Visible Bits, Audible Bytes 2014
Visible Bits, Audible Bytes 2014 was a one-day festival at Phoenix that celebrated the soundtrack and explored the relationship between sound and moving image. The event brought together leading international artists to present contemporary works alongside significant historical works from the archives of the BFI.
This 2014 edition of the annual VBAB festival featured an international programme that included a performance of Frequencies (Synthetic Variations) by Nicolas Bernier amongst a selection of live works, compositions and screenings. It also featured an accompanying exhibition by Nicolas in the cube gallery space.
More details about the works screened for this main concert of this edition of Visible Bits, Audible Bytes – including videos and links to viewing sites – can be found below.
Full Lineup –
Colour Box by Len Lye
Portrait D’une Femme by Thierry Gauthier
Raw Materials by Justin Bennett
Begone Dull Care by Norman McLarren & Evelyn Lambart
Lignes et Points by François Bayle & Piotr Kamler
Frequencies (Synthetic Variations) by Nicolas Bernier
Raw Materials — Justin Bennett
In Raw Materials Justin Bennett asks what it is possible to hear within field recordings. The protagonist types a letter while listening to sounds from his archive. He writes of the ability of sound to trigger memories and conjure up events, places and emotions.
Frequencies (Synthetic Variations) — Nicolas Bernier
This second instalment of the Frequencies series is an audiovisual composition purely based on synthetic sound and synthetic physical matter. Tightly composed together, sound and light are bursting within acrylic structures, bringing a sense of extreme precision where one can either hear the light or see the sound.
Colour Box by Len Lye is a seminal work by the New Zealand-born artist. Made in 1935, Lye painted directly onto the film strip to create this piece, synchronising his dynamic shapes and squiggles with an upbeat rumba track. This piece can be viewed for free on BFI Player.
Begone Dull Care by Norman McLarren & Evelyn Lambart is an extraordinary short animation from 1949, in which the artists painted colours, shapes, and transformations directly on to their filmstrip. The result is a vivid interpretation, in fluid lines and colour, of jazz music played by the Oscar Peterson Trio. This piece can be viewed for free on the National Film Board of Canada website.
Lignes et Points by François Bayle & Piotr Kamler – created in 1966 – is a collaboration between composer Bayle and animator Kamler that attempts to create sound and image in parallel, resulting in a completely abstract film. The artists combine violent light spots, solid lines and sound to establish a world where sound and image are considered as completely interdependent elements. This piece can be viewed for free on Arts Sonores.