According to the makers of the PRSNT album and book, the project was inspired by a research study which found the large volume of accessible information online is shortening society’s attention spans and how audiences engage with music. More specifically, it discovered that around a third of all listeners using digital platforms skip to the next track within the first 30 seconds of playing. So, on PRSNT, all the tracks are around 32 seconds long. And all the visuals – created by a stellar roster of renowned photographers including Juergen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jack Davison, Joel Meyerowitz, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Nobuyoshi Araki, Zhong Lin and Elizaveta Porodina – serve to reflect on feed culture, social media overload and digital addiction.
The musicians involved are just as esteemed, with original compositions created specially for the album by Laurie Spiegel, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Lyra Pramuk, Visible Cloaks, Raül Refree, Lucrecia Dalt and Lafawndah. Other photographers who contributed to the project include Adria Canameras, Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, Larissa Zaidan, Dani Pujalte and Javier Tles.
Created by Us and label Modern Obscure Music put the project together, giving the musicians a challenge to make an engaging piece of music inside the confines of 30 seconds or so; this means the whole album lasts only six minutes and 34 seconds. They describe the compositions as ‘deceptively complex and more substantial than expectations of their nano nature would suggest”. The photographers have responded to the music and the topics at hand, exploring subjects such as the noise and speed of modern life, escapism, isolation and meditation.
The PRSNT project also encompasses written work from authors, curators, artists and musicians such as Shumon Basar, Francois J. Bonnet (AKA Kassel Jaeger) Maria Chavez and Yves Citton.
PRSNT is available to pre-order now on limited edition vinyl, and comes with a glossy art book and streaming link.