Idiosynchrony is about making noise together across time and space.
It's a podcast,
a sonic work of conceptual art,
an open audio journal,
a DIY choir,
an ongoing poem,
and a way to practice being together in the inevitability of difference.
We started with some questions.
What are the possibilities for making meaning together in a time when we can't get together? What are the possibilities of marking time and reflecting on experience with the knowledge that someone else might one day revisit your thoughts? What are the possibilities for a fundamentally collaborative project undertaken in what feels like a fundamentally solitary moment?
Idiosynchrony emerges from the isolation of pandemic life and the unique strain it places on artmaking. We want to mark a few moments. We want to know what people are thinking and doing and feeling while we can't "really" be with them.
We asked some of our friends - artists of all stripes - to record themselves at particular times of day. These friends became our first Contributors. Together they explore the resonances and dissonances across their experiences of particular moments.
We put no rules on what Contributors can say or do in their sonic contributions. The only rule is that each submission has to frame a particular time of day. Then we get in there and braid the submissions together in an attempt to call forth important overlaps in incommensurably different experiences of time, space, and embodiment.
We haven't answered any of those guiding questions yet, but our Contributors live in these questions, and many others, every episode. We are still working on it, too, and our web of Contributors is constantly expanding. If you're interested in becoming a Contributor, send us a quick message to say hello. All are welcome, and we can't wait to hear from you.
Jay is a performance theorist and historian of contemporary art and infrastructure. He is also a committed arts administrator with experience in theater, dance, and art spaces.
The name "Idiosynchrony" was chosen after a long phone call of experimenting with phrases, words and combinations of words. After landing on Idiosynchrony, we found that a team of neuroscientists had formally invented the term. Their paper, Idiosynchrony: From shared responses to individual differences during naturalistic neuroimaging, labors to "advance a framework for detecting structure in idiosyncratic patterns of brain activity, or 'idiosynchrony.'" We are excited to explore the creative and experiential implications of their framework through this collective utterance.