yes, it's just as you thought- here's a photo, taken via my cell phone, of a projection of tony conrad ringing a bell with all of his heart, body and soul. it's one of the seven screens depicting seven rotating artists (the others are zeena parkins, ikue mori, lee ranaldo, kim gordon, stephen vitiello and j.g. thirwell), all of them tinted a different color. the screens are hung at different angles, directions and heights, and each has two small speakers affixed to it, out of which music played by the musician depicted on the screen tumbles.
standing in the middle of the screens, where you can hear some of all seven recorded performances and catch different color combinations in your peripheral and direct vision is nothing less than revelatory. at least it was for me. conrad's bell pierces through the rest of the combined, random noise orchestra, beckoning your ears and taking hold but just enough to help you focus and slowly realize how many other instruments/tones/melodies/rhythms you're hearing.
"sound digressions in 7 colors" by video artist tony oursler was the very last artwork i stumbled across at the end of a long afternoon touring through the sympathy for the devil exhibit (art and rock and roll since 1967) that's up right now at the MCA. in all honesty i was tiring of rock and roll + aesthetic + cool factor + drooling young rockers who were wandering around the exhibit in droves, and nearly skipped entering the partitioned-off section of the gallery where ourser's piece was installed. but conrad's hypnotic bell ringing lured me in, and i couldn't have been more amazed by what was there to see and hear.
the exhibit's up until early january 08 and admission's free until november 14th (happy 40th, MCA!) so if you're in the vicinity, or happen to be passing through for a radio conference in a few weeks...i implore you to carve out some time - even 30 minutes - and drop by for some sound digression.