Eminent New York-based artist Lawrence Weiner is renowned for his Conceptual works treating language and communication. Since the 1970s he has been using various recording media to transpose his films, books and pictograms into audio works.
His most recent effort in the aural direction--documented here--has been the conception of the stage design and libretto for the opera project The Society Architect Ponders the Golden Gate Bridge, a collaboration with New York composer Peter Gordon, a pioneer of Minimalism and experimental jazz. The opera's plot is based on an actual court case: on the Golden Gate Bridge, an artist is hit by a car driven by a drunken architect. In the court case, however, a paradoxical twist occurs--the artist becomes the defendant under the examination of a reactionary judge.
The result is an ordinary accident turned into a political debate about the artist's role and value in society.