Conceptual Correlations of Sound and Image

3 Instructions and Notations

Morris’s object is comparable to image-sound models in conceptual art because of the significance assigned to its self-referential, if not to say tautological, demonstration of the making-of process. Insofar as the measure of manual labor is emphasized in consciously exaggerated fashion in Box with the Sound of Its Own Making, the work already implies a commentary on those minimalist-conceptual forms of practice in visual art, which, in the tradition of Duchamp’s readymades, gave preference to industrial materials, manufacturing processes, and prefabrication over more traditional studio production. Mention must be made in this regard of the how-to instructions typical of Fluxus and happenings, minimalism, and conceptual art, which is also to return to the notation model mentioned in the introduction. Instructions were intended to facilitate the performability or (re)production of a work by someone other than the artist. Whereas some instructions comprised linguistic information on the realization of a work-idea according to the discretion of each performer, others gave exact instructions with regard to both its reception and its use.[4] As with notation, the serialist aspect here implies, above all, a principle of repetition and reproducibility with regard to the material realization of a work. Whoever beholds a work thus becomes a coproducer, insofar as he or she interprets a piece of information, hence a text, and therefore cocreates it.