THE FETA PRIZE IN SOUND ART 2016 AWARDED TO MICHAEL BOYD
For Immediate Release.
December 23, 2016 in Miami, FL
With 28 blind submissions from 5 countries in the Americas, Michael Boyd is selected as the 2016 winner of the FETA Prize in Sound Art for his work Confessional.
The FETA Prize in Sound Art was established in 2013 to promote a broad range of contemporary American sound and installation arts. In the fourth edition, we received 28 submissions from artists residing in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, and the US. Through a two-stage blindfold evaluation process, the judges Stephen Vitiello and Jeff Snyder chose a small pool of finalists: Randy Gibson’s Quadrilateral Starfield, Erik DeLuca’s 45 Bell Ringers, Brian House’s A Question of Style and Liam Elliot’s GroveI, and Michael Boyd’s Confessional.
Our honorable master judge Annea Lockwood selected the winning work Confessional by Michael Boyd, who will receive a 1,000 USD monetary prize and a spread on the FETA web.
“We’ve all made poor decisions – had one too many drinks, dated the wrong person, overused a credit card, accepted employment at a toxic workplace, and so forth. Some such questionable decisions are artistic in nature. Indeed when looking back on one’s early work, it is easy to have tinges of embarrassment and regret. However, those emotions are often at least partially counterbalanced by feelings of warm nostalgia. I have love/hate feelings about my own early compositions and suspect that many artists have similar relationships with their early output. John Baldessari made this dynamic compellingly tangible in 1970 through his Cremation Project, an undertaking in which he burned all of his paintings, baked some of the resulting ashes into cookies, and publicly announced the act in a newspaper as a sort of obituary. Viewing some of these cookies/ex-paintings several years ago I felt that Baldessari’s approach to his previous work, simultaneously embracing, annihilating, and remaking, was a fitting way to let go of one’s artistic past.
Confessional is a user-driven installation that provides the opportunity for composers to briefly take pleasure in and then (symbolically) destroy one of their dubious creations. This process is accomplished with a computer (running Max or Max Runtime) and a recording provided by the user that is processed live. The audio processing unfolds in stages and mirrors the phases of animal decomposition: fresh, bloat, active decay, advanced decay, and dry remains. Through this series of transformations, the user’s piece transitions from its original state to nearly imperceptible bits of noise. Users may also log this activity into an official registration book, and they may create and take home a frameable certificate commemorating the destruction. Any other way(s) that a user wishes to document the event are encouraged (“selfies,” social media announcements, etc.), and a Facebook page is provided to collect such documentation. For score-based works, implements will be provided to facilitate the physical destruction of scores: paper shredder or scissors for indoor venues, a fire pit or barbecue grill for outdoor venues (if allowed).” MB
About Michael Boyd:
Michael Boyd, Assistant Professor of Music at Chatham University, is a composer, scholar, and experimental improviser. His music embraces experimental practices such as installation, multimedia, and performance art, and has been performed in a variety of venues throughout the United States and abroad. Boyd has published articles in Perspectives of New Music, Tempo, and Notes. He is active in his community, currently serving a second elected term on the Wilkins Township Board of Commissioners. An active cyclist, Boyd often bikes to work and periodically competes in mountain bike races (and has the scars to prove the latter…).
For additional information about Confessional and Michael Boyd, please visit:
Read an interview with our last year’s winner Bryan Jacobs here.
For more information about the FETA prize in Sound Art, please contact Paula Matthusen at firstname.lastname@example.org
With the support of Foundation of Emerging Technologies and Arts, Harold Golen Gallery and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.