07. Pu-sh-ing-Sco-res Event

description

'PUSHING' WITH TELCOSYSTEMS, JULIA BÜNNAGEL AND DEREK HOLZER
Fri 20 Jan 2017 20:00
@ DE PLAYER, Rotterdam

Live event for our 'Pushing Scores' project with Telcosystems (NL), Julia Bünnagel (DE) and Derek Holzer (US). Focusing on the potential of graphic scores and the publishing of sound and image, we present Telcosystems alongside their recent publication 'Resonanz', a reading from 'Schematic as a Score' as well as a concert by Derek Holzer and a live performance by Julia Bünnagel with modified records.

What are the possibilities of graphic scores, in a day and age in which graphic notation is still commonly seen as a 'drawing', merely serving as some kind of sheet music? In an attempt to redefine this concept, we will be compiling a programme in which artists, musicians, theoreticians and practitioners are invited to participate. The collective goal is to develop and present new audiovisual and media-technical forms of graphic notation through artistic research and development. Based on our compilation of the most contemporary and innovative graphic notation practices in the fields of music, sound art, performance art, e-culture, new-media art, graphic design and media design, we will introduce artists and designers from various creative disciplines to a national and international audience, with the goal of collectively developing new forms of graphic notation.

TELCOSYSTEMS (NL) Telcosystems presents 'Resonanz', an electronic book combining a series of visual artworks and a sound publication. Incorporated into the structure of the book are sensors and electronics, providing each page with its own unique soundtrack, which can be listened to via speakers or headphones. On this evening, 'Resonanz' will be the starting point for a Q&A, demonstration and live presentation. In their audiovisual works, Telcosystems research the relation between the behavior of programmed numerical logic and the human perception of this behavior, aiming at an integration of human expression and programmed machine behavior. This becomes manifest in the immersive audiovisual installations they make, in films, videos, soundtracks, prints and in live performances. The software they write enables them to compose ever-evolving audiovisual worlds. Telcosystems' installations and films focus on real-time, self-structuring, generative processes, and in their live performances they focus on the interaction with these processes.

With 'Resonanz', Telcosystems presents an electronic book that combines a series of visual artworks and a sound publication. Incorporated into the structure of the book are sensors and electronics, providing each page with its own unique soundtrack, which can be listened to via speakers or headphones. For this evening event, 'Resonanz' will be the starting point of Q&A, demonstration and live presentation. In their audiovisual works, Telcosystems research the relation between the behavior of programmed numerical logic and the human perception of this behavior, aiming at an integration of human expression and programmed machine behavior. This becomes manifest in the immersive audiovisual installations they make in the form of films, videos, soundtracks, prints and live performances. The software they write enables them to compose ever-evolving audiovisual worlds. Telcosystemsinstallations and films focus on real-time, self-structuring, generative processes, and in their live performances they focus on the interaction with these processes.

'Resonanz' is an electronic book that I had first dismissed. Until I tried it. As you turn the thick pages of the book, you encounter a different pattern along with a different soundtrack. It's strangely hypnotising. I turned and turned the pages, each time trying to think about the possible connections between the colours and patterns printed on the pages and the sound they emitted.' — Régine Debatty

JULIA BÜNNAGEL (DE) Julia Bünnagel is a contemporary sound and sculpture artist based in Cologne. She is part of the sound art collective Sculptress of Sound. Julia's solo live performances primarily refer to the modified vinyl records that produce extraordinary sounds. Julia's peculiar method of modifying vinyl records includes various forms of physical treatment such as sewing, painting or pasting the vinyl surfaces. Afterwards, she mixes them together for yielding imprudently driving, rhythmic soundscapes followed by white noise and multiple fragments of music along with dirty boom beats.

DEREK HOLZER (US) Derek Holzer is an American instrument builder and sound artist based in Helsinki and Berlin, whose current interests include DIY analogue electronics, the relationship between sound and space, media archaeology and the meeting points of electroacoustic, noise, improvisation and extreme music. Since 2002, he has performed live, taught workshops and created scores of unique instruments and installations across Europe, North and South America and New Zealand. For the 'PUSHING' event, Derek will do a reading entitled 'Schematic as Score: Uses and Abuses of the (In)Deterministic Possibilities of Sound Technology', and after that he will do a live set based on researching analogue visuals with the oscilloscope. The reading begins by noting that over the past few years a strong reaction against the sterile world of laptop sound and video has inspired a new interest in analogue processes, or 'hands dirty' art, in the words of practitioner John Richards. With this renewed analogue interest comes a fresh exploration of the pioneers of the electronic arts during the pre-digital era of the 1960s and 1970s. Artists and inventors such as Nam June Paik, Steina & Woody Vasulka, Don Buchla, Serge Tcherepnin, Dan Sandin and David Tudor all constructed their own unique instruments long before similar tools became commercially available or freely downloadable.

On the live oscilloscope concert Holzer states, 'The Vectorian Era opens with a screaming across the sky. Analogue electronic computers pre-date their digital counterparts by several decades, and one of the first practical applications of the analogue computer was in controlling the trajectories of German V2 rockets as they traced their rainbow of gravity from Flanders towards London during the Second World War. Informed by the discourse of media archaeology, my own personal interest in analogue vector graphics isn't merely retro-for-retro's-sake. Rather, it is an exploration of a once-current and now discarded technology linked with specific utopias and dystopias from another time.'


motivation

For our event series within the context of the 'Pushing Scores' project, we programmed this evening after we got in touch with Telcosystems about their 'Resonanz' publication. They approach DE PLAYER for some input surrounding the production and distribution of it, and because of the direct relation between sound and image, and the new interface an object like that represents, it was a clear match of interests. They did a reading on the concepts and necessity of the project, as well as all the implications resulting from its development and production. To complete the event we searched for two completely different approaches to composition. We eventually asked Derek Holzer because of his work with tonewheels, but it was not logistically possible to facilitate this type of performance. Instead, he came over to do a reading from his text 'Schematic as a Score' and did a live set of Tektronix Oscilloscope Music. Julia Bünnagel was also invited, under the guise of contributing a more physical input. She works with prepared records and played a live set.

In the case of the 'prepared record', the record or musical piece is not used as a reproductive technique. In contrast to the composer or musician who perceives the record first and foremost as a vehicle transporting his or her musical ideas, here the interest lies especially in the optical/sculptural, as well as the acoustic presence and the compression of an idea when working with the playback possibilities and impossibilities of recording techniques. The end result is not a reproduction but a transformation of the original source and ultimately becomes an autonomous score and/or unique graphic/sculptural piece in and of itself. The defective record, as opposed the standardised smooth reproduction of sound, means quality and concept at the same time. In his article 'New Plasticism in Music: Possibilities of the Gramophone', László Moholy-Nagy said that it lies in the peculiarity of human nature that:

The abuse and misunderstanding [of the record form] are necessary to gain results. It is nessecary for evolution and survival. After every new recording the functioning apparatus is pushed ahead to further new impressions. That is one of the reasons for the necessity to always continue experiments in New Plasticism. From this standpoint the configurations are only worthwhile when they produce new, previously unknown, relationships. In other words, this means that reproduction (repetitions of already existing relations) without richer viewpoints from the special standpoint of creative production can, only in the best cases, be considered as a virtuosic opportunity. As production, meaning here productive creation, above all serves the human condition, we must attempt to further our purposes of creative production through the uses of those apparatuses or methods which until now have been used only for reproduction purposes.

In 1989 the 'Broken Music' exhibition was held in Berlin at DAAD gallery with work by, among others, Nam June Paik, John Cage, Milan Knížák and Christian Marclay. All had worked with the medium of the vinyl record and added a new use/application. The outcomes ranged from installations to be played by the public to plastic works in which the plate was transformed, mutated. The usual code of the record, as defined by the music industry, was broken in all works.


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