Sound

2012
Semiconductor Videoworks: Volume 1

Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt, who comprise the UK artist duo Semiconductor, make moving image works that explore the material nature of our world and question our place in the physical universe. This collection of works shows Semiconductor’s adoption of scientific tools, processes and philosophies that encourage artefacts, errors and interference as a way to reflect on the presence of the human as observer.

2013

Paul and Veena, two disembodied computer voices, wonder what things mean and what means things. We travel with them to various imagined places in this visually spare video, meditating on the in-between places and negative space where meaning hides out. Their discourse is interrupted by non-verbal utterances and coughs, out of which Magenheimer’s voice sings Everybody’s Talkin’ by Fred Neil, then disappears again, sinking back into the digital sonic depths.

2012
Les LeVeque, Spring

SPRING is a four minutes and fifty-six seconds experiment with psycho-optics and psychoacoustics to produce a field of moving images and sounds starring Ho Chi Minh, Occupy Wall Street actions and Crocus.

Note: This title is intended by the artist to be viewed in High Definition. While DVD format is available to enable accessibility, VDB recommends presentation on Blu-ray or HD digital file.

1986
Sympathetic Vibrations

Twelve church bells are rung daily for 30 days in a sculptural setting at the Capp Street Project in San Francisco. Ringers progress from practice sessions on beer bottles to a full-scale ring.

This piece was shot using a combination of 3/4" U-matic video plus Hi8 video.

This title is also available on Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos.

2018
Edward Rankus, The Cage of Sand

If asked to say what this work is about in one word, the answer — which is woven into the electronic musique concrète soundtrack — would be a Joycean one: it’s a “collideorscape.” The imagery is a return to materials Rankus dealt with as a young man in the video Naked Doom (1983). He has recycled imagery such as cages, a toy robot, and brain convolutions; newer motifs include a winged ballerina, Victorian corsets, and alchemical vessels containing birds.

2014

This video is the result of many hours of object manipulation for the camera. Sound itself is an object here and so is language, as sound effects trigger an off-screen narrative and letters rain down in a thunderstorm.

2007
The Theory of Time Here

It is TIME at a street corner in London... A collaboration between filmmaker Roderick Coover and writer Deb Unferth, this short marks the textual disintegration of the speaking clock in an unnerving portrait of technology, power, and the urban environment.

1972
Vertical Roll

In this well-known early tape, Jonas manipulates the grammar of the camera to create the sense of a grossly disturbed physical space. The space functions as a metaphor for the unstable identity of the costumed and masked female figure roaming the screen, negotiating the rolling barrier of the screen’s bottom edge.

2012
Village, silenced

A re-working of Humphrey Jenning's 1943 seminal docu-drama The Silent Village wherein coal miners from the Welsh village of Cwmgiedd re-enact the Nazi invasion and annihilation of the resisting Czech villagers of Lidice. Principal focus in this re-mix is upon the way sound is used as a mode of social control.

1969
Violin Tuned D.E.A.D.

Nauman stands with his back to the camera, repeatetedly drawing the bow across the strings of a violin tuned D, E, A, D. Perhaps more than any other exercise, this tape demonstrates the sense of anticipation built up in the viewer, as we wait for Nauman to walk, to turn around, to play music ... to do something. This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

2014

A silent, moving poem, this video incorporates the “voices” of a wide variety of text sources into one scrolling script. The majority of the footage was shot through the window of a neighborhood salon that was showing a demonstrational video of their eyebrow threading services. Originally conceived for an exhibition at Cleopatra’s in Brooklyn, NY, this video is meant for a window in a storefront space, ideally viewed from the street in the context of other commercial moving images.

2014
White Hole

The only time I’ve visited a communist country was when I went to Poland in 1980, not long after Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government was first elected in Britain. I first visited the former East Germany in 1997, eight years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and a few months after Tony Blair's ‘New Labour’ government was elected. Recalling these experiences many years later, White Hole questions our imaginings of life in other places, times and political systems, mirroring its narrative through its form. London and Warsaw, 1980. London and Leipzig, 1997. Where now?

2003
Worst Case Scenario

“This work by John Smith looks down onto a busy Viennese intersection and a corner bakery. Constructed from hundreds of still images, it presents situations in a stilted motion, often with sinister undertones. Through this technique we're made aware of our intrinsic capacity for creating continuity, and fragments of narrative, from potentially (no doubt actually) unconnected events.”

--Mark Webber, London Film Festival (2003)

2015
Ben Russell, YOLO

Filmed in the remains of Soweto's historic Sans Souci Cinema (1948-1998), YOLO is a makeshift structuralist mash-up created in collaboration with the Eat My Dust youth collective from the Kliptown district of Soweto, South Africa. Vibrating with mic checks and sine waves, resonating with an array of pre-roll sound — this is cause-and-effect shattered again and again, temporarily undone.

 O humans, You Only Live Once!