Holly Herndon Deploys Web Enigma: “Call”


As the Quietus reports, local musician Holly Herndon has launched an interactive and mysterious website under the title “Call.” It features animated, black-and-white images comprised of natural and artificial textures, computer keyboards, and portions of Herndon’s face. Moving a cursor over any image elicits sound clips of scorched beats and layered vocals. Clicking a “Call” button appears to refresh the webpage with the sounds and images in different orders. Use "Call" here.


Herndon attended Mills College and currently researches computer music at Stanford. While studying, Herndon also rose to prominence in club and experimental circles, releasing a 2012 debut, Movement, followed by the enthusiastically received Chorus EP earlier this year. The reputable New York imprint RVNG released both. Widely praised for balancing club and conceptual impulses, Herndon’s “Call” could be a conceptual teaser for another release of club-leaning music. 

The site evokes a number of themes in her work – which considers the intersections of identity politics, technology, and physical expression – but offers no explanation (a button in the corner indicates two collaborators: Metahaven and Mathew Dryhurst). If it’s intended to be complete in-and-of-itself, Herndon’s “Call” is a curious fusion of GIF art, Tumblr scroll, and Beyonce’s video album with a nod to theorists like Jacques Lacan. Considering the RVNG logo in the bottom corner though, a follow-up to Chorus seems more likely.