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Outer Ear/Inner Eye

5" CDROM $40

In contrast to the visually oriented world of interactive multimedia, Montgomery has created a pure sonic listening experience. This interactive CD-ROM has no visuals - even the cursor is invisible. OUTER EYE/INNER EYE is an intimate concert-for-one as well as a portable audio installation. The listener navigates through a sonic landscape of familiar and unfamiliar sounds by slowly moving the mouse and occasionally clicking.

OUTER EAR/INNER EYE grew out of my affinity for presenting intimate concerts of electronic music in total darkness. In 1983 Berlin composer Conrad Schnitzler introduced me to Cassette Concerts, his method of composing and performing electronic music using many cassette players. Conrad, originally a sculptor, the first student of Joseph Beuys, had been creating a kind of sound theater by attaching cassette players to his body and amplifying them through loudspeakers attached to a helmet on his head. Many of his concerts were also performed in the dark. In 1985 I traveled in the U.S. and Europe carrying 4 boom boxes in order to make impromptu concerts anywhere I went, from clubs and art galleries to living rooms and outdoor spaces.

In 1989 I opened the Generator Sound Art Gallery in New York City. Included in the myriad of activities that occurred at Generator was a weekly program of Cassette Concerts by myself and by Conrad Schnitzler called Musik in the Dark. Eight speakers were built into the walls of the gallery and each week new material was mixed live through the octophonic sound system. The space was filled with cushions and the room was so dark that you couldnÕt see your hand in front of your face. The audience was small but very enthusiastic.

Since Generator closed in 1992 I have sporadically found venues to perform concerts in total darkness. When it was impossible to achieve total darkness, I provided blindfolds for the audience. When venues were few and far between, I began inviting friends and guests into my home studio to hear concerts in a small sonically controlled space.

The absence of sight immediately stimulates an intimate, introspective listening experience that can be very unique. In our visual culture audiences expect to be dazzled with slick, surface skipping imagery. In contrast, my work requires audiences to open their ears, giving people the opportunity to tune into their own very unique imagery and feelings. OUTER EAR/INNER EYE is a portable version of this kind of listening experience.Ķ gen ken montgomery

OUTER EAR/INNER EYE premiered at the Kunstverein fŸr die Rheinlande und Westfalen, DŸsseldorf, Germany on December 8, 2001

OUTER EYE/INNER EYE is MAC compatible only!

Inner Eye was supported with funds from The New York City Independent Radio/Sound Art Fellowship, a program of Media Alliance funded by The Jerome Foundation.

Additional support provided by Experimental Television CenterÕs Finishing Funds program, supported by the Electronic Media and Film Program at the New York State Council on the Arts.

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