NSA/USA: Sound as Prophecy – MANIFESTA 10, 2014

Click Image for Video Documentation warren_neidich_nsa_usa_manifesta10

NSA-USA takes as it point of departure the recent citizen spying scandal emanating from the activities of the National Security Agency. Both American and citizens outside the United States were surveilled and there is disagreement as to the whether Edward Snowden is a hero or a villain. As such this work is an investigation of the nature of doubt. The work is part of a larger project entitled Scoring the Archive in which images sampled from differing existing archives are transferred on to musical score paper where they provide the necessary conditions, called graphic scores, for their recital by experienced experimentally versed musicians. During my April 2013 residency at Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, Egypt, I collected images from newspapers and magazines from the time between the Egyptian Spring and the recent ouster of President Mohamed Mursi's government. These were used to produce graphic scores which were then performed by twenty-seven Egyptian musicians. In a similar manner images collected from various on-line websites concerned with the NSA surveillance scandal were collected and transferred on to long strips of scotch tape in which photocopies of musical staffs upon acetate were imbedded. These images were mixed with various musical notations that were purposefully deconstructed, misaligned and reversed to create an anarchic score of non-sense. It is this denunciation of the normal notation of musical scripting and narration that sets up the possibility for complete subjective re interpretations of these events by the performers and talks about the power of artists to create alternative interpretations to historical events opposed to institutional ones. Emily Harvey Foundation, November  15, 16, 2013 Special thanks to Christian Xatrec, Loui Terrier (videographer), and all the performers: Cristian Amigo, Joshua Carro, Michael Day, Gisburg, Rosemarie Hertlein, James Ilgenfritz, Dafna Naphtali, Brian McCorkle, Esther Neff, Kevin Norton, Fahad Siadat, Andrea Young.