Turntable Transendence




This project is the result of my interaction with the turntable and my own impulse to stare fixedly at a silent, spinning Technics table as an idea of contemplation and meditation. I sat and watched the turntable spin for five hours in a dark atmosphere. Initially I thought to test my limits on the length of time I could focus on a spinning object. As time passed, I became less aware of my surroundings and more focused on my expanding state of consciousness. I became less aware of time and more aware of the brilliance of the lights reflecting from the turntable. It was hypnotic; I entered a deep state.

As I planned this project, I wanted to experiment with different people's reaction to the continuous spin of a turntable. Originally I planned to spin the turntable in silence, but the idea shifted. Why not any spinning object then? I wondered about the focus of contemplation that is a turntable and its association with music. I then added sound to the project which is connected to my own practice a musician. It was my interest to remove the turntable from its traditional space of the “DJ/audience” environment and to build a space for sensory-affected contemplation. As the viewer watches the carousel spin (visible only by the turntable's lights), a soundtrack of subtle atmospheric sounds are heard with traces of keyboard and turntable-generated noise. The speaker is positioned behind the turntable and therefore is not visible to the eye.

The general motif and design of this installation relates to sphere. The space is enclosed by a circular black curtain; the seat that the participant sits upon is a circular meditation cushion and it is situated in front of the circular spinning turntable. This creates a central focus and a balance in the installation. I recaptured the atmosphere of my original self-experiment with a dark atmosphere of an enclosed, dark, personal space. I received feedback form one participant who explained that it was if the space had swallowed their being whole.

The process of creating this work connects to my interest with pop culture/media as well as my exploration in contemplation. My initial goal was to appropriate the turntable into a space of sensory experience, closer to meditation than musical entertainment. The act of using a turntable for the soundtrack built a stronger connection to the visual, spatial and conceptual essence of the work. I am beginning to understand the relationship of metaphysics and technology in my practice and this work has left me wanting to explore the possibilities of function in the further realms of meditation.

Video Documentation