In Futurum

Jason Charney
Finalist

Erwin Schulhoff’s “In Futurum” for solo piano (1919) contains only rests in both hands, ornamented by cryptic articulations like question marks, smiles made of slurs, and absurd directions (“play the whole piece with expression and feeling freely, always, to the very end!“).

This silent sound installation uses light to “play” an interpretation of Schulhoff’s Dadaist piece, exploring the rhythmic phrasing and counterpoint between the carefully notated rests while respecting its lack of sonic presence.

Schulhoff’s career was cut short by the Nazis, who declared his music “degenerate,” and he died in a concentration camp in 1942.

The piano is thwarted as a sound-maker in “In Futurum,” becoming a boneyard of felt, wood, and wire. Schulhoff’s silent music pulses through the broken instrument, hauntingly alive as rhythmic light.

In Futurum

Jason Charney
Finalist

Artist Statement

Jason Charney
Finalist

My practice as a sound artist cultivates a mutual exchange among listener and functional object, space and place in multimedia and site-specific installations. I’m interested in resonance, both as it relates to the sonic materialities of objects and sites as well as their interdependent histories and functions. My work also utilizes “hidden” interactions, relying upon the small changes that can propagate throughout a system to construct and disrupt a sonic or visual surface. Through the use of software algorithms, the gestures in my installations reject the single temporal perspective of composed music, instead existing in nonlinear sonic structures whose form is largely determined by each listener’s active consent and movement through a space.