The Lament Project

Go to player

The Lament Project is Viralnet.net’s online project for 2007-08.

The project began in early 2007, and it grew from our desire to produce an online work that could respond to the public and personal anxieties that we experience in today's hyper-commodified culture.

We thought that the best way Viralnet.net could cut through the visually dominant spectacle of the corporate media's packaging of suffering and conflict, would be in a personal and visceral way, using sound.

The lament is one of the world’s oldest musical and poetic forms for expressing sorrow and mourning. It is a form that is found in both eastern and western cultures, in classical traditions as well as contemporary genres. It has evolved over the centuries in the west informing various idioms along the way, from rural folk ballads to urban blues. Its source is a primordial sound that comes from a place deep inside the soul of the individual.

The Viralnet.net curators invited a variety of performance, electronic, acoustic, noise, spoken word and visual artists to contemplate the meaning of the lament and to submit a personal interpretation, one minute in length.

Even though there are many traditional laments to draw from, Viralnet.net encouraged the artists to invent new and personal interpretations of the form and to explore the full range of possibilities, spanning the humorous to the serious. Except for the one-minute length requirement, there were no preconditions or rules that the artists needed to follow in creating their laments.

The laments were edited into a single sequential file and can be streamed only from the Viralnet.net site.

Viralnet.net will not be offering downloads of the laments. All the participating artists retain all ownership and copyrights of their submissions.

If you have any questions regarding the project or Viralnet.net please contact the Center for Integrated Media at im@calarts.edu.