Autograph (Installation)

Serena Lee

2011, 05:00 minutes, colour, no language

TAPECODE 2047.03

“So I decided to try the Last Resort method. That was to place beside the piano a couple of radios, or possibly one radio and one television, turn them up full blast so loudly that, while I could feel what I was doing, I was primarily hearing what was coming off the radio speaker or the television speaker or, better still, both. I was separating, at this point, my areas of concentration, and to such an extent that I realized that that in itself would not break the chain of reaction. But I realized I had to do something more than that.
[He continues to describe the left hand, a dozen permutations, sings a few examples, describes playing unmusically, the radios going, a cup of coffee, sitting down and the block is gone.]
Now, the point is that you have to begin, I think, by finding a way to any instrument that gets rid of the whole notion that the instrument presents you with a set of tactile problems. The problem then is to have a sufficient advance and/or extra-tactile experience of the music so that anything that the piano does isn’t permitted to get in the way. In my own case, my means toward this is to spend most of the time away from the piano, which can be difficult because you occasionally want to hear what it sounds like. But a certain analytical ideal, an analytical completeness, at any rate, is theoretically possible as long as you stay away from the piano.”
- Glenn Gould, interviewed by Jonathan Cott in 1974

Three Shapes of a Note is a suite that overlays notes on music from my Gong Gong (grandfather) and Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould. Through sculpture, video installation and performance, these works explore music production as an embodied practice, particularly through attentiveness, repetition, and isolation.

In the video installation
Autograph, I am practicing Toccata in C minor, BWV 911 by J.S. Bach on a ‘silent piano’. I have been practicing this piece since about 2005.

Rental and Sales

5 Year Educational Streaming License, Digital File with DVD Circulation Copy


Single Screening Rental


Educational Purchase DVD (Bluray +$15)


Gallery Exhibition and Installation, complete Media Request form for quote

Institutional Archival Acquisition, complete Media Request form for quote

Curators and programmers, please contact to receive a login and password to preview Vtape titles online.

Screening and exhibition rentals and archival acquisitions include public performance rights; educational purchases or licenses include rights for classroom screenings and library circulation. When placing an order the customer agrees to our general online terms and conditions. Payment (or a purchase order number) and a signed licensing agreement must be received before media can be shipped to the client.