In a new installation by Wellington artist Richard Reddaway, BYO Music explores a tension between art and design. It is a sound work without a soundtrack, a slick and functional design failure - it is an experiment in art. Reddaway writes
“The work is called BYO Music. I hope people will (bring their own music), but it’s not terribly important that they do. The title is an indicator of lack, of failure, of my inability to provide a soundtrack for an installation that so clearly wants one. But, then, it was originally Product. The objects are, after all, sets of hi-fi speakers; they are, or they might have been, objects of design rather than art. They ought to be clad in lush timber veneers and to be attached to high-end audio gear, wonderful to listen to and look at, objects of beauty and desire. They really ought to be.
Instead I suspect they could be nasty: speakers flowering on brown packing taped boxes budding from the floor, cheap used electrical appliance hardware that might just end up playing ZM/FM. Not design, but art.
Our desires, the things we love, spread, proliferating as weeds. I send my disease, here, in a box.
Tell me, what are your seven all-time favourite pieces of music, your desert island discs? If, after the fall, there were to be nothing, what would you, as one of the survivors, keep?
Play them for us, as art. ”
Richard Reddaway has exhibited consistently in New Zealand and abroad. His recent work has explored contemporary theories of chaos; of emergent and processual forms of order that mix kitsch confections with geometric complexity and pattern. Since 1996 Reddaway has been teaching design at Wellington Polytechnic, which became the Massey University College of Design, Fine Arts and Music in 2000, where he currently holds a position as lecturer in the Department of Art and Design Studies.
Reviews, Essays & Articles
Chaotic Speaker Fun
Artbash - news and reviews of the visual arts in Christchurch
BYO Music/All We Have Is Now
Canta, Issue 11, May 25 2005
Regis and Kathy Lee
Art Beat, The Press, 14 May 2005