Erica Baum
Piano Rolls

 “Like crude precursors of computer punch tape, piano rolls speak a peculiar machinic language of holes. Their perforations were the operating code of the player piano, each one positioned to trigger a note of particular pitch and duration, producing music without the need for a musician. In Erica Baum’s photographs, with their holes rendered as a series of dots and dashes, these relics of the Edwardian drawing room become something strange and compelling. It’s a subtle recontextualization that seems to elicit new possibilities of meaning, just beyond our reach. What language do they speak now, read by the human eye and not the pianola? They are an enigmatic kind of visual poetry, a puzzle of glyphs and ciphers, even their trite song lyrics – floating vertically up the page – transformed into fragmentary, cryptic verse.”

Gill Partington 

Leave a Reply