Present Perfect Progressive Tense

The sentence “I am here. I don’t want to hear the sounds of here,” doubtless crystallizes the feelings provoked by the now everyday use of MP3 players in the street or on public transport. Present Perfect Tense Progressive is an installation that inverts this situation, using headphones that emanate recordings of surrounding noise. As a work it is both silent and resounding. Each of the twelve sets of headphones diffuses the same sound, recorded in real space, but at different times. The totality of these parameters forms a specific kind of interaction between the viewers, who finds themselves isolated but simultaneously prompted by surprise to engage in dialogue with their neighbor about the experience.
Thus an astonishing exchange takes place: the discrepancy inherent in the reception of the surrounding noises produces an exchange, which in turn nourishes the sound installation, offering up another surprise…As the title (a nod to Dan Graham’s Present, Continuous, Past(s), 1974) indicates, it is through this optic that several tenses can be created at the same time. Present and past are superimposed upon one another and intertwine. Present Perfect Tense Progressive Tense creates a pluriverse. This machine does not record, ever respectful of the ephemeral quality of sound.

sound installation with 12 headphones, ENSBA Paris, 2010

documentation-video: 02:34 min