An Empty Orchestra

Clerici / 2017
As part of Fictional Journal Issue 02

Based on fragments from the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano website, Empty Orchestra is an absurd script composed of object lists and object names from Salone product libraries: adjectives, nouns, verbs and chronological word use, with, words, phrases and loaded expressions associated with design. With a backing track of ‘easy listening’ sound used on the Salone website (2016), Empty Orchestra is performed through spoken word, concrete poetry and karaoke, live within the context of the fair.
The offcial Salone del Mobile website hosts all promotional material and facilitative communication for the fair. The website is an archive charting both technical and emotional information relating to the ‘design fair’, including press releases, interactive maps, brand catalogues, product libraries, inspirations, advertisements, interviews as well as exhibition, visitor, exhibitor and media information. Its extensive display of materials mediates a kaleidoscope of consumer goods through design ideologies and “novel concepts for living”. The website demonstrates a dichotomy between design ideologies and its general output as consumer products. Endless scenographies showcase props for living (table, bed, container) surrounded by linguistic value beyond their form, such as “ethical and social commitment,” “design of the future,” “improve people’s quality of life” and “the most meaningful and profound issues of contemporary.”

By using fragmentary and incomplete material clippings the existence of mutually incompatible and antithetical meanings can occur. It creates a skewed, slightly mocking narrative of the Salone’s marketing ideology. A satirical comment on the rhetoric and disinformation of commodity culture and consumption.

Note: This was performed live and in a participatory way with an audience / consumers / journalists etc. This text/soundscape is to be performed live, using the tools of the tools of a DJ, dual vocals and large-scale visuals; a hybrid between performance lecture and DJ set. This work was developed for Fictional Journal Issue 02. It specifically relates to the Salone Del Mobile context and mediation.

w/ Gabriel A. Maher for Fictional Journal Issue 2 Propaganda, 2017.