Record Release (12-inch)

(2012 – 2019)


Connected pages: Record Release 12-inch (books), Record Release 12-inch (grids), Record Release 12-inch (videos).

Related projects: Record Release 7-inch (2014 – 2019), Record Release 0-inch (1995), Record Release Record.

The raw material to make vinyl records comes in vinyl pellets, lentil-sized bits of petroleum product (PVC – polyvinyl chloride) that are in an easily transportable form before they get melted and stamped with grooves of sound. This project documents the deployment of these tiny units of potential through an inordinate number of photographs (13284 in total, in two equal series of 6642).

To start, pellets were loaded on a scale until their weight reached 180 grams, which is the weight of audiophile vinyl (as opposed to 120 grams which is the standard weight of records). Then, over the course of the last seven years, one by one the pellets were either sold, gifted, or placed in a public space. Each transaction was photographed and paired with a photograph of the pellets arranged in the form of a 12″ record which is correspondingly diminished by one pellet each time. This particular 180 g batch of vinyl added up to 6642 pellets, and the very final one was released on April 5th, 2019. In other words, the record has finally been released (6284 were placed, 301 gifted, 51 sold, 6 sent via mail). For seven years, it was simply in the process of being released.

A record release, like a book launch, usually marks a project’s culmination, this reverses the process, the release is the project. As Seth Kim-Cohen put it, in discussing Record Release in his book Against Ambience (Bloomsbury 2016), “this ‘record’ is a record of social exchange, of site, of time, and of the exploded, diagrammatic construct of its potential for signification.” I would add that it is also a pairing of micro gestures with micro plastics; an examination of the manufacturing process and vinyl fetishism; a staging of sited strategies and furtive mobility tactics; a monument to the tiny and barely perceptible; a study in slow and inefficient action; a merging of depletion with completion; a rendering of sound as conceptual object into image as serial document.

The first version of Record Release in 1995 (see link above) simply poured the pellets on a floor in one instance, or in the other, placed them in a kind of makeshift gravel-like entrance way so that they would spread into the gallery by the footsteps of the visitors. Seventeen years later, this second Record Release becomes a more patient exercise, more imperceptible, yet obviously larger (or at least longer) in scope.


APRIL 5, 2019 (release completed)
301 gifted
51 sold
6 sent
6284 placed

JANUARY 27, 2019
283 gifted
49 sold
6132 placed

AUGUST 20, 2018
275 gifted
49 sold
5891 placed

APRIL 2, 2018
268 gifted
45 sold
5384 placed

JANUARY 3, 2018
262 gifted
45 sold
5185 placed

APRIL 30, 2017
257 gifted
45 sold
4241 placed

MARCH 20, 2016
236 gifted
33 sold
3681 placed

NOVEMBER 27, 2015
230 gifted
33 sold
2881 placed

AUGUST 3, 2015
225 gifted
33 sold
2859 placed

DECEMBER 26, 2014
210 gifted
33 sold
2133 placed

JULY 16, 2014
201 gifted
33 sold
1703 placed

MARCH 7, 2014
193 gifted
33 sold
1215 placed

OCTOBER 25, 2013
185 gifted
33 sold
922 placed

AUGUST 20, 2013
143 gifted
31 sold
312 placed

APR 08, 2013
89 gifted
16 sold
95 placed

MAY 15, 2012
51 gifted
05 sold
44 placed

FEB 18, 2012
09 gifted
02 sold
05 placed