British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Colorfield Variations

Synopsis
Curated by Richard Chartier, this magnificent audio-visual project draws on a formidable roster of artists operating in the field of experimental electronic music, featuring the likes of Steve Roden, Stephan Mathieu, Frank Bretschneider, Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti either contributing their own video accompaniment or working with visual artists within the tradition of Colour Field painting. An offshoot from the Abstrect Expressionist movement in the 1950s, Color Field art was preoccupied with the communicative power of pure chromatics. Steve Roden gets the compilation underway with a composition for violins, all meticulously and spaciously multitracked within an elegant electroacoustic configuration. In terms of its electronic content, the processing is all very transparent, carefully framing and editing the string parts without destroying the instruments’ timbral identity. Subtle chromatic shifts take place over the thirteen-minute duration, all very much in keeping with the rather analogue, natural feel of the music. Next comes Alan Callander’s ‘CF01’, a more ambiguous, ambient piece with a visual counterpart that suggests an animated Mark Rothko painting. Frank Bretschneider’s ‘Looping i-vi (excerpt)' is typically fluent excursion into digital minimalism, joining horizontal linear animations with ear-tickling high frequency flickers. After ten minutes of typically brilliant drone work (and rapidly flickering colour changes) from Stephan Mathieu, the DVD begins to make moves towards the more in-your-face, visceral end of the audio-visual spectra. Mego stalwarts Tina Frank & General Magic conjure up two minutes of intelligent, joyful digital chaos while Bas Van Koolwuk presents a bombardment of juddering signal modulations in conjunction with monochromatic screen interference. Ryoichi Kurokawa comes the closest to ondotzero territory with his florid and kaleidoscopic mixed media outing, ‘Scorch’, but the soundtrack is very much in the vein of 12k and Spekk in terms of its beguiling granular synthesis and gauzy warmth. Also worthy of note is Sawako’s contribution, whose high frequency sonorities are perhaps more in line with Sachiko M’s steady-handed minimalism than the artist’s own output. The two closing pieces are similarly rooted in minutiae: the collaborations between Evelina Domnitch + Dmitry Gelfland and Ernest Edmonds + Mark Fell both experiment with involving nano-sonics while keeping to the elemental colour-sculpting brief.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2009
Year of production
2009
Subjects
Music
Keywords
experimental music; modern art; electronic music; Colour Field painting

Credits

Contributor
Richard Chartier

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 0 PAL
Price
£15.99
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
81 minutes
Year
2010

Distributor

Name

Boomkat

Email
http://www.boomkat.com/contact.cfm
Web
http://boomkat.com/ External site opens in new window
Phone
0161 236 4792
Address
Unit 101 Ducie House
37 Ducie Street
Manchester
M1 2JW

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 316 times.