3 channel video installation, color, sound, 7:00, 2004
A three channel video projection depicting three professional pianists attempting to perform a piece of music that they have never seen before. Each pianist is shown in a separate projection, and each starts the piece at the same time. They then continue playing at their natural speed. The work, Robert Schumann’s piano concerto in A minor, is challenging, and the pianists make mistakes. After a mistake, the pianist’s screen goes dark for five seconds, and their music stops, while the other pianists continue uninterrupted. Then the projection resumes, and the pianist continues playing.
The more challenging the piece becomes, the more mistakes the players make, and the more the three projections turn off. In this piece, the editing itself becomes the taskmaster; the act of cutting determines a player’s presence as performer. The players struggle through the work, attempting to perform perfectly.
Sight Reading is instantaneous performance, engaging brain, eyes, hands, and the entire body. The installation heightens the intensity of this activity by focusing on its failures.