This room also contains a sound element which follows Duchamp's
instructions of his "Musical Erratum" for The Large Glass. His
notes proposed a "random" or chance composition by having notes
selected through "new" mechanical process. While this procedure
has been undertaken by Peter Kotik, John Cage, and others, the computer
was not the Machine that randomly selected the notes. The computer "chance"
composition and performance adheres perfectly to Duchamp's proposal. The
"delay" stereo effects also refer to Duchamp's term of "Delay
in Glass" rather than "painting on glass" as well as the
more common association of "stereo" as sound.
Unfinshable: for a designated musical instrument (player Piano, mechanical organs or other new instruments for which the virtuoso intermediary is suppressed); the order of succession is (to taste) interchangeable; the time which separates each roman numeral will probably be constant (?) but it may vary from one performance to another; a very useless performance in any case.
An apparatus automatically recording fragmented musical periods (1913)
Duchamp's proposed system for a musical composition suggested the use of a funnel, a toy train with open trucks, and balls to be placed in the funnel. The balls are numbered and represent separate notes. Chance decides the order in which the balls land in the trucks: this in turn decides the tonal sequence of the composition, which is thus made variable.
The computer serves as both the machine for composition and the "new instrument" for the performance of this proposed piece, through a program designed to randomly select notes and play them in "chance" sequences.
For the Duration of this installation. A Macintoch IIsi played a musical composition program created to Duchamps specifications. This program written by Tony Rozak in Supercard for this project selected a random note from the range of and a random duration of eigth note, quarter not, half note or whole note. A sample recording of this compostion can be heard by downloading the file:
|Duchamp home page|main room|