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Leave No Trace

2016, unlabeled vinyl record, includes black nitrile gloves and clear zip-lock bag silkscreen in white ink with poem printed on reverse; 31:08 minutes

Leave No Trace is a poem and an experimental audio project. The record has two unlabeled tracks, one per side, that combine ambient environmental recordings, vocalizations, an old electric guitar and sounds generated from found materials. Leave No Trace is the soundtrack to a forthcoming episode of Negative Space. The poem printed on the album cover speaks to the common code of wilderness ethics known as “Leave No Trace.” It further unpacks this term, questioning what is natural or naturalized. The project considers the desire to disappear and the subjugation of those who go undocumented.

LEAVE NO TRACE in MP3 format

Installation view of Leave No Trace, 2017

LNT_record_lrger LNT_record_back

LEAVE NO TRACE

The record
a recording of listening
the vocal folds of a reclining feline
or feedback
between a microphone and a nine-foot cardboard tube
Chords and discord that I’m certain I cannot redo

Ethics for a lived practice
temporary and portable
displaced, terrestrial wilderness

Be prepared
equipped
to act
Gatorade, 1965
Therm-a-rest, 1971
Lonely Planet, 1972
Gore-Tex, 1976

Detract
resistance
to impact
carefully covered up
covered over, glossed over
glossy glass mirrored back

The record
a rotation may be repeated
What is audible (or what is heard)
dissipates as fast as it arrives
You can hold on to it but I don’t recommend it

Sliding a finger between the sheets of plastic
split the seal open
Maneuver your hand inside the pocket
avoiding the surface, the grooves
Pull out the pair
slip them on
fingers
as each enters its respective prophylactic canal
Now the record

To be tracked
or not
was wild ever wild
Passive and active constructions
a line traced
a line erased
invisible, inaudible
undocumented

Without history
Sports Bra, 1978, originally constructed by
sewing two jock straps together
Necessity, the mother of invention
raised capital
The dad of desire

Oh, leisure class, she’s gone wild
Polar Fleece, 1979
Leatherman, 1983
Advil, 1984

An unregulated space or body
that wilderness
a dark web
a black market
a fugitive off-shore hacker separatist living stealth

So stealth she passes
accelerating
spinning-out
leaving a torrent trail of dust

Carbon, digital, footprint
Teva, 1988
LED, 1994
Solar Backpack, 2006
on-the-grid
because she is the grid

Disappearing
occurs at the margins
May appear powerless
or corrupt
Super-human
flying above the law and under the radar

What matters is what is perceived to matter
the law
objective
always subjective
I’m suspicious
she seem like she may be hiding something

No time, no place, no money
No time, no place, no body

VOCALS + SOUNDS: GUITAR, CYMBAL, LARGE CARDBOARD TUBE, SMALL PLASTIC BUCKET,
BAMBOO, ROCKY SAND, XLR CABEL TOUCHING TONGUE, NO.2 PENCIL, DENTAL FLOSS,
CONTACT MICS, DYNAMIC MIC, LOOPER AND VARIOUS EFFECTS PEDALS • A.K. BURNS
PURR • COCO PIGEON CHANEL
RECORDING + MIXING • A.K. BURNS
MASTERING • QUENTIN CHIAPPETTA
NEW YORK, NY
PRODUCED WITH SUPPORT FROM
PORTLAND INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, ORE