Simone Forti: "Sounding" Thoughts

Sounding, 2012, Installation View of Vitrine, Courtesy of The Box Gallery and the artist, Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

NG: Do your News Animations also serve as a 'sounding center' and as you mention, gestures in finding a body's center through dancing? 

SF: Interesting. I never thought of it that way, but yes. 

Song of the Vowels, 2012, and Detail View of Drawings,  Courtesy of The Box Gallery and the artist, Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

NG: You have said that coincidence may be considered "harmonic tones of occurence" and as "twilight guideposts." How does coincidence feed into your practice of drawing?

SF: In the early 1970s, when I worked on Handbook in Motion and had recently had a lot of experience with psychedelic drugs, I was very concerned with harmonics. My drawings now are more about mental models in space, and language, as I try to understand the socio/political world. That said, I do believe in angels, and small coincidences do often happen just when they are needed.

Cloths, 1967, Installation View with Video piece by Hollis Frampton, Courtesy of The Box Gallery and the artist, Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

NG: What are your thoughts on suspension? Could whistling also be considered a suspended form?

SF: Suspension, yes. Mainly a situation in which one becomes aware of the pull of gravity. A way to feel rooted towards the center of the earth. Whistling is when lovers sleep at each other other's side and hear each other breathe even though they are in different dreams. 

                                                                                 Bottom, 1973, Installation View, Courtesy of The Box Gallery and the artist, Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

NG: In Handbook in Motion, you mention a story that Nam June Paik narrated to you from Chinese classical history...it involved a king and a master musician. The king orders the musician to play the saddest music in the world, and the musician refuses over and over, but when he gives in and plays that music, something astonishing began to happen. Paik never quite finished that story for you. So, what to you is the saddest music in the world?

SF: I forget names of pieces of music but I am thinking of a music I saw David Zambrano dance with and it broke my heart. I do not look for trouble and would not ask to hear the saddest music. Nam June was wise to not read us the end of the story. 

NG: I greatly look forward to hear your responses. Thank you so much for agreeing to this dialogue. 

SF: This was fun. Now, off to bed. 

My best, Natasha

Good Night, Simone