Marco Fusinato ‘SPECTRAL ARROWS: Sydney’ (above: back/front cover)
Planam, P031, LP, 2014
Spectral Arrows is an ongoing series of long-duration performances for guitar and electronics. In Spectral Arrows, Fusinato arrives at the venue when it opens for business, sets up his equipment facing a wall and proceeds to play for the whole day until the end of business hours. Fusinato presents himself here in the guise of a worker, clocking on and unceremoniously clocking off at the end of the working day, refusing to allow the behind-the-scenes mystery of rehearsals and preparations to lend an aura to the performance, and affirming the deskilled ethos of his work. For the audience, the length of the performance frustrates the expectation of a manageable form, forcing all but the hardiest audience members to content themselves with only a fragment of the whole. Even for those who stick it out, the extended duration, like in the late works of Morton Feldman, destroys the listener’s ability to retain and assess the structure of the performance. Breaking with both the traditional form of the musical performance and, through Fusinato’s resolutely anti-social position facing away from the audience, the standard affective relationship between audience and performer, the sound of Spectral Arrows becomes a monumental aural sculpture, filling the space, not with steel or concrete, but with vibrations travelling through air.
Spectral Arrows: Sydney was recorded at Artspace Sydney in 2012 during The Color of the Sky Has Melted, a survey exhibition of Fusinato’s recent projects. Fusinato performed facing a large, purpose-built wall that bisected the exhibition space and displayed his Double Infinitives series (large-scale works that appropriate from the print media the archetypal image of the riot: the masked protagonist who brandishes a rock against a backdrop of fire). Fusinato’s sculpture Aetheric Plexus, which unleashes 13,00 watts of white light and a 105db blast of white noise when triggered by the audience, was active in the space during the performance and provides an aleatoric counterpoint throughout the recording. The crushing volume and harshness of the performance is intensified throughout by the reverberant gallery space, which creates a swirling, almost psychedelic effect as Fusinato’s sounds bounce from wall to wall.
Spectral Arrows: Sydney condenses a six-hour performance into under forty minutes. Compared to the rapid-fire cut-ups of Spectral Arrows: Rotterdam (De Player, 2013), the pacing here is more measured. Disorientating explorations of asynchronous stereo fields fade into periods of minimal drone, broken by the distant eruption of Aetheric Plexus; bottom-heavy oscillations give way to pointillist chatter; continuous streams of hum and crackle grow steadily until they form monumental aural sculptures.
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