(Saturday 24th 13:00 – Sunday 25th March 17:00, Commons, Preview Cinema. 60 min programme looped on the hour)
Andrew McNiven – A636 (5:00)
Andrew McNiven makes video work adopting the often disregarded element of ambient sound as the starting point – the hum of electrical transformers or mobile ‘phone masts; the babble of rivers; the rumble of traffic. Drawing on minimalist aesthetics, the use of diegetic sound in cinema, and the traditions of large-format photography, the works are made using an extended fixed single shot, which includes the site of the source of the sound.
A central interest in McNiven’s work is the idea of ‘attention’ and this work aims to reframe the audience’s relationship to the sonic environment by provoking their attention through the directing-to and fore-fronting of ambient sound together with the related image.
Andrew McNiven is a Scots/Irish artist, academic and curator. Born in Edinburgh in 1963, he studied fine art at Goldsmiths’ College in London, graduating in 1987, a contemporary of many of the artists who rose to international prominence during the 1990s. He received his MA from Goldsmiths’ in 1995. Since 1990 his work has been shown internationally by, amongst others, the Lisson Gallery, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Akademie der Kunst, Berlin.
He was a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art until 2004 and completed an AHRC-funded, practice-led PhD at Northumbria University in 2010, in which he researched sound, photography and the cultures of display. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture at Zeppelin Universität in Friedrichshafen, Germany. He is based in the UK.
Pell Osborn – If Kazimir Met Maurice, or, Suprematism Out on a Spree (4:48)
The Suprematist paintings of the Russian Futurist Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935) are poised to burst into motion. What if Malevich had had the tools to animate his work? Imagine a collaboration between Malevich and his contemporary, French Impressionist composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1916.) “If Kazimir Met Maurice, or Suprematism Out on a Spree,” a hand-animated response to this possibility, evokes Modernity’s chaotic apotheosis. Unleashed at full vitality, the sliding, leaping, soaring shapes of Malevich’s “Suprematist Composition” (painted in 1916) synchronize with the restive pulse of Maurice Ravel’s “Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in A minor” (composed in 1914). The Dresdner Klaviertrio provides the throbbing music bed (from a Berlin Classics compact disc, ©1994 BERLIN Classics, a division of “edel” Gesellschaft für Produktmarketing mbH, used for inspirational and educational purposes only.) Pell Osborn supervised the deliberately rough, propulsive hand animation at MotionArt Studios, Boston.
Pell Osborn, award-winning animator and creator of the LineStorm Animation Digital FlipBook education curriculum, holds degrees from Kenyon College and Lesley University and attended Harvard University for additional study in animation. Co-founder of MotionArt Studios in Boston, he has designed animation projects for ABC News, American Airlines, Ocean Spray, Raytheon, Save the Children and UNICEF. His lifelong passion for animation led him to create the LineStorm Digital FlipBook programme, combining traditional and computer animation as vehicles for teaching and learning.
Mr. Osborn is a Creative Teaching Fellow with the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Since 1998, he has taught animation seminars at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, and the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. He has also lectured on the Practice of Animation at Harvard University. Harvard University’s Project Zero calls LineStorm “the best example of project-based learning we’ve ever seen.”
As an Independent Animator and Teaching Artist, Mr. Osborn works with students and teachers to create in-school animation projects. His LineStorm Digital FlipBook programmes use animation as a powerful vehicle by which to explore topics from new directions. LineStorm students design storyboards and create flipbooks, then add colour and texture for final assembly into their group videos. LineStormers face three crucial questions: What to animate? How to animate it? How to finish it on time? A celebration of flux, of objects and ideas in motion, LineStorm uses old technology in exciting ways, balancing old and new.
Giulia Vismara and Salvatore Insana – Crocevia (8:18)
The space of the images is expanded by the sounds. These sounds, belonging to memories, move everywhere without taking a precise position, they are organized following the idea of perpetual indecision suggested by the video. The sounds become the object of thought of the figure dressed in blue and therefore do not find a perfect place, they move continuously, sometimes are close, sometimes are out of focus, sometimes they spread out in space to form a bigger soundscape. The sound material comes from the re-elaboration of recordings made with dpa microphones within beehives in Florida and other field recordings collected over the past few years. An audio-visual rebus complete with cancellations, details and missing elements. A space to conceive. An event to rebuild. Only virtual can be high-definition, not imperfect and ambiguous reality. A crossroads of memory, of its opaque (non)reproducibility. A turning point, the point for making a decision. Or lose the chance forever. Every crossroads gives rise to temporizing, inner debates between one part and another, between one direction and its opposite. Every choice misleads your path.
sound design and music: Giulia Vismara’s experimental research is focused on electroacoustic composition, sound installations, music for performances, live electronics. She is particularly interested in the action of listening and spatialization. Her sound works were performed in Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, Canada. She holds a degree in musicology from Bologna University and a master in electroacoustic composition attended in Florence and Den Haag Conservatory. Currently, as a PhD researcher at IUAV, Venice, she is investigating the mutual relationship between architectural spaces and sound.
video: Salvatore Insana attended the University of Roma Tre concluding his studies in 2010 with a paper on the concept of Useless.With Elisa Turco Liveri, actress and performer he has created in 2011 the collective Dehors/Audela, producing video-theatrical works, audiovisual projects, site specific installations and photographic investigation, experimental workshops. He continued his research in motion pictures, photography and other media forms, interested in moving bodies in their elusiveness, in their metamorphic and tragic ability to elude us, interested to probe deeper on the limits of vision, on the “visual spectra”, and collaborating with several sound artists, composers and theater companies, and his works has been screened at several institutions and festivals around the world.
Simon Le Boggit – Surface Tension (7:22)
Surface Tension is a CGI animation depicting numerous human-constructed artifacts – past and present – orbiting and tumbling around the Earth. Sometimes they dance in apparent harmony, while at other times they incongruously crowd into the same physical space. The accompanying music soundtrack is an algorithmic composition, computer-generated via mindless chaos fed through an array of simple statistical equations. Technically the sound and vision are not connected, yet they complement one another – just a gentle reminder that direct cause-and-effect ganging together of various media is not the only creative approach available. Sometimes chance can be captivating.
Simon Le Boggit is a multimedia artist currently focusing on distillation of “meaning” from chaos. This has included the creation of evocatively mesmeric videos and the generation of chaotic algorithmic music – where any melody, harmony and syncopation are a product of chance and the human compulsion to identify patterns.
Simon is especially interested in finding statistical sweet-spots where chaos and repetition (and sometimes mutation) may evoke moments of “apparent intentionality”, which feel like they must have been specifically engineered by a sentient creator rather than be a product of non-sentient chance.
Rather than follow the virtual herd as it stampedes towards ever more complex Artificial Intelligence, Simon has sought to head in the opposite direction – just how simple can a mindless system get, while still creating sounds which (some) people will regard as music? And what happens when chaotic music sets the context for random motion, and vice versa?
Simon’s compositions have been performed live, and as acousmatic surround-sound recordings, at art festivals in various parts of the world including Bath, Lincoln, London, Edinburgh, Swansea, Stockholm, Athens, Barcelona, Seoul, Vancouver and New York.
Julian Hoff – Cameos of Lights (5:00)
Cameos of Lights is a tribute to Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren and his visual music. For this work, I wanted to make sound-image associations by exploring various elements of synchrony. I explore within micro-montages associations of grains, shapes, flows, rhythms, movements, spaces and intensities. Begone Dull Care, the original work of Evelyn Lambart and Norman McLaren was my source of inspiration for Cameos de Lumières and my source of sampling. It is surprisingly vivacious and virtuoso but also offers ecstatic passages of beauty. These tension-rest poles were my conductors for the structure of the work and guided its realization.
My creative fields are divided between works for media (acousmatic and videomusic) and multimedia comprovisations (mixed music, musical algorithm, generative audiovisual devices, physical interfaces). I draw my inspiration from themes such as lyrical abstraction, surrealism, the place of the human face of technology, technoculture, post-humanism.
My music has been awarded twice at the Canadian Electroacoustic Community’s Jeu de Temps / Times Play Competition, the Beijing Musicacoustica Competition and the Luigi Russolo Award. Since 2011, my works are regularly presented at international festivals.
My main collaborative projects are Torinói Ló, Live Electroacoustic Duo and KhöraSotto, Audiovisual immersive artworks. I also collaborate with other artists on digital game projects and art installations.
I am currently writing a master’s thesis on human-machine interactions in a context of multimedia comprovisation, carried out at the University of Montreal. Recipient of a research-creation grant from the Quebec Research Fund – Society and Culture and student-researcher member of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology of Montreal.
Martin Keary – NEW (19:00)
With this in mind, NEW is intended to ‘practice what it preaches’ by embodying what I think are the most interesting characteristics of the idea of newness in the 21st century: the uncomfortable link that it has with novelty, technology and self-promotion; how it can fill a work with promise and excitement or conversely, cheapen it. And ultimately – when you consider that a work which is ostensibly ‘new’ is really just the latest re-shuffling of a collection of innumerable historical influences – how unattainable it is.
Martin Keary is a composer and visual designer based in London. He currently works as a consultant at Microsoft.
He studied a Masters degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland from 2013-15 , where he was awarded a first-class degree along with the Craig Armstrong prize and the Patron’s Fund Prize (Royal College of Music) for composition.
Martin has also been awarded the Claxica International prize for his piece ‘Herostratic’ (for guitar and string trio) in 2015 and the West Cork Music Festival Prize for his string quartet in 2017. His visual music work is performed at various conferences and exhibitions around the UK, including ‘Seeing Sound’ (2016, Bath Spa University) and ‘SOUND/IMAGE’ (2015, 2017, University of Greenwich).
In May 2016, his large scale visual music piece, ‘NEW’ – for amplified chamber orchestra, electronics and synchronised animation – was performed by the Scottish ensemble ‘Red Note’ as part of the opening night of the PLUG festival in Glasgow. In November 2016, his piece ‘Beat Fatigue’ was performed by the renowned jazz musician Peter Brötzmann in Dublin.
Martin is currently working on the soundtrack to a short film called ‘The Field’ by the award winning director Sandhya Suri – to be released in 2018 and a video game called ‘Thrust’ by Hayemaker Games. He lectures on the topic of visual music and can be contacted about this at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also has an active YouTube channel under the name ‘Tantacrul’, where he regularly posts videos on a variety of musical topics.
Sarah Ouazzani Touhami – Zuhaitz (13:30)
Visual and sound artist. Living in Marseille, France. Video practice led my interests going to non-visible, unspoken words, sound as a possibility of dialogue with the unconscious. Time, slowness, displacement, myths, rituals, elements are central in my approach. I practice vocal improvisation, and electroacoustic music, sometimes linking it with cinema, in performative experiences, installations or videos. I also conduct workshop with different participants : schools, social institutions… That is a way to share and to experiment ideas collectively.