Our current work, The Listening Array, has three distinct manifestations: a site-specific installation currently on view at Whittier College’s Greenleaf Gallery, a large related photograph, and this video, which is shown on a television monitor incorporated into the installation.
Inspired by the social politics of the Reagan-era Cold War, issues of class and the notion of noblesse oblige — the concept of benevolent, honorable behavior that is considered to be the responsibility of persons of high birth or rank — The Listening Array is a study in the small personal interactions that influence the larger world.
The audio is from an 1878 Russian choral piece, Вы жертвою пали (You Fell Victims). Here’s a translation of the last few stanzas:
And the tyrant is feasting in luxurious palaces
Drowning his anguish in wine
But the deadly hand is drawing
Threatening letters on the wall.
Tyranny shall fall and the people will rebel
The great powerful and free people
Farewell our brothers! You have walked with honor
Your road of worthiness and nobility.
We will keep the video on YouTube until the exhibition closes on April 4, 2008.
* YouTube doesn’t allow resizing of its videos, which is the reason the video is cropped on this blog. We recommend double-clicking on the video to see it in its native YouTube setting rather than hitting the play button to watch it on our blog.