Session Drawing 14V4 (Key of C), 1 minute, 2013.
Session Drawings 11V1 (Bmin7♭5—10 minutes), 10V2 (Emin—7 minutes), and 3V3 (Gmaj—4 minutes), 21 minutes, 2013
This is basic mockup of how the videos would sound when played simultaneously within a space. A key difference here is that in a gallery setting, the videos are meant to be played asynchronously so that the sound in the space continuously evolves
Headphones are strongly recommended.
Session Drawing 11V1 (Bmin7♭5), 10 minutes, 2013
Session Drawing 10V2 (Emin), 7 minutes, 2013
Session Drawing 3V3 (Gmaj), 4 minutes, 2013
The animated work is about extending the ideas of cycles and transformation that are of central consideration in making the Session Drawings. The images are animated in a way that changes in position and form are often subtle and easy to miss over an extended period of time. Sound for each animation is in the same musical key with the intention of all running simultaneously and asynchronously as a single, multichannel piece. Variations in duration between the individual animations as they run together create an evolving soundscape that fills the space. The continuing cycle of harmony and dissonance reflect moments where lines cross or run in parallel.
Each animation is created by first creating an austere system of rules that must be followed precisely. Rolling dice determines everything with each pip given a numeric value. Through this process, the rolling of dice determines factors such as duration, where the particular image will appear in the composition, etc. This system effectively removes me from determining a final outcome in the work. In this way, the rules act as a proxy for natural phenomena.
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I've chosen to entitle this body of work Session Drawings because the layers if each drawing arrive at their level of completeness over the course of an arbitrary duration or session. Duration may be dictated by simply deciding that a layer is finished or simply on account of mundane interruptions from everyday life. More than one layer can be finished in a session. However, if one layer is completed and the next layer is left in an unfinished state, that’s how it will remain. Something that I begin one night will not be worked on again on the following morning. When a session is over, it’s on to the next.
The idea was born out of an interest in cycles (natural and unnatural) and the idea of change. In life, we are in a continuous state of flux, changing a little bit every minute of everyday. These drawings are a record of that change for me personally—though I believe that this notion extends to everyone and everything. For example, how I might hold a pen one day versus the next, where it hits the page, the kinds of marks that are made, etc are a reflection of small but significant traces of a perpetual state of transformation. The point is not about what a final drawing looks like but is about a process that is whose focus is on the present moment.
This piece is part of a larger exploration in and development of a relationship between color and sound. While there is no literal aural equivalent of a color or chromatic equivalent of a sound (not to be confused with the term "chromatic" in music theory in reference to chromatic scales, for example), I am interested in equivalent, sensorial experiences.
The images used in this piece are derived from one of my sketchbooks and are used here to create an abstract landscape. The color of the images corresponds to the sound generated which, in turn, is generated by taking the colors frequency in THz and simply generating the sound in a range that we can actually hear (The colors in the visible spectrum have a frequency interval that ranges between ~ 430–750 THz, well beyond the range of human hearing—which is approximately 20-20,000 Hz). To widen the range a bit, I doubled and halved the frequency number so as to expand the frequency range into 8 octaves (when going beyond 8 octaves, the shifting of the tone becomes difficult to discern).
I shot the source video for this a while back after I gave my dog, Ruby, a bath. I chose a 12 second section section with several layers of video timed slightly differently than the others to see how the sound and the video would go out of sync (thinking about Steve Reich's work with tape loops and phases). What begins with a small terrier frantically trying to dry herself off on our unmade bed quickly evolves into an abstract display of flowing forms, color and sound that removes itself more and more from it's original context.
Untitled (Screech Owl), 2011
Untitled (Meadowlands), 2011
Untitled (Screech Owl II), 2011
This is based on a live performance I was involved in at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago with the band Implodes, and Sydney Australia-based artist and computational designer Rene Christen back in November of 2010.
Using an application that Rene designed, I ran a live audio feed from a microphone that was placed in front of the band directly into my laptop. The application, which utilizes two monitors, used one as a canvas and the other the actual resulting, evolving composition that was projected as a backdrop for the band. On the canvas side, on the bottom the wave form from the audio feed was visible and divided into 256 sections. Each of these sections was a layer that could be selected and drawn on. The opacity of each layer was determined by the volume of the area selected. Above the wave form was the actual canvas area that was used to make the drawings using a digital drawing tablet. Additionally, there was an array of effects that could be applied and adjusted in real time (fades, blurs, passes, glows, etc).
This was created using a song called Screech Owl, featured on Implodes new release, Black Earth on Kranky Records.
These are all drawings from one of my sketchbooks that I brought along with me while traveling for work. Mostly these were all drawn in airports, on airplanes, in hotels, bars, and restaurants. A few of these ended up in a show I did in Columbus with my friends Sarah Weinstock and Elizabeth Gerdeman at Skylab called "Means to No End."
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