"Corporate Responsibility Pledge” (2020) by musician and composer Doug Bielmeier (https://soundcloud.com/douglassbiel...) and glitch artist Allison Tanenhaus (https://allisontanenhaus.com) is a multimedia work that identifies the conflict between corporations and communities of people. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the movement in business to take responsibility for the role of corporations in the quality of life of the communities they serve and operate in. The piece asserts that as either a marketing tool or as an altruistic effort, CSR has both a positive and negative effect on the lives of people and their communities.
Musically, the work explores a combination of a fixed macro-musical structure with that of performer-determined micro-musical structure. The piece evolves over 6 minutes by predetermined decisions by the composer and the performers, who determine the repetition and ordering of small musical phrases within the middle of the piece. The fixed computer and video part serves as an anchor for timing and dynamic/rhythmic growth. The aim is to allow the performers to become co-authors of the work, making each performance unique, yet having a similar over-arching shape. The video is an assemblage of public domain footage from the mid-twentieth century—industrial shorts, advertisements, PSAs, environmental films, and home movies—that has been ripped, glitched, and restitched.
The resulting narrative originates with the golden potential of capitalism for the American nuclear family, and quickly deteriorates into a neon-tinged, retrofuturistic miasma of big business’s shortcomings. With an eye on economy and ecology in equal measure, the video both celebrates and laments the premise and promise of commercial progress. Created in partnership with the musicians of the Unheard-of//Ensemble (https://www.unheard-ofproject.com).