eyes closed listening

1997 - 2003
mixed media
on paper
mostly small size

from 1997 – 2003, i created hundreds of drawings with my eyes closed while listening to sounds. the hope was that with my eyes closed, the sound would begin to determine the movements of my hands, and thus the resulting images (which i could not see during the process of making them) were more determined by listening than by looking.

the first was made in a liverpool hotel in 1997, and many of subsequent works were also created while traveling. during the initial session it seemed that with my eyes closed my engagement to what i was listening to was deeper because of the absence of visual distraction. over the years, these small works on paper became part of my travel experience, usually making drawings in locations i visit for the first time.

it is important to understand that the process was emphatically not about notating sound nor mapping sound, but to create a situation where sound could ignite the act of drawing and/or painting; and i consider the resulting works as simply visual artifacts of an activity of both listening and responding physically to sounds … and every time i open my eyes to see the resulting drawing, i am surprised.

i should also mention that i consider these drawings to be field recordings, as they are a static record of the audio activity that occurred in certain places or moments.

the drawings are usually small in scale and exhibited in framed clusters (salon style)…

here is a text short text from 2008:

these drawings were made with eyes
while listening to a space
or place or event.

with eyes closed, one can still
make a drawing
(or other visual things).
the act of drawing can also
be an act of listening,
more ears than eyes.

these drawings,
suggest a connection between
drawing and ‘recording’ sound.

drawing is a physical act of recording.
drawing also opens one up to listening.

listening to the sound of a pencil
or brush
while drawing is like
a mobius strip.

these drawings are a result
of my activities
as a listener…