Quote of the Week The Cacophony of Mice

This is artist Gail Wight, in response to a question at a talk she gave Thursday night, September 24, at Stanford University. A member of the audience asked whether her Rodentia pieces, in which hair-trigger mechanisms allow mice to play sounds, often en masse, had been thought of as compositions by music critics. (That’s a rough paraphrase of the question.) She answered:

    “It’s definitely just cacophony, which fits comfortably in contemporary music.”

Later on, Wight talked about electricity’s potential for being emotive, by which she may have been referencing how simple mechanisms, like the light emitted in some of her works with butterflies, suggest life, and how the growth of slime molds are given drama and allure in her color-rich, time-lapse videos.

More on Wight, who is currently the artist in residence at the San Francisco Center for the Book, at stanford.edu. Images of her Rodentia Chamber Music at flickr.com.

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