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Open Access Publications from the University of California

JOYGRIEF: A Collaged Interview

  • Author(s): Jones, Chelsea Evangeline
  • Advisor(s): Merchant, Tanya
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

JOYGRIEF is a multiple-channel sound installation. It is an 8-channel interview collage involving field recorded samples of interviews conducted by the artist. The main focus of the interviews are death, mortality, and joy, and go into more specific topics such as the deaths of loved ones, war, suicide, feelings regarding one’s own mortality, cultural practices surrounding death, and more. The clips are played randomly from random speakers interspersed with silence in order to create a confrontational and uneasy environment that is at the same time immersive, reflective, and minimalist. Within this sound collage common and divergent themes emerge, connecting visitors to the human experience and leaving them to meditate on some of life’s most difficult feelings.

Speakers are arranged in an evenly-distributed circle (or, octagon) within a plain white-walled space. People can stand in the middle of the speakers or walk around and between them. The speakers are placed on stands to be nearer to ear-height. The speakers are connected to an 8-channel interface and interview clips are randomized and distributed by a Max patch.

This piece is an exercise in exorcising my own personal experiences with and feelings toward death and mortality as well as tackling the Zeitgeist of this era. This Zeitgeist is metaphorical and actual death and destructive change that is happening politically, socially, economically, ecologically, religiously, intellectually, etc. all over the world and which can be seen plainly even within our own UCSC microcosm.

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