Why hadn’t the bad guy got what he deserved and the Nanjing Vacations good guy been rewarded? Perhaps Part II would be on the morrow, but when I Nanjing Vacations asked my friend he said no, that’s the whole play and tomorrow they will perform it again. I watched the audience of minority people dispersing toward the countryside and decided that the following day I would take a country bus to see where they came from. I had been told about a strange beauty spot in a region inhabited by the Sani people. The stone forest at Shilin isn’t fossilised trees. The name comes from the tall limestone pinnacles, hundreds of them, which rise up so densely they form a forest. It’s now a famous tourist spot, but you can get away from the crowds if you follow the smaller paths, some barely visible.
Formed in 1993, Rogues’ Gallery are interested in the relationships between cars, driving and sound. They designed Gasoline Music as a participatory, site-specific and mobile experience of the city. There are a range of permutations related to Gasoline Music: a performance in which the Citroen is parked in a public and/or gallery space, such as Demonstration (1995); a series of high-definition video and sound installations in galleries, such as Delay (2009), Residual Noise, cycle/second (2001) and Residual Noise/Car 6, 7, 8 (2002); and a series of topographical maps created from the GPS data of driving routes called 827Drives (2006-7).
In this range of work, Rogues’ Gallery construct immersive sound spaces and use dense arrangements of noise and visual images to create experiences for audience/participants that are consciously felt in the body through vibration. Gasoline Music is unique in the way that it operates outside of traditional gallery space and becomes a mobile artwork traversing the spaces of the city. The soundscape of Gasoline Music can be located as part of a history of sound art and acoustic-ecology investigations of urbanism. In the early twentieth century, the Futurists were obsessed with the experiences of the modern city mediated through new machines and technologies, including the car. Luigi Russolo and others embraced rather than rejected the new sonic environments of the city that were emerging through the mechanized spaces of transport, communication and factory production. Rejecting a visually-dominated experience of the city, Russolo recommends that we traverse a modern city with our ears more alert than our eyes’ (Russolo 1913) adhering to the complex sounds of motors, throbbing valves, pounding pistons, screeching gears, the flapping of awnings and flags, the noise of metal shutters and store windows, doors slamming, the roar of railroad stations, forges, mills, printing presses, power stations and subways. Russolo and others wanted to include incidental urban sounds in order to challenge the values of conventional music.