(I)MAGESOUND(S)

Jim Hobbs and Andrew Hill


Image: Jim Hobbs, still from Nature Morte.


SixtyEight Art Institute is very pleased to be hosting the (I)MAGESOUND(S) project in collaboration with Cinemateket during Copenhagen Art Week. This special art film programme is the project of UK based artist Jim Hobbs and composer Andrew Hill, whose artistic and music research re-engage audiences with cinematic experiences from art film history and new expanded sound pieces.

Thursday 23 May, 18:00-20:00
Talk about the (I)MAGESOUND(S) project with Jim Hobbs and Andrew Hill
SixtyEight Art Institute
Gothersgade 167

Friday 24 May, 18:30-20:45
(I)MAGESOUND(S): Expanded Cinema
Cinemateket
Gothersgade 55
Tickets can be purchased directly from Cinemateket: https://www.dfi.dk/cinemateket
80 DKK for non-members, 50 DKK for members of Cinemateket.


Some have suggested we drop the term “cinema” and substitute “motion pictures,” and certainly the term says and includes much (though the role of sound seems muffled by it). I myself think we should stick with the term “cinema”, not only because it refers to the effect, the motion we see on whatever type of screen, but also because it has a long history, including various genres, styles and major technical transformations (silent to sound, the various color systems, and digital and analogue processes).
Tom Gunning, What is Cinema? The challenge of the Moving Image Past and Future, 2016

The striking argument stemming from Gunning’s statement is not so much his attempt to define a certain genre, but rather his desire for inclusivity amongst the various forms and formats of the medium. He is searching for a means of totality, which embodies the past within the present - and future - experience of cinema. Moreover, he readily admits that the role of sound has often been silenced (or at least turned down) in discourse, as if it takes a back seat to the visual. However, it can be argued that image and sound are inextricable, equally necessary in the total cinematic experience. Another aspect, often segregated and neglected, is that of liveness and performance. Improvisational and interactive cinematic events can create new dialogues between filmmaker and composer / musician, artist and audience, expanding the roles and rules of cinematic experience to inhabit/define a transformed cinema space.

(I)MAGESOUND(S) is a project that embraces an expanded experience of the cinematic, locating historical and contemporary artists’ work alongside the work of Jim Hobbs and Andrew Hill. The concept for the programme was originally born out of a research project/commission by Mono No Aware and The New York Public Library (NYPL) for the Performing Arts, as part of the annual Cinema Arts festival MONO X. Working with the NYPL for Performing Arts film archive, contemporary individual artists, musicians and film distributors, the original project created a programme that brought together a variety of approaches to cinema, ranging from single screen films to more performative and expansive works. Its intention was to celebrate the relationship between image and sound, and emphasise the collaborative and generative possibilities between artists of different disciplines. In this spirit, Hobbs and Hill have chosen to invite additional musicians/artists from each city where the project will be performed. For Copenhagen, Danish multimedia artist Steffen Levring will join to offer additional sonic elements throughout the evening.


Programme

The programme is divided into 4 movements, and begins with Hobbs’ 16mm film Nature Morte - a suite of 16mm films composed of different floral arrangements, whereby the subject matter also transforms into a source of sound. Looking back towards Robert Mapplethorpe’s early flower photographs, Hobbs takes on board the ideas that the flowers represented here are simultaneously life and death – and as such have a frequency that hums with tension. With a focused and durational gaze, each “still life” explores the visual beauty of a staged composition, while at the same time searching for moments within the frame that utilize the optical soundtrack on the film’s surface to create sonic equivalents. The output of these sounds is manipulated live, creating alien noises that challenge and shift the imagery. (10 mins)

Score and (Re)Score is a curated selection of both historical and contemporary artists’ single screen works which focus on the image/sound relationship. Scores both original and new are paired with 16mm works to expand and explore the influence on the films. Works selected from the New York Public Library of Performing Arts (New York), Light Cone (Paris), The Conner Family Trust (San Francisco), LUX (London), Image Forum (Tokyo), and from individual artists include:
Mary Ellen Bute - Rythym in Light, 1934, 5 mins (new live score)
Stan Brakhage - Garden of Earthly Delights, 1981, 2 mins (silent)
Bruce Conner - Cosmic Ray, 1961, 4 mins (original score)

David Leister - Headgear, 1998, 6 mins (new live score)
Guy Sherwin & Lyn Loo - Washi 1, 2014, 4 mins (new live score)
Hiroshi Yamazaki - Heliography, 1979, 6 mins (original score)
Ben Rivers - House, 2006, 5 mins (new live score)

Projections is an electroacoustic composition for 16mm projector and pre-recorded sound. Sounds of the projector are sampled, transformed and spatialized, bringing the humble projector into focus. Instead of light it is the sound which is projected out into the space, shifting, moving, circling and transforming our relationships to the projector. In this post- acousmatic work the sound source takes centre stage, with the physical sounds of the projector being mixed with the recorded sounds. Sonic materials were originally recorded in Hobbs’ studio in St Leonards-on-Sea UK, and composed/edited by Andrew Hill at NOTAM in Olso, Norway. (10 mins.)

Vientos Fuertes (Strong Winds) is the final work in the programme and is a performative piece using multiple projectors/screens and manipulated improvisational live sound. Taking Miguel Cervantes’ Don Quixote as a starting point, the work forefronts windmills as mechanical and monumental sculptures in the landscape – giants whose presence is felt visually, sonically and physically. Loops of film are run through projectors, mixed and overlaid onto each other, while the sounds are composed from the optical soundtrack on the films and various digital sources. It is a cinematic imagining of the experience of Quixote – at first amazed and frightened by the sight, then charging ahead full of confidence, yet ultimately being churned up and spat out at the other end by the spinning arms of giants. (15 mins)

(I)MAGESOUND(S) has been made possible with generous support from the School of Design at The University of Greenwich, London. Hobbs and Hill would like to thank the following people: Guy Sherwin & Lynn Loo, David Leister, Ben Rivers, Elena Rossi-Snook, Steve Cossman, Light Cone, The Bruce Conner Family Trust, Image Forum, LUX, NOTAM, Christopher Sand-Iversen, Sam Belifante, Mat Fleming, Maria Glyka, and Vassilis Vlastaras.

(I)MAGESOUND(S) was originally performed at The Bruno Walter Auditorium in Lincoln Center, New York on December 1, 2016 with Jim Hobbs, Andrew Hill, and Dennis McNany (Museum of Love, Jee Day, DFA).



Bios


Jim Hobbs
b. 1975, USA
Lives St Leonards-on-Sea, UK

Jim Hobbs' work utilises a variety of media including 16mm film, video, installation, site-specific work, drawing, sculpture, sound and photography. Currently his work and research investigate the personal and social implications of loss, oblivion, history, place, memory and the subsequent acts of remembrance/memorialisation. The work bears particular focus on how the use of architecture (space/place) and monuments (objects) become a type of physical manifestation of that which is absent, and how these “stand-ins” can be used, manipulated, and reformed. More recently, his work has moved into the realm of filmic installations and performances, utilising film as a time based material and medium to investigate these concerns. He often collaborates with other artists/musicians to expand the work across disciplines and find new relationships between sound and image. Intrinsically interlinked with this is a constant questioning of the role of the analogue within the digital age – how it functions, if it can override associations with nostalgia, and notions of the quality of image and how that relates to memory. His work is shown internationally in museums, galleries, art spaces, and festivals. He is currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich and teaches an Experimental Drawing Course at The Slade School of Fine Art.


Andrew Hill
b. 1986, United Kingdom
Lives and Works London, UK

Andrew Hill is a composer of electroacoustic music, specialising in studio composed works both acousmatic (purely sound based) and audio-visual. His works have been performed extensively across the UK, in Europe and the US. Including performances at Fyklingen, Stockholm; GRM, Paris; ZKM, Karlsruhe; New York Public Library, New York; London Contemporary Music Festival, London; San Francisco Tape Music Festival, San Francisco; Cinesonika, Vancouver; Festival Punto de Encuentro, Valencia; and many more. His works are composed with materials captured from the human and natural world, seeking to explore the beauty in everyday objects. He is particularly interested in how these materials are interpreted by audiences, and how these interpretations relate to our experience of the real and the virtual. He is Senior Lecturer in Sound Design and Music Technology at the University of Greenwich and programme leader of Sound Design BA.