VBAB2013 In Absentia

Visible Bits, Audible Bytes 2013

13 Feb 2013
VBAB2013 was a series of talks and a concert of experimental film and audio-visual works exploring the relationship between sound a vision

Visible Bits, Audible Bytes 2013 was a series of talks and a concert of experimental film and audio-visual works that celebrated the soundtrack and explored the relationship between sound and the moving image.

An afternoon seminar brought together three of the UK’s leading practitioners to discuss their work in restoring, creating and performing audio-visual works – Dr Joseph Hyde, Bath Spa University; Dr Mick Grierson, Goldsmiths College University of London; Dr Louise Harris, Kingston University.

This was followed by a concert screening of works, curated to demonstrate the historical legacy of sound and image practice, bringing contemporary works and those from the BFI archives together in a diverse and fascinating programme.

Perpetual Motion (2011) – Andrew Hill
Trade Tattoo (1937) – Len Lye
Cs2 (2013) – Louise Harris
Delusions of Alien ControlMick Grierson [Live Performance]
End Transmission (2012) – Joseph Hyde
In Absentia (2000) – Quay Brothers & Karlheinz Stockhausen

The event was curated by the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (De Montfort University), in partnership with Phoenix.

More details about the works screened for the main concert of this edition of Visible Bits, Audible Bytes – including videos and links to viewing sites – can be found below.

CS2 — Louise Harris

CS2 is one in a series of pieces examining chaotic systems. The visual system involves a series of relatively simple calculations, but using sound to push the system to its extremes causes unexpected behaviours, oscillations and the collapse of visual structures.

End Transmission — Joseph Hyde

End Transmission combines two long-term obsessions for the artist: extremely degraded material on the boundaries of recognisability, and complex audio-visual relationships. It follows a series of experiments where audio and video signals were made to interfere with one another.

Trade Tattoo by Len Lye is a promotional short made by Len Lye in for the General Post Office Film Unit in 1937. The film utilises live action footage, composited so that it blends in and out of Lye’s abstract animation.

Delusions of Alien Control by Mick Grierson is a live performance produced by generating combined real-time audiovisual signals based on a series of deterministic iterative feedback algorithms, with each state becoming the starting condition for the following state. Although heavily inspired by the visual music tradition, they are neither film, nor music. Instead, they are best described as Audiovisual Art or Composition, both sound and image being the product of a single process, with sounds and images having identical internal structure in every respect.

In Absentia (2000) by Quay Brothers & Karlheinz Stockhausen is a powerful visualisation of a piece by Karlheinz Stockhausen. A woman alone in a room repeatedly writes a letter with tiny broken off pieces of pencil lead. Outside her window, vistas of ever-changing light register her every emotion. This piece can be rented on BFI Player for £1.