digital showcase


Box with the sound and vision of its own unmaking (1990) Simon Morris

"Robert Morris, Box with the Sound of its Own Making, 1961:

From inside an otherwise ordinary nine inch wooden cube emerge the occasional sounds of hammering, sawing, and sanding. These sounds form part of a three-and-a-half-hour recording that Morris created while making the box. The piece also combines the resulting artwork with the process of artmaking, transferring the focus from one to the other. Fittingly, the first person in New York Morris invited to see the piece was John Cage-whose silent 1952 composition 4'33"" is famously composed of the sounds heard in the background while it is being performed. Cage was reportedly transfixed by Box with the Sound of Its Own Making, as Morris later recalled: ""When Cage came, I turned it on... and he wouldn't listen to me. He sat and listened to it for three hours and that was really impressive to me. He just sat there.""

Simon Morris, Box with the Sound and Vision of its Own Unmaking, 1990:

In June 1990, I constructed a six foot wooden cube, comprised of 54 planks of wood, (8” X 1”). The cube incorporated myself and one other person with lighting, audio equipment and a hand-held video. The performance was approached by the performers being placed and sealed inside the wooden box. The filmmaker operated the recording equipment whilst I sawed my way through and out of the cube. The deconstruction of the box was relayed to another room where the live action was re-presented through TV monitors and audio equipment. The remaining sawn pieces were used to construct a finished work."

Professor Simon Morris

Director of Research / Leeds School Of Arts

Simon Morris’ research appears in the form of exhibitions, publications, installations, films, actions and texts which all revolve around the form of the book and often involve collaborations with people from the fields of art, creative technology, literature and psychoanalysis.