A cosmic message beamed from the sky.
The Signal meditates on the hallucinatory potential abiding in nature and invites us to consider our receptivity to extreme natural phenomena. The Signal has a cumulative transformative power and aims to generate a subtly altered state of mind in the viewer.
The Signal features an original soundtrack
by composer Abi Fry.
Please kindly note: to be properly experienced
this video should be watched in the dark.
Works exhibited between
August 21 – September 25, 2020
Is an exhibition showcasing experimental media that engages diffractive vs representational approaches to moving images. Works utilize technology as a diffractive lens to investigate alternative ways of seeing and making. Material Synthesis is kin to the historical video art genera of signal processing, and operates within the New Materialism movement, specifically Agential Realism, which is the entanglement of matter and meaning*.
Curated by Eric Souther
from this side of space to the other side of the signal
"from this side of space to the other side of the signal" utilizes footage produced on unique analog equipment from the early history of video during a residency at Signal Culture (a contemporary version of the original Experimental Television Center in Owego, NY), and emerges from a nod to Michael Snow's iconic structural film La Région Centrale. Virtual landscapes pumped through the analog system become caught amidst sets of "meaningless" signs/barriers and violent signals. Computer generated bodies and body parts glistening with video material generated via this system perform actions that queer the line between digital, physical and analog, homoeroticism and violence––entangled in a fragmented high-modernist grid. A voice from the other side of the signal attempts to lure the viewer into some act of connection, of crossing over, only to be perpetually interrupted by barriers of interference.
The Left Hand of Darkness
Light is the left hand of darkness and darkness the right hand of light. Two are one, life and death... like hands joined together... Ursula K. Le Guin, The left hand of darkness
This is a drawing exercise, recording in real time my left hand and a white paper, the right hand was not holding a pencil but rather adjusting knobs and patching oscillators, of a Jones Raster Scan, similar to the Rutt Etra Scan Processor, but one of a kind built by Dave Jones for Sara Hornbacher and powered by Signal Culture. It looks easy, but it is not so comfortable, rather a process of prosthetization in which a very familiar part of the body becomes alien, sucked by the uncanny vortex of the machines, in which we believe to see a glimpse of creation, when two index fingers touch each others, but the triangulation ends up with a merging unity which is unsettlingly revealing. see the closing idiom in Mandarin: 孤掌难鸣 meaning something like It's hard to clap with only one hand, or It takes two to tango...
The piece is inspired by and by the Vasulkas’ Scan Processor studies and by Ursula K. Le Guin's The left hand of darkness "I'll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the Imagination"
Sountrack: Handplant, by EVN from his album Oh Cruel Science, on Enklav label
In a space between past and present, nostalgia and jargon, signal and image, Dialectic is an experimental single channel video that explores the conditions of encoded contradiction. Set in an old 1950’s gas station museum in rural Missouri, the vintage automobiles and faded mannequins are imbued with the myth of American exceptionalism. As the video moves forward, it also moves back, causing a flickering and breakdown of the video as an electronic material unable to resolve, expressing a kind of computational poetry that finds a new state in between.
Broken Relationship moves through a kaleidoscope of colour and pixels to fragments of embraced bodies. Using glitched video footage from classic porn, the broken and distorted imagery speaks to the difficulty that the LBGTQ youth encounter when trying to navigate through their sexuality and relationships. Easy access to pornography means that many young people are learning these important life lessons through a distorted lens. This is especially true of the LGBTQ community where access to information is difficult to acquire from their family, teachers or even friends. The glitched video images mimic the broken messages that much of the porn industry communicates, certainly not the birds and the bee’s stories that most youth grow up with.
Nonhuman intelligences greet us with a song and dance routine, then fades away. Is it an invitation to follow into unknown ways of being, or a quick exit from our inability to imaginatively empathize?
Propagation and Detection
Dissecting an image of the Parthenon and revealing what is hiding in the invisible field, within the wave’s propagation.
Stereophonic sound creation by Renato Grieco single-channel video B/W 16:9 stereo 07min Italy, 2020
Data fed through a series of algorithms from computer graphics and video game production, each output fed as input to the next. As the process continues the input data for the next algorithm diverges further from the data the algorithm expects.
A non-human entity complicates common understandings of queerness and HIV. With agency over data, it distorts images from archives and makes them speak. Composed with machine learning processes for generative video and sound, including deepfakes, the piece explores uncanny relations between technology, politics, and illness.
Made in collaboration with Douglas McCausland (music composition, sound design and mixing) and Ian Kirkpatrick (creative coding).
Humanity has long been observed, studied and synthesised with our technology. As we move ever closer to a technological singularity, the line between carbon and artificial based life becomes ever more blurred.
'Unreal' utilises 85 individual AI generated portraits created through a Generative Adversarial Network.
Music by Lee Denman
Cyanotype video. Centrifugal force pushing against the figure-ground distinction. An agglomeration of abstract light-shadow play, set in motion to evoke the transcendental, sublime experience created through a fusion of traditional, analogue in-camera photographic techniques with digital animation and compositing.
music: Jean-Philippe Feiss
Never Never Land
Never Never Land is about our obsession with physical perfection, our domination and wanting to control everything. Not only being the perfect human being but also creating him. Chance is replaced by choice.
This idea that all is possible and engineerable arises the belief that even our fantasy is realizable. ‘Shaping my life’ this becomes our individual main goal; our life as a project.
In our greedy 'me-itis' we want to fully explore ourselves, create our ultimate dream. Our demand to be 'Homo Perfectus', being Superman, the DIY-made Uber-God 3.0!
"Godzilla Spore" A video produced in real time stages including sound reactive movement, analog synthesis, digital drawing, video re-scan, reflection off glass, keying, and computer colorizing. Godzilla Spore is a portrait of the energy needed to generate more and better Godzillas.
"Diffraction does not produce ‘the same’ displaced, as reflection and refraction do. Diffraction is a mapping of interference, not of replication, reflection, or reproduction. A diffraction pattern does not map where differences appear, but rather maps where the effects of differences appear.” - Donna J. Haraway
"Once we have seen, that is, have sensuously experienced, alternative visions, our perceptual convictions can never remain innocent; by their mere existence, these machine visions expand the scope of how the world can be looked at, and simultaneously they enrich the expressive means of artists such as the Vasulkas." - Frank Dietrich