Temporary Ocean (in Light and Sound) — Night Two

"Temporary Ocean (in Light and Sound)," designed and printed by Steven Vallot

“Temporary Ocean (in Light and Sound),” designed and printed by Steven Vallot

An undulating cine-installation where flicker films give way to experiments with audio-visual feedback, optical soundtracks, and the materiality of light and sound.  Aleatory and programmed images emerge on-screen from an evolving field of color and movement in a room swelling with reflected waves and strangely affective resonances.  With film and video works by Paul Sharits, Billy Roisz, Mike Stoltz, Donna Cameron, Guy Sherwin, and Beverly and Tony Conrad, and a live performance by Shawn Greenlee.  Night two presented at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA, in conjunction with the Balagan Film Series.


Mike Stoltz, “With Pluses and Minuses,” 2013, 16mm, color, sound, 5 min
Real morning with pluses and minuses (my symbols for truth)

Beverly and Tony Conrad, “Straight and Narrow,” 1970, 16mm, b&w, sound, 10 min
Activating perceptual aberrations with sequenced patterns of black and white stripes set to music by John Cale and Terry Riley.  Intended to produce “a programmed gamut of hallucinatory color effects” and subjective sensations of movement (Film-Makers’ Coop).

Donna Cameron, “Fauve,” 1991, 16mm, color, sound, 10 min
A vibrant, and highly textural monochromatic study of “the physics of light waves leaving a source” where the viewer is “left in the UV light world of peripheral vision” (D.C.)

Paul Sharits, “N:O:T:H:I:N:G,” 1968, 16mm, color, silent, 35 min
“Based, in part, on the Tibetan Mandala of the Five Dhyani Buddhas / a journey toward the center of pure consciousness (Dharma-Dhatu Wisdom) / space and motion generated rather than illustrated / time-color energy create virtual shape / in negative time, growth is inverse decay” -P.S.

Guy Sherwin, “Musical Stairs,” 1977, 16mm, b&w, sound, 10 min
“In MUSICAL STAIRS, 16mm footage of an iron staircase was printed to produce both picture and soundtrack images, i.e., the optical sound sensor in the projector reads the photographs of iron steps as variable density soundtrack. The staircase is filmed from a fixed perspective, producing for the soundtrack a musical scale of eleven stages determined by the camera angles. Sound volume and image brightness were both controlled by varying the exposure setting at the printing stage. The fact that the staircase is neither a synthetic image, nor a particularly clean one (there happened to be leaves on the stairs when I shot the film) means that the sound is not pure, but dense with strange harmonies.” –G.S.

Guy Sherwin, “Night Train,” 1979, 16mm, b&w, sound, 2 min
“The sound of lights passing through a darkened landscape seen from a moving train.” –G.S.

Shawn Greenlee, “Impellent 2,” 2013, video, color, sound, 15 min
An experiment in “graphic waveshaping” where Greenlee uses digital microscopes to scan original paper works whose image data is then translated into both a hypnotizing, split-screen visual projection of shifting, abstract color designs, and jarring bursts of jittery sonic outputs configured by the artist through improvised manipulations of a multitouch trackpad. Via computer programs of his own design, Greenlee’s “Impellent” advances new methods for interpreting visual image as sound.