Measuring Device with Organs (Instrumental and A Cappella)

In the spring of 2019, as part of “Moving at the Tempo of a Broken Song,” an exhibition curated by Eugenia Delfini at Bard’s Hessel Museum, I presented Measuring Device with Organs (Instrumental and A Cappella). The installation is an adaptation of Measuring Device with Organs (Triple Canopy, 2018) and includes a two-channel version of the LP alongside new artworks and objects from my collection: personal artifacts, ceramics, hi-fi propaganda, records by Led Zeppelin and ABBA, a textile and artist book by my grandmother, etc. The installation is a listening test—the visitor is prompted to evaluate the accuracy of reproductions of tanpura drones and of the speech of the prototypical Midwestern man—as well as a portrait of an expert listener. Below are a selection of images of artworks, photos of the installation, and a checklist.

Measuring Device with Organs (Instrumental and A Cappella), 2019
Installation with variable media, two-channel audio (40 min. each), artworks by the artist and objects from his collection. Each channel of the audio work (which is divided into instrumental and a cappella tracks) plays on two adjacent sets of Grado Prestige Series headphones.

Artworks and objects on display
Alexander Provan, Midnight Dream Components (Mugs), 2019, porcelain
Abba, The Visitors, Atlantic Records 1981, vinyl record
Alexander Provan, Self-portrait as Steve Hoffman of Steve Hoffman Music Forums, 2019, C-print
Unknown maker, Mexico, carved face, date unknown, stone
Katherine Victorino (Acoma Pueblo), hand-coiled pot, c. 2010, clay
Alexander Provan, Time Alignment, 2019, C-print
Led Zeppelin, “Black Dog” b/w “Misty Mountain Hop” (Atlantic Records), 1972, vinyl record
Piano Solo: Moonlight Sonata, Moderné Editions 1936, sheet music for Ludwig von Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 14, C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2
Unknown maker, Tibet, prayer bell, mid-20th century, brass
Sara Provan, untitled, c. 1960, dye transfer print
Sara Provan, Largo, 1954, screen print on cotton, designed for and produced by Konwiser, Inc.
Alexander Provan, Improving on Perfection, 2019, C-print
Unknown maker, Bolivia, carved bird, date unknown, stone
Unknown maker (Santa Clara Pueblo), black-on-black jar, c. 2000, clay
Maria Callas, Verdi: La Traviata, Angel Records 1958, Double vinyl record
David Horvitz, vase, hand-blown blue and black glass, 2016
Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. 2, Columbia Records 1970, vinyl record
Alexander Provan, Midnight Dream Components (Mugs), 2019, glass
Alexander Provan, Frequency Response, 2019, C-print
Sara Provan, untitled artist book, 1971, ink and acrylic on paper
Leadbelly, Rock Island Line, Folkways Records 1953, vinyl record
Dwo Wen Chen, white vase, c. 2015, porcelain

Alexander Provan, Frequency Response, 2019, C-print.

Alexander Provan, Improving on Perfection, 2019, C-print.

Alexander Provan, Self-portrait as Steve Hoffman of Steve Hoffman Music Forums, 2019, C-print.

Alexander Provan, Time Alignment, 2019, C-print.

Alexander Provan, Midnight Dream Components (Mugs), 2019, porcelain.

Alexander Provan, Midnight Dream Components (Mugs), 2019, porcelain.

Alexander Provan, Midnight Dream Components (Mugs), 2019, porcelain.

Alexander Provan, Midnight Dream Components (Mugs), 2019, porcelain.

Installation view from “Moving at the Tempo of a Broken Song,” Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, April 7–May 26, 2019. Curated by Eugenia Delfini. Photo: Chris Kendall.

Installation view from “Moving at the Tempo of a Broken Song,” Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, April 7–May 26, 2019. Curated by Eugenia Delfini. Photo: Chris Kendall.

Installation view from “Moving at the Tempo of a Broken Song,” Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, April 7–May 26, 2019. Curated by Eugenia Delfini. Photo: Chris Kendall.