energy that was being produced by this organ.

I wasn't sure where to start so I began by slowly walking around the strange and enormous room. I began by following the clanks that I was hearing as someone else was taking their turn playing this organ. I found that the clanks were actually being made by small hand-built hammer like devices. Each time a person would strike a key it would then activate one of the devices to come in contact with some thing in the space and make a sound. The sound resonated beautifully through old metal columns, pipes and such.

I looked up and around and saw so many of these little devices that were attached with wires from the organ to objects that were a part of the interior of the building structure; for example the metal beams, the plumbing, and the radiators were used to make these devices produce sound. These little machines will vibrate, strike and also blow across the elements of the building creating vaguely familiar and finely tuned sounds. They do not produce sound themselves, but they do cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument that the visitors waited patiently to play.

The space was very alive as well as very exciting. There were about 40 people in the room while I was there and each person seemed to be completely entranced by the installation. There was a line of folks waiting patiently for their turn to take the stage and play the building. As each person ended their performance the existing crowd would follow up with clapping as though the inexperienced organ player had just finished an actual musical performance. Some people in the crowd were sitting on the floor against a wall almost as though they had been sitting there all day watching different performances within the space.

I waited patiently in the long line to take my turn on the organ. It was really an amazing experience to have a few minutes to play this piece. I played a duo with my friend Fritz. I couldn't help but to strike a key and figure out which part of the space I was activating. I felt like more of an investigator than a performer. The experience of playing the organ was one I can't really even describe. What I can say is that it was pretty awesome to be an active part of this piece.

I will definitely make another trip to New York before August 10 which is when the show closes in hopes to spend a bit more time in the space. I need to go back up and spend a day in the space and not have to rush back someplace to catch a bus. I would like to be alone in the room and see what that feels like.

Friday, June 27, 2008

school in the summer.

school is in again for another summer. 1 week in. and my brain already hurts. in a good way. i love these 6 weeks of every year. even if i have no time for anybody. or anything. it is quite nice to be 100 percent submerged in the things i am working on. i am so happy to be having the conversations i am having. being around the folks that keep me ticking. i saw a great artist talk last night. james rouvelle. he is on the faculty at mica. and at bard. for those of you who are not familiar with him. get familiar with him. he makes really amazing interactive and sound based art. i was completely blown away by his talk. and the things he had to say. after a conversation with him today i want to make timers for my sound work. thats my first mission to accomplish. wish me luck.

Monday, May 05, 2008

bottles of sound

sunday. 4 may 2008.

i decided that i wanted to figure out a way to cut the bottom of a glass bottle off and contain speakers in bottles. i had a feeling that the glass would make the sound sound nice. i was right.

i set out sunday morning with two glass bottles in a cardboard box that were playing the sound of laughter. i used some laugh tracks that i had made. and put a track on repeat. and i allowed the bottles to do their thing. i set up the bottles at a few different locations. some spots were a bit more successful than others.

each time i set the box up i would move out of the way and watch people as they interacted with the piece. the reactions i got were pretty much what i expected. most people kind of stopped for a second and realized the sound was coming from what seemed like a box of trash. they would giggle a little. or at least smile. a few people actually stopped entirely even attempted to take the box apart. i was a little nervous because my ipod was in there.

i found the park location to be the most successful location i have chosen thus far. it was quiet enough in the park that one would notice the laughter in passing. and people seemed less on a mission there so they actually stopped. i set up on a few street corners but didnt have too too much success because of the loud sound of traffic passing by. i was amazed by the people that did not even stop. that did not even notice.

this is a project that i am really just getting started. so keep your eyes open. and your ears too. maybe you will get a chance to stumble upon some of my new sound works.

Monday, January 21, 2008

room of laughter

i am currently working on this piece. i am collecting laughter from different sources. all people that i know in situations that i am physically involved in. i am interested in the interactions that happen amongst people. the common everyday experiences that we all share. i have installed the piece once now. and have found a few problems. nothing major though. i am working through the little problems. i am attempting to include one of the many laugh track on this entry. it should work.

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