This is the splendid logo/poster that’s part of the upcoming Apex Art exhibit As Real as It Gets, organized by Rob Walker, for which I’m handling sound design aspect, largely through the collective efforts of the Disquiet Junto. Per the date on the poster, there will be a live Disquiet Junto concert event at Apex Art in Manhattan on November 27, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The beautiful image is by Oliver Munday:
The list of participants in the concert will become public as the event approaches.
In a post at his Design Observer blog (“Listening to Retail”), Walker gets into some detail about what we’re up to. The exhibit overall is a fascinating exploration of the “fictional products, imaginary brands, hypothetical advertising and speculative objects.”
Disquiet Junto, under Marc’s direction, will create “sonic branding” on behalf of an imaginary retailer: The Ladies’ Paradise, the seduction-machine of a department store at the center of Zola’s 1883 novel of the same name. More precisely, we’re positing a sort of contemporary iteration of the store — maybe you could say, “If the Ladies’ Paradise were real and existed today, how would this unique retail brand sound?”He’s been keeping an enthusiastic, curious, and sensitive ear on the Junto projects as they’ve developed:
I’ve found the listening experience to be totally fascinating, drawing into aural focus details like the mad peeping of a battery of checkout counters at a busy store, an unanswered phone that never stops ringing, the processed voices of official announcements (“Please follow the instructions on the pinpad”) and the murmer and chatter of shoppers. (All this became particularly interesting to me as I lost track of which were real field recordings, and which were artificial.)Read Rob’s full piece at designobserver.com. More on Munday at olivermunday.com. More on the concert event, which is being billed as a “speculative sound performance,” and the exhibit, which runs from November 15 through December 22, at apexart.org.
I didn’t really realize how much the listening experience here had affected me until I found myself in a waiting room recently, at our veterinarian’s office. The machine sounds of the air conditioning, the interlocking but disconnected out-of-sight conversations, the mysterious and clicks and clunks I couldn’t actually identify: Suddenly it was all crystal clear, and oddly riveting.