Performance: Thoreau's Desk (requires some assembly) by Michael Mercil

This event last occurred on January 31, 2015, 2 pm.

"Every sound is music now."
- Henry David Thoreau, Journal, August 31, 1851

Thoreau’s Desk (requires some assembly) is a musical composition written by artist Michael Mercil inspired in part by the "Sounds" chapter in Walden. Performed by a percussion trio, the work’s instrumentation includes tools and materials used to create an abstract representation of Henry Thoreau’s writing desk. The music stops when construction of the desk is completed (approximately 33’ 4”).

The object build during the performance will remain on view as part of the exhibition, Walden, revisited.

Michael Mercil (b. 1954) is an artist who lives and works in Columbus, Ohio. Through high school, Mercil performed as a soloist for the St. John’s Preparatory Boy’s Choir in Collegeville, Minnesota, and for the Stift Melk Singerknaben, in Melk, Austria. He also performed with the Fort Totten Little Theater Company on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation in North Dakota. In college, Mercil struggled with music theory and played the violin enthusiastically, but poorly. He stopped singing and took up visual art. Thoreau’s Desk (requires some assembly) is Mercil’s opus 1.


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