[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 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 
Ben Gwilliam.

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

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