Tilman Kuntzel - BILLY THE COW
  Year :   1998
  Location :   Germany
  Worktype :   interactive sound installation
  Materials:   CD - scraching on various sounds
  Info :   7/8th Mercy, Hamburg

  Work Details  
  “Billy the Cow” stands in relation to the locality Sternstrasse 115, Schanzenviertel (Schanzen-quarter), Hamburg St. Pauli, slaughter-house; it consists of an iron rail that is anchored on plaster bases. One can push a hand-block along the rail. By pushing, a CD-player is operated; it scratches on a CD that had been produced especially for this occasion. The recipient scratches by moving the block and so shapes the sounds that can be heard. The relation to the slaughter-house is given through the arrangement of the plain and functional bases and the rail in the room as well as the activity of the visitor. By pushing, the sounds of the CD “Animals of Our Farm” are ‘dismembered’ -this can be understood as an auditive allegory to the activities in the slaughter-house. An auditive allegory to the manufacturing of meat products through ‘interaction’ with the visitor - as a turn towards the local shaping by the slaughter-house. In the room are two plaster bases that carry an iron rail. On the rail one finds a block that can be pushed along the rail. By this, and through contacts on the rail and the block, a CD-player is controlled. One ‘scratches’ on a CD. The CD has been chosen for this presentation. The act of ‘dismembering’ the sound sequences of the CD is an allegory to the processing of animals into meat products. The animal - in its physical complexity - is cut up in its component parts, processed and put together again, for example, as “Billy the Children’s Pie” or being eaten in the “Steak-State”. In auditive allegory to this proceeding the organized sounds of a CD are ‘cut up’ in their tonal component parts and in the course the sound is individually shaped by the activity of the recipient. (The personal ‘sound(art)sausage’).There are four different invitation cards. Three of them with a steak in different stages of preparation like: ‘blue’ and ‘medium’; and one showing the pressing out of bone marrow. These illustrations show working processes of the material or may be added to a certain stage. Due to the ‘natural’ chance when sending them, each addressee of a card gets one of the four motives. It is an allegory to the accidentalness of sounds that can be heard if the addressee produces the sounds of the installation at the sliding block.