The Why of the What
In one of the breakout group discussions I was particularly struck by a phrase mentioned by one of our members, he was interested in exploring “the why of the what.”
Theory and practice (or the technical aspects of practice) are often seen as separate things in academic study, but as any practicing artist knows they are one and the same, inexorably intertwined and anyone who ignores one over the other does so to their own detriment.
But, I must admit that I was hit right in the forehead by this innocent question of “why?”
After years of crafting sound scores for the stage, building MAX/msp patches for interactive installations, soldering up circuits and performing in an electronic noise band I had fully immersed myself in as many of the technical aspects of sound art as I could. The “what” (or how) of what I was doing seemed pretty clear to me.
And recently as I have been teaching others about these practices, I have lectured about how to contextualize a sound experience that was part of a fine art practice or non-traditional music performance. So I thought I was starting to get a handle on some of the theory, but then the question of “why” came up.
Why do we do this?
I am not concerned about the broad existential question of why humans make art (which is the potentially too broad path this discussion may go down).
But specifically I wonder, why sound art?
Why do we do the particular things that we do?
I have been thinking and I have some ideas for myself, but I am wondering if anyone else is interested in discussing why they do what they do.
Why do you make “sound art”?