Now that I’ve got my camera back (from being temporarily lost to a friend of a friend’s car… oops!) I can post this photo of Alex’s stunning audio installation in Hackney’s St Augustine’s Tower. This is what you found after walking up the very tiny spiral staircase, accompanied by the sound of a D minor chord which seemed to chase up the staircase beside you and then disappear off, only to return again a little while later. There were speakers installed in the ceiling of the staircase, and in some of the side chambers along the way. The source of the sound was revealed at the very top, alongside the bell (which rang just as I got to the top – wow! that is LOUD), by a customised record player which was not playing a record but consisted of 72 copper plates which were each connected to a speaker somewhere in the tower, and each speaker played the chord as the revolving copper brush made contact with it. All this was hooked up to a synthesiser, with the D minor chord held down by tape. This art installation was not only perfectly suited to the site, but the sculptural/audio creating element was so carefully constructed and considered. What makes Alex Baker’s audio installation and sculpture work stand out, is that he gives the elements which create the sound as much attention as the audio itself, so the work is aesthetically pleasing to both the eye and the ear.
Watch/listen to a video clip of the artwork (mpeg – 40 seconds)
More photos of A Recurring Sequence of Events on my Flickr stream
More about Alex Baker’s art on his website
I seem to be only posting video these days… I’m not quite sure why except that I keep coming across good stuff! So what I suggest is that you watch this video while you have the Four Eyed Monsters video I posted about below/before loading in another tab. This Tunng video is wonderful and hilarious. The bundle of stuff floating through space somehow seems to sum up Tunng’s music, and the way it is animated to the sound fits perfectly. I love Becky’s leg movements sticking out of the planet of Tunng, in fact, all of the various Tunng members are sticking out of the planet in some way or another… brilliant! Best of Haines’ Tunng videos so far, I’d say.
I just watched this fantastic feature-length film on You Tube called Four Eyed Monsters. It is essentially a true love story made by two artists who met over the internet and then decided to make a film about their lives. The film is partly real-life footage (one of them is a filmmaker and video documents his life) and partly animations of drawings (the other draws/paints and documents her life in this medium) as well as specially shot scenes.
It might sound like a narcissistic endeavour, but I think it captures the way all our lives are saturated with online activity and digital documentation, and so watching the film on You Tube seems to make sense. Although a video sharing website is an appropriate context, this film is not limited by or to the internet – it has been shown at film festivals and at screenings around the world, and I am tempted to buy a DVD of it in order to enjoy a richer, higher definition visual experience.
Shot mainly in New York, the film includes some beautiful shots of the city, time-lapse and also video collage – a few times, they present video clips of other people speaking about their love lives, framed in the little thumbnail profile boxes of a myspace page. It is all very familiar territory, but interestingly, they met in a pre-Myspace time, when online networking/dating wasn’t something you talked about – so the appeal of this film grew as they worked on it and the online social networking phenomena really took off.
I like the way the film ends – at some point it switches into pure documentary mode and you start to get a glimpse of how and where it was fabricated. But at the same time as you are wondering if it was all just a grand fiction, you see the same two characters again, documented ‘behind the scenes’ making the story we’ve just been watching. Turns out the drama of their relationship is no less intense or real, in fact it is intensified (and nearly ruined) by this self-reflexive film making process [no kidding!]. They even edited in scenes of them receiving the acceptance call for the Slamdance film festival, so those first viewers almost saw themselves on the screen.
And so their story continues…
Watch the video above (you’ll have to wait some time while it loads) or find out more here: www.foureyedmonsters.com