Workshop|Weinviertler Fotowochen | 04. 08. 2012 - 11. 08. 2012
opening: 4.8.2012 10 Uhr
A workshop that focuses on sound: finding it, producing it, manipulating
it, using it as material.
John Duncan portrays his work as a catalyst, inciting a transmission of energy through which he seeks to compel the audience to actively participate in the process of investigation and self-discovery. His lengthy career of electroacoustic intensity and confrontational performance art events is the result of rigorous investigations into a number of arcane, metaphysical, and at times transgressive themes. Duncan is a rare artist who is totally immersed in existential research. (Jim Haynes, The Wire)
Throughout your oeuvre one can find what seems to be a repeated resistance to language, or at least an insistence that preferences experience over language. Even on your website, the descriptions of each event, performance, installation, etc., are remarkably brief, even vague at times. Though at the same time, language does specifically play a role in certain pieces. More recently I know that CD booklets included in some of your audio releases have included texts which read almost as poetry. I wonder if you'd talk about your relationship with language, how it affects your work and what role it plays within your work, even now.
The work is always about insights, hoping to invoke or describe them. Sometimes they come solely through language, sometimes solely by avoiding it. The work determines an approach that's appropriate, whether or not words expedite or block the experience. Especially when describing an event or installation, I tend to prefer to avoid writing down too many, hoping that the ones that are used help the reader imagine what it was to be there than to be a journalistic report. You're not the first to say they're sometimes vague, so we see how well it works…
(interview by M. Kitchell)