Titles with or about Vito Acconci

Sounding Board

1971, 22 min, b&w, sound

Sounding Board documents Acconci's performance/installation of the same name, which was presented at A Space in Toronto in July 1971. The artist lies naked, face down on two upward-turned speakers, through which plays a Frank Zappa song as interpreted by Jean-Luc Ponty. The second performer is a musician who "plays" the song on Acconci's body.

Acconci writes: "I can lie still here, since the performance is in the other person's hands (he chooses the music, Frank Zappa's King Kong, played by Jean-Luc Ponty) — performance of the music is directed not at an audience but at me; I should lie still here, relaxed, lulled, so he can freely massage my body with sound; I'm forced to lie still here, since I'm sandwiched between instruments of sound, I'm the end-point.

Musician rehearses — performance takes shape — I'm shaped by the performance (the piece could be less of a performance, more of a performance area — my body needs time to gain location as a place for music — there could be a small room, with space only for the musician and me — his activity could lull me into inertia, enclose me in the space, make me part of it — couldn't move, I'd stay there all day, longer, function as the performance area — he could perform me, take breaks, come back to perform me (again)."