The Wire

In Writing

Maria Chavez: A Portal for turntablism, sound art and more

June 2013

The New York based sound artist and experimental turntablist shares her favourite online resources on turntablism, sound and visual art.

Vinyl Interventions
There’s a lot of sites out there dealing with the history of turntables and vinyl. I love looking through them just to see the creative (and sometimes crazy) ideas of phonograph makers and artists. This website was created by Carrie Gates, an artist based in Saskatoon, Canada and covers much on the subject of turntables and vinyl as an art form in its own right.

Canadian Electroacoustic Community
I was recently invited to contribute an essay on turntablism to the online journal of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC). They've also started a wiki on turntablism that you can find on their site. There's some really interesting content there, such as articles written by Christopher DeLaurenti and Wolfgang Fuchs, interviews with different turntablists, alongside video links and photo galleries. This is a really comprehensive resource.

SynthGear: How to pirate a vinyl record
Though many people probably already know about this page, I have to point out this great article about how to pirate/copy your own record – and another post showing what record grooves look like under a microscope, which is loosely what my t-shirt design for The Wire was inspired by.

Art Of Failure
"Listen to the surface of the Earth transposed to vinyl record. Can we hear the Earth? Not the sounds occurring upon it, but the Earth's geophysical scale?" When I first read these quotes from Art Of Failure’s description of their Flat Earth Society project, I was really intrigued. For this project, the brilliant artist collective founded by Nicolas Maigret and Nicolas Montgermont, converted the Earth’s elevation data into an audio waveform and then imprinted it on vinyl. I thought it was a really creative way to think about vinyl art. The duo is based in France and have many other cool projects on their website.

A Tropical Ear
This blog affirms itself as "a personal collection of sonic images”. I found an image from my book in there earlier this year and was fascinated by all the images that this collector was able to find. You can spend so much time staring at the images, it’s a very inspiring blog.

Ear Room
I was first turned on to Ear Room when they wrote about the Her Noise Symposium at the Tate Modern last year. I really like the format of this website and they cover some of my favorite sound artists. According to their own description: "Ear Room is a quarterly online interview publication focusing on the complex use of sound in artistic practice. It offers a platform for rigorous, insightful and critical engagement within the field of sound, and its broader contexts."

Who Wore It Better
This blog isn't necessarily related to sound art as much as it is to art in general. It’s an ongoing visual research project presenting relationships and common practices across contemporary art. This platform was created to promote formal and conceptual dialogue over originality. It's a bit unsettling to see how similar some of the works are.