The five pieces that comprise A Gradual Accumulation of Ideas Becomes Truth originate from a series of long form studio improvisations that were recorded, forgotten, and later edited over the course of a year. Using a modular synthesizer as the primary sound source, complex patches were constructed, recorded, and quickly dismantled, with the intention of using the stereo recordings as the basis for new compositions at a later date. “My work always privileges the act of listening; it is rarely about performance. After I recorded these initial sessions, I forced myself to forget about their construction, to un-learn how I made them, allowing myself the opportunity to experience them as sound objects. It is at that point where my composition process begins.”
This recuperative practice, first explored in Organs (2015, Dragon’s Eye Recordings), was influenced by Crouch’s growing interest in certain archeological spaces. After driving past the “Early Man Site” in the Mojave Desert, he later learned that it was an archeological site with contested historic significance. Despite credible evidence to suggest that there had been no pre-historic human activity at this site, the claims made by the site’s founders have since become a kind of truth, evidenced by county highway signage, literature, and other institutional frames. As much as archeology is a process of recovery, it is also a means of cultural construction. “I began to consider other archeological, historical, and literary “sites,” their relationship to documentation, evidence, and media, and how meaning is produced. By placing my own practice within this frame, I was also able to refigure the act listening as a method of production.”
1. Hohle Fels
2. 3184 Pullman, Costa Mesa, 1974
3. Limbo Town (Croatoan)
4. Bellona (version 0-375-70668-2)
5. Potbelly Hill
Mastered by Lawrence English.
cover image: Lauren Marsolier, Black Square, 2011. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco.
Special thanks to Yann Novak, Richard Chartier, Karen Lofgren, and Marc Kate.
Robert Crouch is an artist and curator whose work encompasses sound, performance, and technology. As an artist, he locates his work with the intersection of post-phenomenological listening practices, conceptual sound art, and contemporary electronic music. At it’s core, his work can be understood as a conversation between tonality, context, history and subjectivities. Similarly, Crouch’s curatorial work focuses on the overlapping disciplines of sound, technology, movement, and performance.
In 2014 he organized the North American premiere of Sphæræ, a large-scale inflatable performance space and public artwork by Dutch artist Cocky Eek. He is currently co-curating Juan Downey: Radiant Nature, a survey of early interactive and performance work of the late Chilean artist as part of the Getty initiative, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.
Crouch is the former Associate Director/Curator at LACE, where he curated solo exhibitions with artists Karen Lofgren, Gina Osterloh, Steve Roden, Sean Sullivan, and Margo Victor, and performances with artists including William Basinski, Celer, Lawrence English, Dominick Fernow, and Yann Marussich. He is also the founding partner of VOLUME, a curatorial project that functions as a catalyst for interdisciplinary new media work through exhibitions, performances, events, lectures, and publications, and has worked with a wide range of artists including William Basinski, Nate Boyce, Frank Bretschneider, Richard Chartier, Heather Cassils, Celer, Loren Chasse, William Fowler Collins, Tim Hecker, Isis, France Jobin, Kadet Kuhne, Lucky Dragons, Mamiffer, Carsten Nicolai, Yann Novak, taisha paggett, Steve Roden, Terre Thaemlitz, Julie Tolentino, and Christopher Willits.