Jennie C. Jones "The Walkman Compositions"

Smack Mellon

poster for Jennie C. Jones "The Walkman Compositions"

This event has ended.

Smack Mellon presents the first solo exhibitions for 2009. The exhibitions feature the work of Jennie C. Jones.

"This series of collage and ink on paper deconstructs the first mass-produced personal stereo listening device, the Walkman, reducing its design to sparse formal elements. Focusing on WM designs manufactured between 1981-1986, the work hearkens back to the visual ideology of Bauhaus, a German school of design founded by Walter Gropius in 1919, that addressed fundamental questions of craftsmanship vs. mass production and the practical purpose of formal beauty in commonplace objects. Other innovations commonly associated with the Bauhaus include the use of radically simplified form and the idea that the machine is reconcilable with individual artistic spirit. But what of the narrowing space between design, desire, and consumption, not to mention the cultural weight associated with the musical content played on such a device or the ability to ‘curate’, particularly in the age of the iPod?"

"The title Walkman Composition functions as a double entendre. I will also present Suite for Cassette, Flute and Percussion which uses the “auto reverse” or direction button on a Walkman, to create an audio work that lavishes in the crude sound of transitions of sides A and B. The source for this piece is the 1969 Elvin Jones (no relation) LP “Poly-Currents” reissued on cassette tape in 1985, the same year as the WM-24, on which my sound piece was created. Presented on flat panel speakers, the sound piece inserts black modernist history into the aforementioned conversation, linking early avant-garde art aesthetics with those of ‘hard bop’ and the deconstructionist style of jazz drummer Elvin Jones. The installation also includes small objects. These works are a commemoration of the tangible aspects of how we listen to music, presenting cassette liner notes made from hand brushed aluminum as well as works made from empty cassette cases and titled after the recordings they once contained."



from January 17, 2009 to February 22, 2009

Opening Reception on 2009-01-17 from 17:00 to 20:00


Jennie C. Jones

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