audio-visual environment / 2011 / 360° video projection
‘The Wagon Wheel Project’ researches interferences between filming, perception and projection. The project is inspired by the nature and limits of visual perception. The ‘Wagon Wheel Effect’ is a visual effect that occurs when one observes rotating objects at high speeds: through the slowness of our perception, the wheel seemingly stops at a certain speed, and starts to rotate backwards.
in collaboration with Arno Scheper
audio-visual environment / 2010
more info at plane-scape.net
Plane Scape investigates relations between image, sound and space. The visitor finds himself immersed in an environment which is constantly redefining the space. A maze of thousands of white elastic rubber bands, reaching from the floor up to the ceiling, forms a grid of vertical lines on which a moving image of an abstract landscape is being projected. The installation deals with conceptions of cinematic space and the viewer in relation to the projection, i.e. the human to his surroundings. It is designed in a way that directly integrates the viewer by breaking up the distance between projection, audience and screen. Plane Scape is an accessible screen, which considers the image an environment rather than a two dimensional plane.
The elastic strips slice up the projected 2D image in space, exploding the screen into depth and scattering projected lines and planes into clouds of moving points. Changes in the movement of the projected imagery is accompanied by a six-channel sound composition.
Plane Scape is a collaboration between Wolfgang Bittner, Lyndsey Housden, Yoko Seyama and Jeroen Uyttendaele.
Immersive audiovisual environments are often associated with elaborate and cutting edge technologies. From Imax theaters to works such as Filmachine by Keiichiro Shibuya and Takashi Ikegami, impressive amounts of equipment are deployed to deliver high levels of sensory involvement.
But staging less gear can be more effective: Plane Scape is a collaborative project by Wolfgang Bittner, Lyndsey Housden, Yoko Seyama and Jeroen Uyttendaele, which presents an original combination of media. In the Zaal5 at Den Haag’s Filmhuis, visitors are invited to enter a forest of thousands of elastic rubber bands stretched from the floor to the ceiling throughout the whole room. A generative animation of white lines is projected on this exploded screen, extruding the light patterns in depth and creating an abstract landscape of moving planes and pixel clouds that resemble the celestial imagery of planetariums or early vector based virtual reality. This could be imagined as a set for a film that is continuously in the making, where the camera work is done by each viewer as he finds his way in the maze of lines, adjusting his perspective, zooming in or out of the elaborate geometries.
The auditory layer of the piece is equally as effective in creating a sensation of depth and envelopment. From six speakers the room is flooded with droning sinewaves that raise or lower their frequency as the projected planes rise and fall, creating a feeling of a loss of gravity. Plane Scape could be placed in the genealogy of the total artwork, but while a Wagnerian ethos can easily overwhelm the audience, this piece shifts its emphasis towards the poetics of minimalism and simplicity. It reiterates the idea that by articulating just a few basic perceptual elements some of the most engaging experiences can be created.
[ Matteo Marangoni ]
audiovisual performance / 2010
music composed by John Cage and performed by Angelica Vasquez on harp
Visuals for Gamila / 2009
Michiel Claus [ drums, laptop ] / Steindor Kristinsson [ laptop, vocals ] / Ofer Smilansky [ laptop, bass, vocals ] / Yamila Rios Manzanares [ cello, laptop, vocals ] / Angelica Vazquez [ harp, pedals ]
audio-visual performance / 2008 / ca. 20 min
For the live cinema piece One Month House, the deconstruction of an appartment block was filmed for the duration of several weeks. The time lapse footage of the webcam, capturing one frame every minute – is a record of the breaking down process, as well as a document of the passing of time, seizable in the fluctuations of the changing light. By the means of a custom image analysis software, these variations in image intensity are transformed into audio signals and used as a layer of the composition. Thus, the play of clouds, the flickering sun and day-night rhythms are translated into a fragile interplay between images and sound, in which the deconstruction is abstracted.
in collaboration with Jeroen Uyttendaele [ sound ]
audio-visual performance / 2007 / ca. 7 min
Melissa explores the possibilities of translating written text directly into both visual and audio composition. Using Morse code sequences to encode a newspaper article into signals, the text is transformed into the score of a musical piece, and provides the structure for generating live imagery.
The article describes the murder of a young girl named Melissa. Banned on a page of a daily newspaper, the tragedy is converted to mere information. Through the translation of words into sound and video, the source material is abstracted, but still contains the whole information of the former text.
in collaboration with Jeroen Uyttendaele [ sound ]
DV PAL / 2005 / 3:30 min
sound Florian Kindlinger
In Import / Export Wolfgang Bittner organizes an encounter of a repeated process of image editing with a video loop of two trains that are filmed from an upside angle. The effect? A declining shot of a movement in opposing directions that is accompanied by a soundtrack of steadily more silent and deformed noises. In a time frame of 5 seconds the original recording transforms and step-by-step the image-sound-sequence dissolves.
The basis of the piece is a technically complex process that was executed repeatedly on digital data. Bittner positions the applied technical means in quirky contrast to the theme of the video piece. It seems as if the artist tries to trap a process by using the most modern technology, but that finally withdraws itself from any tangibility. With a digital programme as a 21st century pendant of the big wheelwork, the ghost in the machine, from the Industrial Revolution, the possibility is suggested at here that the mechanics of vanishing could be captured.
The interplay of image and sound develops a surprisingly dynamic loop of action that shows in a kind of time lapse how perception constantly vanishes, how it became more vague, dissolves in outlines and unspecific arrays of color and sound until, at the end, sediments are the only remaining left-overs. As a remembrance, or a process, or a passion.
Furthermore, the fading of the video could also be understood as the wear marks of repetitive actions that become automatisms, actions that somehow loose their importance when the splendor of the new is gone. As in the daily routine, the familiar unchanging path, the same bridge, the same train.
[ Lene ter Haar ]
Zu den Konventionen des narrativen Filmbildes gehören zwei unreflektierte Gewissheiten. Erstens, dass Film die Zentralperspektive unserer alltäglichen Raumwahrnehmung abbildet (oben/unten; links/rechts; close-up/Totale). Zweitens, dass uns der Film die lineare Unumkehrbarkeit der Zeit vor Augen führt (Vertikalität; vorher/nachher).
Diese beiden Grundprinzipien filmischer Illusionswirkung relativiert Import/Export. Das Bild von zwei „Zügen“, die sich scheinbar in zwei gegensätzliche Richtungen bewegen, bilden vermittels eines digitalen „Loops“ eine kontinuierliche Zeitachse. Auf dieser werden minimale Parameter verändert: In der Zeitspanne von jeweils 5 Sekunden wird die digitale Bildinformation importiert und exportiert. Diese Information des Footage wird im Gesamtverlauf Schritt für Schritt vermindert bis sich das anfänglich konkrete Bild in weiße Unschärfe auflöst .
[ Ramón Reichert ]