by Bill Forman
As I write this, I'm listening to a brand new recording that sequentially splices together five seconds of every goddamn No. 1 single of all time.
The 75-minute sound collage was posted on Soundcloud just yesterday, and I can definitely vouch for the fact that listening to it is a strangely compelling experience. I'm not sure if I'm more awestruck by how many of them I know or how many of them I don't know, but it makes for a great crash course in pop music history.
Whether or not the idea of condensing decades into minutes is the pinnacle of post-modernism, it's definitely addictive entertainment. I could go on endlessly about the experience of listening to it, but it's far better to just hear it yourself. Go here to check it out. Just know that you may have to suspend all other activity for the following 75 minutes.
It's also not a bad way to get introduced to Soundcloud, which is basically an audio version of YouTube, but without all the lolcats.
And why stop with music? Conceptual artist Christian Marclay recently unveiled The Clock, a 24-hour-long film montage that had New Yorkers lining up in the cold outside the Paula Cooper Gallery, hoping for the chance to get in and watch it. The critically acclaimed work is a montage of thousands of spliced-together film scenes in which characters look at clocks precisely timed to match the moment viewers are watching them.
OK, that's kind of hard to explain, but the BBC News segment gets the idea across nicely, and in exactly three minutes.