[spectre] New from the Blackchair DVD Collection
Joel S. Bachar
joel at microcinema.com
Tue Dec 30 16:45:30 CET 2003
The Blackchair DVD Collection is proud to announce this exciting new
CODEC/X - NEW BRITISH VIDEO & SOUND ART
Codec/x features specially commissioned and recent work by 30 artists
and musicians, based in north west UK. It has been curated
independently by artists Dave Griffiths and Nick Jordan, and aims to
promote collaboration and experimentation in sound and visual art.
The curators have selected work that is diverse, with challenging and
often humorous themes embedded to materials and processes - including
animation, performance, text, noise, found objects, tape, and
The DVD unpacks a playful list of new proposals and encourages
discourse about technology, materials, and conventions in contemporary
practice. The artists explore tensions between perfection &
instability; the minutiae of spaces and moments; the inscription and
abandonment of laws; creation of light and time; complexity of language
and meaning, and the architecture in 'intelligent' machines.
Codec/x is a response to the growing movement of independent spaces and
audiences from a variety of scenes: gallery screening, microcinema,
experimental music, artist-curated events, and web streaming.
Lee Patterson + Dave Griffiths, Heatwork for Sparklers and Spycams, 4.50
Heatwork centres on discovery of sound in objects, structures and
spaces, where it's presence is an invitation to engage with the source.
In this collaboration both sources and sounds are raw materials in a
process of sonic and optical inscription that utilises basic recording
technology and a performative working process. The spectacle is a
celebration of the material properties of source matter and original
Paul Cordwell + Loop Aznavour, Ugly Little Ornaments 1/2/3
DVD is a giddy parade of sensation with the illusion of viewer control,
where the order of images is secondary to their meaningless digestion.
This restless smorgasbord pollutes and supersedes the surrounding home -
which necessarily banishes tasteless kitsch (so as not to compete
visually or conceptually with the life-affirming medium). In these
pieces, the frames become storage units for the inert kitsch of
ornamental forerunners to DVD's inchoate hyperactivity. Baroque music
draws non-viewers' attention to static ornaments looking back, and
transposes expected optical activity into sound. These 'potters wheels'
paradoxically critique the ubiquitous, active screens of techno-
Suki Chan + Mayming, Shadow Songs, 5.00
This animation interprets Pliny's myth of the origin of drawing, where
a young girl traces her lover's shadow to capture his presence - he
later disappears and is never seen again. The sound is a modern account
of a traditional folk song from remote southern China, whose original
words have been forgotten in time. Made in collaboration with Dinu Li
and Andy Hunwick (422 ltd).
Jacob and Daniel Cartwright, The Heap, 2.00
The work is a digital fantasy: pixel creatures wander the forest and
gravitate inexorably towards the rhythmic splendour that is the heap of
primal matter. The creatures are drawn to and transfixed by this
elemental fountain. The pixel bestiary commences an instinctive dance
to the throb and pulse of the quivering heap as a state of wild
transfiguration is achieved. A wonder of fecundity, a myth: the
spitting geyser taps deep into its mucilaginous reservoir. Its
ceaseless convulsions describe a natural cycle of life, death and
compostation. The Cartwright Brothers use software and the machine to
chisel their creatures in a work that moves them from synthetic
vagrancy to God's ineffable animal pyramid.
Scott Byrne + Happy Fingers, Crossroads, 7.30
Crossroads are sites of impromptu magical performance - secret spaces
where indescribable events and changes occur. Here it was possible to
sell your soul to the devil in return for mastery of a skill. This
outside place is now duplicated millions of times in every town and
city, potentially reducing the substance of sacred and feared spaces
through familiarity. Now artworks, once considered sacred and singular,
are digitised for infinite, perfect duplicates. Does this mass
compression and proliferation, the conversion of emotive images and
sounds, make the work any less powerful? Are we selling our souls at
the digital crossroads?
Nick Jordan, A Road Movie, 3.00
A filmic construct mirroring the outcome of hand-cranked projection and
the flicker of celluloid as it interleaves through the gate. A real-
time loop built with the aid of bicycle, DV camera, and two identified
points with which to begin and end.
Joe Devlin, Dictaphone, 2.00
Found dictaphone tape on street corner subject to removal of speech,
highlights the materials used to make recording. Sound fabricated by
Nick Jordan, Another Road Movie, 1.10
Intersection of French landscape as seen from a speeding car at noon
with digital arabesques generated by tape replay pressed on fast
Kristín Scheving + Spencer Marsden, X-Time, 4.25
Images and sound recorded in Reykjavik 10 minutes before and after New
Years Eve, overlayed with audio captured from internet pornography. A
narrative of expectation, sexual energy and celebration is wryly evoked
through the combination of audio sampling and a climactic firework
Blake Quentin + Coryn Smethurst, Symbolic Exchange & Death, 1.20
Insect eyes and menu-icons, in mutual regard, form a multi-layered
system. The film interprets the restless repetition and redundancy of
menu and insect behaviour as typical of absurd technological society.
The visual and sonic play alludes to our hyped digital utopia - the
tension between an unbridled material and its standardization into
discrete binary units.
Carl Turton, Object / Sound / Movement, 2.20
These three excerpts are from a collection of eight formal observations
of objects. Choice of object arises from experimentation with potential
sounds that can be created through physical interaction with each item.
Sound is approached as a painterly consideration of line, tone and
colour. These repetitive, looped compositions playfully structure sound
into percussion, and movement into dance - creating audio and visual
experiences that work as rhythmic wholes.
Jenna Collins + Jane Brake, Flying From The Ground, 4.30
The aeroplane, once-potent symbol of progressive modernity, has become
a problematic and contradictory motif. Concorde crashed. Warplanes are
flown virtually. Return to Malaga, £35. On 9/11 planes took lead roles
in a video loop where real life trumped fiction over and over again.
Flight paths redraw world maps and suggest escape and routine. The
plane viewed from the ground can be a wistful, graceful thing too.
These pieces allow symbolic, narrative or political aspects of the
plane to play out ambiguously, whilst the artists occupy themselves
with more formal concerns: the difference between looking, hearing and
Illuminati + Ben Schmark, Fait Accompli, 4.00
An investigative journey through the pipes of a failed, automated drug
manufacture process. The endoscope records vapours, contours,
embolisms, and various liquids or foreign matter resulting from cross-
contamination. The interplay of light and an organic, respiratory
soundtrack evoke a feeling of claustrophobia, compression and
discovery. The found-footage has been captured through a looped video
signal, generating unpredictable image feedback.
Dave Griffiths, Rogue State, 2.20
A set of vetoed resolutions was inscribed onto tape using a magnetic
quill. In the digital apparatus, these fragile, analogue impulses
produce lawless sonic and visual explosions - making a fluid spectacle
of synthetic apocalypse. The action occupies and confuses the space
between labour and immediacy in old and new media, and alludes to links
between entertainment and military technology. As compressed light and
sound are unleashed in illusive, volatile single-frame bursts, the
notion of digital perfection is tested.
Abstract Earth + Mark Pilkington, Piano: A Sound Object, 4.40
12,000 pieces of wood, steel and felt - seemingly unsympathetic
materials for a piano. The piece explores its construction and
deconstruction by assembling recorded sounds taken from these
components. These were arranged in an abstract structure of sound
objects and juxtaposed against familiar pitched tones performed on a
live acoustic piano. The time-lapsed visuals depict an image of a toy
piano encased in a melting ice cube.
Jenny Hallström, The Girlz, 2.55
The sound is of two women who passed the artist in the street every
weekday at approximately the same time for more than a month The artist
and a friend, Nikki Cooper, quietly construct intriguing stories about
the two women. The visuals are stills of transcripts of these
recordings. The film documents a period of time, through repetition and
the compression of narrative.
Tamzin Forster, The Print Machine, 3.40
A slow pan and zoom around the mechanics of a printing press.
Highlighting the duplication and ryhthmic procedures in the
construction of text, the piece subtly illuminates ambiguity in
language through it's fabrication and distribution. The reiteration of
the printed word acquires aesthetic strangeness, where meaning may lose
or gain significance.
To order this PAL/Non Region DVD please go to:
Joel S. Bachar
More information about the SPECTRE