Camille Norment


The pulse and swell of analogue low frequency waves, a high frequency glitch like a psychic tinnitus communication – the beating of a heart?… There was a certain unknown anxiety that I was responding to in this audio work when I sat in my San Francisco studio in 1999, a city of visible history and again, sweeping change. The title Kansas as such, was more of a symbolic reference to the state’s physical location within the U.S. than a nomenclature of precision. That said, it’s not ironic that some years later in 2004, Thomas Frank published What’s the Matter with Kansas?, a book exploring the rise of populist conservatism, using the author’s state as the focus point of departure.
What, after all, defines the locational against a center? As outsides fold in and insides out, new centers of thought today, occupy powerful, and fearful positions. The multi-nodal epicenters have rhizomatic and devastating consequences on their peripheries.

Frank Baum’s social fantasy Wizard of Oz and its ambiguous political commentary leaves us wanting to believe, “There’s no place like home.” (even if it means stealing the shoes from a dead body) Waves, earthquakes, cyclones; conquests, upheavals, revolutions. At what point does the anxious build up of tension explode?

In submitting this work, I return to the thoughts so abstractly associated with its creation. The fragility of place, the rude, forceful motions of politics – these thoughts return to me now in mourning of the lives lost in the September 2017 Mexico City earthquake and to those for whom “home” is equally as tenuous.

Simultaneous to this listening event, “Kansas” has been released on a compilation of audio works – [Waves of Redemption] Contemporary sounds in solidarity with Mexico, as fundraising support for the earthquake victims. The producers state:

“All proceeds will go to reconstruction works by the Mexican NGO: Cooperación Comunitaria A.C. (Community Cooperation) with headquarters in Mexico City:

The name “Waves of Redemption” is an analogy between the phenomenon of seismic and sound waves travelling and transforming the time and space, coming from, and eroding from its origin; an epicentre….. 

While in its semantics it is also an invitation to a deep listen, evoking sensations of contemplation or ecstasy. “

Land, belonging, home.