Photo by Pat Bradley
You get three clues to guess what went down last Thursday: binary amplification, video art, and an electric toothbrush.
No, this wasn’t an exhibit at the New Museum, but a multimedia concert at Galapagos featuring new music collective Transit. Here in DUMBO, a few blocks away from the Theme headquarters, we experienced what’s au courant in the new music scene today: music with video and electronics. Tristan Perich, known for his 1-bit symphony, presented Woven, a piece reminiscent of varying repetitive textile patterns that literally weave into one another. Everything Perich does is pretty high-tech (Googled ‘binary gated amplification’--got nothing) so we won’t even try to explain exactly what was going on.
In a less cyclical nature, with video and music working together to illustrate ideas, So Percussion presented three brand spanking new pieces...so new, in fact, that they are only tentatively titled: ‘where (we) live.’ All pieces (toothbrush bit, dancers and dog bit, basement bit) featured videos accompanied by colorful and rhythmic noise-making by So, who made each action itself onscreen seem to contain an auditory expression. So Percussion can make the mundane, such as the hum of an electric toothbrush, capable of music making.
While So Percussion’s sounds played the ‘voice’ for its videos, Daniel Wohl’s music set the tone for the videos presented in Corps Exquis. The work was a true exquisite corpse, with each video referencing a frame from the previous one, and an element from each musical composition providing background material for the next. Six videos were created by different artists, including video art collective Satan’s Pearl Horses, who has done work ranging from art to music to fashion. SPH’s video, Corpus, worked with the music like a mini music-video, showing the journey of a tired, worn, nearly invisible, bleeding figure. In other cases, the videos were like animated abstract paintings with sound accompaniment.
Corps Exquis for our Nanos? With our iPods having video capabilities nowadays, it doesn’t seem impossible to relive the experience all over again.