crop circles (installation)

sound installation
malibu art ranch
malibu, california

crop circles was one of my earliest installations using sound. it was initially first presented during an exhibition in december 1996. the show was called “they came from beyond”, and took place at the malibu art ranch – which was, essentially, a large old mansion in malibu canyon that i believe was somewhat vacant. “crop circles” was softly playing in a small alcove inside a small 1940′s bungalow. i crafted a handmade silver “listening cushion”, so that one might spend some time listening. the piece also faced a window – and hence, the landscape. all of the sounds were generated by sampling and looping a microphone interacting with a speaker.

on the wall above the cushion was a tiny frame – the size of a postcard, along with an image of a crop circle and the following text:

from 1965 -1978 professor bryan r. evets made several journeys to a farm near trent bayle, ireland to study a crop circle formation. many believed, and still believe, that these circles were created by an alien life form or the result of the earth’s contact with a ufo.
evets was certain, that the energy patterns detected at crop circle sites would offer a most important clue to an overall understanding of the phenomenon.
on his last visit, during 1978, armed with an array of electronic equipment* and a portable tape recorder, professor evets made these recordings of the energy patterns and radio frequencies found at the center of the crop circle site.
*equipment included: a diode receiver, magnetic emissions register, cross-radio frequency magnifier, particle resonance generator, etc.

the text, of course, was entirely untrue, and this piece was probably the only time i approached the idea of deception/misinformation in relation to the context and “reading” of the work. when the piece was released on CD a year later, the fictional text was not present, and in its place a poetic text by brandon labelle.