A site specific multi-channel sound installation, Jasmine Guffond's Degradation Loops gradually and completely bit crushes her 2015 album Yellow Bell over the duration of Muse Ruole, Trans Art Festival, 2018. Installed in a green house, the gradual yet definite degradation of sound speaks to the impending degradation of the earth’s environment.
Initially exhibited at Sydenham Road 55, Marrickville, Sydney, Degradation Loops gradually and completely 'bit crushes' the artist’s 2015 album Yellow Bell over a period of 16 days. A process of sonic destruction unfolds in response to a group show where visual artists destroy and reassemble their work, to create new work, and to question the dominance of commercial imperatives within art.
Degradation Loops speaks to a contemporary audio realm where principles of High Definition transference dominate in an overall musicscape preconceived as uniform. Using intricate and highly articulate audio loops from an existing authored work, Degradation Loops questions notions of sound’s permanence. Of course, sound by its very nature is always temporal and processual, it moves through time and space and alters both according to the space in which it is experienced and the listener’s subjective mood. Nonetheless, the album, as a product at once artistic and commercial, presumes a certain permanence: the artist wishes the temporal and subjective dimension of their work to last, hopefully forever. By deliberately breaking down the audio signal of otherwise highly deliberative compositions, Degradation Loops questions the underlying nature of this permanence. In Degradation Loops the algorithmic unraveling renders the tracks increasingly discordant and unpredictable as time passes. Sound becomes noise. Beauty is broken down allowing another type of beauty to emerge. All the while this durational destruction occurs regardless of whether it is heard or not: sound does not need listeners to assert presence. Sound outlives audiences while music does not. Unlike the physical destruction of objects of either an artistic or generic kind, the destruction of sound, unless the ultimate outcome is total silence, always produces more sound. Sound’s permanence is therefore paradoxically occasioned by its inherent capacity for constant change.