For music lovers of a certain generation, listening to music was very different from today’s playlist-driven, shuffle-play, music-on-the-go experience. We would flip through our records, scanning and choosing from the album covers we knew so well visually, and listen through all the songs, in order, side A then side B, appreciating the arc of the songs from start to finish as the artists intended. Central to this experience was that artfully designed album cover, a 12"x12" object to be handled with both hands, from which we slid the vinyl and the liner notes, which we studied carefully to glean lyrics and background information and discover who wrote which song and who played what. Over time the album cover itself came to represent the music… seeing the object and the art on your record shelf was enough to trigger the feeling of listening to the album.
Today that album cover art is mostly an afterthought, relegated to appear only as pixels on a small screen as a song comes up on our smartphones, and often not even then. The photographs in the series “33 1/3” attempt to spin this forgotten art back to the foreground. Each timed exposure transforms the original album art into an abstract representation, evoking the feeling of listening to music in earlier days, when watching the record spinning on the turntable and poring over the album package were all an integral part of the experience.