G DOUGLAS BARRETT is an interdisciplinary artist, composer, and writer. His work has been discussed in publications such as The Wire, Postmodern Culture, MusikTexte, and Guernica. Presenting his work regularly throughout North America, Europe, and Japan, Barrett was a recent artist-in-residence at USF Verftet (Norway), the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), and the Catwalk Institute (New York). He has received grants from Akademie Schloss Solitude (Germany), DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), and Franklin Furnace (New York). His writing has been published in Postmodern Culture, Contemporary Music Review, Mosaic, Glissando, and Tacet. His book, After Sound: Toward a Critical Music (2016), was published in 2016 by Bloomsbury.
Is critical practice possible today? Situated within the contexts of contemporary art and music, my work integrates conceptualism, social practice, and activist strategies through performance and time-based media. I create scores, videos, texts, recordings, and objects using music as both form and subject matter. As an integral strategy, I revise and reuse existing artworks, pieces of music, historical texts, and performances to produce new texts. I refer to this process, and the projects in which it appears, as transcription. Through various intersections—between forms, contexts, temporalities—these projects engage a constellation of problematics: identity, exchange, history, knowledge, and politics. The result is a push, if perhaps only marginal, in the direction of criticality’s ever-receding horizon.