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With DeMarinis, what narration chiefly consists of disperses: narration follows a line, steers along a dramaturgy which has been prescribed or even developed ad hoc towards an end, often aims towards a resolution or relaxation. If one removes this line from a narrative structure, then what remains is a detemporalized gesture of showing. Detemporalized does not have to mean that duration does not play a role, but that the focus is not on the logical sequence from the beginning to the end. Temporal duration only provides ‹space› for a lengthened snapshot or a multi-perspective view of a phenomenon in order to be able to concentrate on a single phenomenon, a kind of detailed shot or purification of the same.
Alvin Lucier's performance «I Am Sitting in a Room» (1969) is based on a constant development from one state to another. However in reality, what we are hearing is only different stages of one and the same phenomenon: the specific resonance of a space. Lucier plays his voice through a loudspeaker into the room and repeatedly records the sound until due to the resonance frequencies of the space, the text becomes unrecognizable. The text to be spoken is
libretto, score, performance instruction and comment in one. By reversing a relation, the perspective changes: Our normal understanding is that the spatial reverberation is the coloring appendage of objects expressing themselves sonically. However, now the space expresses itself in the reverberation of a sounding object whose own sonic quality is only a coloring addition to the experience of space. The space changes from the surrounding context to the object.
La Monte Young's installations allow time to stand still to different degrees. In 1962 he conceived of the «Dream House» as a kind of laboratory; in the 1980s he used it to investigate the long-term effects of purely tuned intervals of sine tones on the psyche. The series of «Drift Studies» explore the sublime phenomenon of a minimally out-of-tune pure interval. Later installations with large sets of minutely tuned sine tones use interference to form infinitely complex volume distributions of the individual frequencies in space. Each location in the space contains other tone combinations. If the listener moves, he/she hears a thunderstorm of alternating sound patterns; if he/she is still, the music stands still in time.