Horizon Line was inspired by Lawrence Weiner’s Placed Just Below Above the Horizon, a sculpture on display at the Phoenix Art Museum. The work, which consists of the titular text in vinyl lettering on a large expanse of wall, is an example of Weiner’s belief that verbal descriptions of an idea can result in the same audience experience as a conventional sculpture of that idea. In his notes on the work, Weiner poses the question: “Can language be sculpture?” He also introduces his theory on the three possible forms of any work of art, which I’ve excerpted in Horizon Line: “the artist can construct the piece,” “the piece may be made by someone else following the artist[‘s] instruction,” and “the piece can remain an idea.”
After spending time with Weiner’s sculpture, I found myself with more questions than answers, mostly about the anatomy of the work – where is “just below above the horizon”? What do horizons mean to people? Is there any one correct answer to the question of what a particular artwork means? I used these ambiguities to create a piece that is simultaneously playful and pensive, incorporating extended string techniques and spoken word to form a work that strives to accomplish what Weiner’s work does – leaving the audience with more questions than answers.
Run time: approx. 4’00”
Perusal score (PDF)
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This recording of Horizon Line features Luke Hill, violin; Alex O’Boyle-Ince, violin; Joseph Bingham, viola; and Jennifer Hillen, cello: