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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

THE WORKS Review: Experimental 1/2 Hour

Posted by Noah Dunham on Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Here it is pure and simple: I find experimental video art to be extremely difficult to engage in. This might have something to do with the fact that I really have no idea how one goes about conceiving or creating it; the extent of my video editing knowledge is trapped somewhere in the early aughts when imovie seemed crazy sophisticated. So one would think I would have some reverence for artists who can bend, manipulate, and edit the shit out of digital media in such a way that they create complex compositions out of real life footage. But alas, I just find myself ignoring video art. Something about it shuts my sensory experience down and I find myself either day dreaming, or growing frustrated by my lack of context with a piece and a whole genre of contemporary art.

Lucky Dragons
  • Lucky Dragons

It was much to my surprise then last night whenExperimental 1/2 Hour a bi-weekly cable access show produced by Eva Aguila and Brock Fansler (you can read some more about here) presented some video art that held my attention and got me excited about experiencing the medium again.

The act that was probably the most thrilling last night, and that easily stole the show was the performance put on by Lucky Dragons, the video/sound magician duo populated by Luke Fischbeck and Sarah Rara. Now I already know I'm going to sound like an idiot here, because I have absolutely no idea how their piece worked (and couldn't track them down afterwards to ask), but from what I could tell. Lucky Dragons built some kind of motion capture audio platform that they were able to generate ambient sound from when objects moved upon the machine's sensory field (oh my god I'm not doing this justice). Basically the duo each held a large piece of striped gray and white paper that they would slide across a glass platform. When the lines of the two sheets matched up, there would be no sound, no distortion coming out of the speakers. But then when moved, when the lines crossed and mixed, sound would grow, become manipulated, change, and soar. And what's more, all of this was then projected on the screen behind them so we could follow every little move they made with the machine. It was an engaging piece and impressive in its craftsmanship and execution.

I'm wondering if any of our readers (or maybe a Mr. Matt Stangel?) could tell us better how these crazy kids made this magic happen? Anyone want to chime in?

Also, how do you feel about video-art? And did anyone happen to Tivo the live broadcast of last night's Experimental 1/2 Hour?

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