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Ben Vida, Meredyth Sparks, Anthony Elms; Extraction

Ben Vida, Meredyth Sparks, Anthony Elms; Extraction

Future Audio Graphics
FAG 001 LP
Long Playing Record
AUD$32.00

Extraction is a collaboration between composer Ben Vida, visual artist Meredyth Sparks and curtor and writer Anthony Elms. Continuing Vida’s explorations of digital and analog synthesizing systems, Extraction gives particular focus to aural phenomena—engaging electronic, non-representational sounds that appear to cut, move and oscillate on both vertical and horizontal planes.

The conceptual and formal parameters for this release circle around Sparks’s notion of extraction, a practice and theory that foregrounds the cut as it relates to both punk’s visual iconography, the historical avant-garde and contemporary electronic music, as evident in a range of analog-digital technologies (Photoshop, the internet, and analog modular/digital interfaces). The effects of Vida and Sparks’s respective cuts are both subtle and startling, using patterns and repetition to obscure a clear starting point while revealing the carefully assembled construct of sound and image.

Curator and writer Anthony Elms supplies an essay that provides the conceptual glue linking sound and image. Elms’s text explores the phenomenological impact of the visual, aural and physical cut, considering how this force can accentuate an absence, but also make a piece whole and new again.

A tooth. Or shrapnel. Let’s say a tooth. That’s simple impacted wisdom. Some local anesthetic (hopefully). Pliers, forceps, what-have-you: grab the tooth, twist and maybe crack it; crush it a touch (If the situation is real trouble, a drill or scalpel will join in, providing a forced opening). A strong tug follows, with a sloshing schlepping sound, and if lucky the quick and firm pop of release. Looking in, some nerve endings freshly untethered writhe a bit. Thankfully anesthetic stops the rest of the nervous system from processing exactly what their jerky dance implies. Don’t get comfortable in the spacious clearing yet. Now do something about closing that gap. The system is weirdly made more whole through this removal of mass. A split spell cast on the surroundings. Forcibly removed from its place, just a bad tooth in even worse shape, this extraction becomes trash—a fragment, while what is left behind attains a swollen but steadily settling rightness.

- Anthony Elms. April 2013, Philadelphia


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