The word "scratch" was etched into a metal master and then, vinyl records have been subsequently pressed from this master. There is no sound on this recording other than that made by the physical text carved into the vinyl. The text is activated when one plays this record. The resulting sound produces a variety of poly-rhythmic clicks.

As an audio visual installation 200 copies of this vinyl recording are scattered across the gallery floor. The physicality of the text/process is reiterated in 1) the foot steps of the view as they walk on the vinyl records further scratching the recordings and 2) in the sound their foot steps produce on the vinyl.

As a sound poem/object "SCRATCH" is an isomerism combining the physical and aural experience/event in a single form and process. John Cage's "4.33" could be considered an antecedent to "SCRATCH"

In a broader cultural context "SCRATCH" utilizes anachronistic technology as a means of exposing economic excess (waste products) while, supporting Marshall McLuhan's dictate that "obsolete technologies eventually become the material basis for new forms of art." The word "SCRATCH" is likewise, a jazz musician's slang for money, the installation (poem/object) therefore, implies that music making is no longer an art form but a means of making money. On a more contemporary note, "SCRATCH" also acknowledges North American musical subcultures such as rap and urban beat where DJ's scratch and sample (recycle) popular music to create new sonic possibilities.


SCRATCH will be part of the LISTENING SALON, April 17, 7-9 PM Space is limited, so please email for reservations


W. Mark Sutherland is an "intermedia" artist who lives in Toronto, Canada. He sits on the Board of Directors for Musicworks magazine, is an editorial correspondent for Rampike magazine and a staff writer for the Jazz Report. Sutherland's aural poetry is represented on the audio - anthology Modern Sounds (Cincinnati, USA), Baobab - The New Worlds (Cento, Italy), Pate De Voix (Torino, Italy), Carnivocal (Red Deer, Alberta), Homo Sonorus (Kaliningrad, Russia), Oral Cavity (Toronto, Ontario) and Cross Rhythm and White Noise with Nobuo Kubota (Toronto, Ontario). He has also, performed at the following international poetry festivals; Cantextualities (Edmonton, Canada), YesbePoetry Festival (Bologna/Florence Italy), Bobeobi Festival (Berlin, Germany), 6 Festival de Polypoetry (Barcelona, Spain), Voyage to Polynesia Festival (Barcelona, Spain), Words and Voices (Heidelberg, Germany) and Polysonneries (Lyon, France). Sutherland has more than ten bookworks to his credit and these works are archived in a number of international galleries and institutions including The Museum Of Modern Art (New York), The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago), The Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester), and The National Gallery Of Canada (Ottawa). Recent exhibitions of his work include To Hear Is To See (Weimar/Berlin, Germany, Schaffhausen, Switzerland)), The First International Experimental Poetry Exhibition (Medellin, Colombia), Crossroad (Clairington, Ontario) and Soundsite (La Spezia, Italy). All of Sutherland's objects, texts, bookworks, performances, videos and audio - visual installations question the play of signs found in conflicting principles of authority between language, sound, images and objects.

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