I’m still reflecting on the video works presented at the “Strange Days: Memories of the Future” , the exhibition curated by Massimiliano Gionni, the artistic director of the New Museum in New York, who brought those film and video installations by twenty-one of today’s most radical image makers to the Store X in London.
Symmetry in Sound is a modern version of an experiment that was done at the end of the 18th beginning of the 19th century by a German scientist called Ernst Chladni, demonstrating that if you vibrate a square plate with sand or salt on the top, these amazing symmetry patterns appear inside the plate.
Can’t believe his gig was almost two years ago. One of a scarse amount that actually do some things to you…
Dawn Chorus, 2007, is a multi-screen film installation and presents 19 individuals using their own voices to recreate birdsong in everyday locations which is an accurate copy of the birdsong dawn chorus recorded in Northumberland, England. After recording the birds with multiple microphones, the individual birdsongs were slowed down to last approximately 16 times as long, which enabled the participants to imitate them, while being filmed. The films were then speeded back up to reach the true pitch of the birds, uncannily evoking similarities between bird and human vocal abilities and behaviour.
In March 2015 British Film Institute in collaboration with Electra and Mutek presented Digital Quèbec: a couple of nights with province’s most innovative and experimental A/V creators(line-up)
I got myself in for the last performance that comprised two artists.
Myriam Bleau presented her Soft Revolvers: 4 spinning tops built with clear acrylic, each associated with an ‘instrument’ of some sorts. The tops were equipped with gyroscopes and accelerometers that communicated wirelessly with a computer where the motion data collected (speed, unsteadiness at the end of a spin, acceleration spikes in case of collisions) informed musical algorithms designed in Pure Data. LEDs placed inside the tops illuminate the body of the objects in a precise counterpoint to the music.The positioning of the lights created visually stunning halos around the tops, enhanced by POV effects (persistence of vision). A camera placed above the performance table provided video feed that was subtly manipulated and projected back on the screen behind the artist, making the projections an integral part of the performance.
Le Révélateur (visual artist Sabrina Ratté and electronic music producer Roger Tellier Craig) merged visuals together with a multitude of hybrid sonic textures , the effect being tracks that buzz and hum in glitched-out cacophony, while others incorporate warped sonic bodies through use of Analogue Solutions’ Telemark synth.
RTC:”I was completely obsessed with the development of early computer music and electronic music in the 70s and 80s and, coincidentally Sabrina was also immersed in the history of electronically generated images from that era [..] We were both very interested in the combination of electronic sound and imagery [..] I feel like we finally managed to zero in on this kind of impossible/virtual reality aesthetic we were going for over the past couple of years, and the artwork for Extreme Events, as well as the video for Aftermath Selves really depicts this.
SR: “We’ve been exploring different techniques as well, and one of them was to connect both our modulars together in order to achieve sirect synchronisation between the music and the image. But this is only one aspect of the performance, and it gets mixed with many other images that are not sync by wires or anything. It;s important for me to keep a certain amount of spontaneity in a persotmance, because that’s when interesting accidents have a change to happen”
“Dial Tone Operator” (excerpt ) was a binaural sound sculpture exhibited among other “Mirrorcity” works at Hayward Gallery in London. One which left my imagination activated.
It comprised a display of vintage telephone handsets on a wall at the end of a narrow intimate corridor with just one pair of headphones hanging from a ceiling. To put them on was to tune into a passing frequency just like a Telephone Operator. Aura Satz mixed vintage recordings of telephone sounds with a dial tone, spoken word and electric hun, which also bring to mind all sorts of frequencies that pass through us, whether we are able of picking them up consciously or not.
More information can be found here http://www.iamanagram.com/DialToneOperator.php
[On a side note she also put up a “sister” display called “Dial Tone Drone” outside The Royal Academy in London, outside Picadilly, commissioned by Measure. http://measure.org.uk/exhibitions/telephone/]
“Glissolalia” (excerpt )played on the acoustic illusion known as the Shepard Scale, a ‘sonic barber’s pole’ (or endless spiral) in which a tone continually rises or falls yet at the same time appears to get no higher or lower. I followed the “exhibition continuous” sign and went down a spiral staircase which soon I discovered led to nowhere. It however tempted the visitor to stay and walk up and down to a very subtle background sound coming out from a very small speakers fitted on the hand-rails. It was composed in collaboration with a musician Aleks Kolkowski. Here is how the piece was described ”
The score starting point is a series of vintage test-tone recordings. These are layered with two other non-human instruments suggestive of vocal quantities – a musical saw and a theremin- and a female Barbershop quartet in which the singing produces overtones that seem to take the human voice beyond itself. The sound layout has been composed as an acoustic spiral, reconfigured to fit the Hayward’s one-way corkscrew staircase. This leads down to the fire-exit, and out into the street.”
“Mirrorcity” theme explores fiction and reality and shows recent works of artists based in London today. Haven’t managed to see all the works before the gallery closed, 2 hours is not enough and the tickets are sadly not transferable to another day.
Info about Lighting:
UK – Manchester- based dbn Lighting are supplied an integrated lighting and visual design plus equipment – including lighting and LED screens – to The Warehouse Project (WHP).
dbn’s Pete Robinson created the production and lighting design for all three rooms in the space.
there is a strip of dbn’s 12.5 mm LED screen 13m wide by 2m deep at the back of the stage flanked either side of the PA wings at front truss level by two vertical LED drops at 1 metre and half a metre wide by 2m deep.
Several panels of LED are mounted on the front truss facing into the audience, and the visual surfaces are completed with a versatile 10 metre wide by one metre deep strip of LED – divided into four sections each mounted on wheeled tank traps – which can be placed onstage in different configurations according to the band or DJ set up.
dbn supplies all the processing, scaling and switching, while the video content for each week is supplied by a third party and/or the performing artists.
The idea is that the LED screen design will work on different perspectives whether you are standing right close up to the stage or right down the far end of the room – there will always be some eye-catching visuals in view.