summer of love
summer of love
Carbon fiber, kevlar, fiberglass, Flax cloth, 22K gold, acrylic, wood, steel, aluminum, speakers. Dimensions variable. Kinetic, 16 channel audio, 23 minute loop.
Douglas Henderson’s summer of love is a large, multi-component sound/sculpture installation consisting of 21 giant kinetic flowers made of kevlar, carbon fiber and fiberglass. Ranging up to 250 centimeters in height, each flower sits atop an upward-pointed loudspeaker, and a mechanism which allows it to rotate according to the vibrations of the speaker membrane. A 16-channel electroacoustic composition constructed around beat poet Gregory Corso’s controversial poem BOMB, in which he satirically idolizes nuclear weaponry, broadcasts from the flower blossoms. This in turn drives the whirling choreography of the garden and creates a highly complex soundfield, as frequencies, reflections and doppler shifts continually re-spatialize the soundtrack.
summer of love plays on the paradoxical fear of, and dependence on, the threat of global annihilation. Our obsessive fears of apocalypse, nourished by the media, seem to become the subject of a bizarre fashion show: each generation has its threat. In 1967 it was the atom bomb, while today global warming competes with ISIS on the catwalk of doom. With this new work Henderson embraces these fears as a means of conquering them, cultivating a dancing garden to survive the Flood.
Featuring readings by actors Meret Becker, Anna Clementi, Julia Stefani Möller, and Hedda Oledzki, the composition weaves together the readings of the poem, cross-synthesized with archival material and percussion phrases played by Tony Buck.