My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

Much has happened over time at this address, at these addresses, at this location, this building, this structure. Sure, there can be a slight sense of dislocation along any given stretch of street as odd numbers are skipped on the even side of the block, and vice versa on the opposing — how the resulting rough congruences leave open potential voids, missing numbers, interstitial spaces that prove, upon investigation, either purely hypothetical or hidden in plain sight.

But this multi-residence doorbell is something else entirely. Here there is a 1236, and then a 1238A, and also something missing, something forgotten, something erased. Where, to begin with, is the 1238 whose former presence required the “A” to be appended to a separate unit? What was the room to the right of 1236, a space now taped over, not just the label but the button itself? What’s the extra bit of tape above 1236 — what information did it exhibit? Why did 1238A get added on later, using embossed label tape, rather than appear as part of the original doorbell? And finally, what is referenced by the blue tape residue atop the brown metal strip above the buttons? Was there some previous configuration?

In any case, at some point do let the myriad inherent questions recede and take some pleasure in the happenstance construction of the object itself. Blow up the image, marvel at the various textures, and revel at the readymade, Robert Rauschenberg-seeming piece that the world — which is to say: lack of care, combined with time, combined with a need to solve some now deeply obscured problems — has served up.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.

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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


This doorbell may have begun its functional life alone on the front of the small office building. Or, perhaps from day one it shared the entrance with its two neighbors: that blank black face of the card reader and the usefully over-sized gadget providing wheelchair accessibility. Either way, the three objects have little in common except a vague adherence to form, an apparently agreed upon sense that a shallow cuboid object suspended from a facade signals “This is how you get in.” The visual confusion afforded by the additional buttons shouldn’t distract from the peculiar decision-making evidenced within the design of the doorbell itself. Note how the surveillance camera’s circular computer eye is significantly larger than the actual doorbell button itself, thus complicating the wayfinding message. In any case, somewhere along the line someone came to determine that when there are multiple interactive objects awaiting a visitor, the presence of the doorbell is diminished — hence the now worn label hand-affixed to the doorbell. There is something “Hello, My Name Is” to the ripped paper tag, what with its all-caps writing — as if the doorbell is introducing itself before the visitor does the same.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


An inset panel from Hulk #4 (2017), written by Mariko Tamaki, drawn by Nico Leon, who really get me. Alternate caption: “Superheroes, they’re just like us.”

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


I’ve never been big on Halloween, personally, but even in advance of having a little kid I made peace with it. I’d go for the simplest costume I could imagine. For many years this meant wearing a colorful Superman t-shirt underneath a half-buttoned regular overshirt, which combined with my short dark brown hair and my eyeglasses made me scrawny Clark Kent. This year I’m going for a costume that’s even simpler still: a mere safety pin transforms me into Theodore Twombly, the character played by Joaquin Phoenix in the excellent 2013 Spike Jonze film, *Her*. With his cellphone suspended in breast pocket, Twombly can go for walks with his beloved, a highly advanced AI voiced throughout the film by the disembodied Scarlett Johansson. She in turn views the world through Twombly’s phone’s camera. And, no, I didn’t grow a mustache for the occasion.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


Used record stores have their own logic, both fluid and impenetrable.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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