Chelsea Leventhal


Single-channel sound piece created for the project "Performing the Black Mountain Archive" at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
Archival material from Black Mountain College, namely rector Charles Olson reading two of his poems on campus in 1954, is reanimated with a single subwoofer. The recording of Olson’s booming, masculine voice reading “The Songs of Maximus” and “The Kingsfishers” is processed in such a way that layers of bass frequencies, resonance, and noise are isolated and re-combined at will. The words may become incomprehensible as the voice is repeatedly forced to a point of distortion, or completely disappears into a wash of high frequencies, but the diction remains detectable and present as the driving force beneath the meaning.