Sonic Point of View

Sonično gledišče = Sonic Point of View
avdio-vizualna instalacija

by B. SAVSKI



Na Kunstradiu, Dunaj junija 2002
Thanks for photos!
The prism defied the plan…
Performance at Kunstradio
Vienna in June 2002…

 

SONIČNO GLEDIŠČE je modularna instalacija, ki naj bi z enostavnimi sredstvi združila v celoto “nebo in zemljo”. Poudarek je torej na “podobi celostnosti”. Torej je bilo potrebno vse mogoče “sklopljenosti” prečistiti na elementarni dvojec “nebo in zemljo”. Temu najenostavnejšemu dualnemu sistemu smo dodali še nekaj drugačnih interpretacij – vzetih iz množice obstoječih miselnih sistemov – vsak s svojo simboliko. Med seboj težko prevedljivi. Sestavljanka prečiščenega modela v estetsko (ali konceptualno) celoto se mi je zdela mnogo prelahka naloga, zato sem v modularno (fizično) zgradbo na enak način (kot module) vgradil tudi simbolne vrednosti iz različnih miselnih okolij. Simboli so stereotipi – v sebi nosijo na najmanjšem možnem prostoru skoncentriranih največ pomenov.

Kako smo sestavili “nebo in zemljo”?
Tej dvojnosti smo v estetskem dodali dvojnost zvoka in slike. Pri tem se pomeni začnejo drastično množiti: slika prinaša podpomene podoba, odsev, refleksija, misel, duhovno, vzvišeno…, zvok pa polnost, vseprisotnost, neločljivost, materialni svet. Na podoben način so se začeli množiti interpretativni sistemi, ki jih je bilo možno priklicati na pomoč. Hkrati z množino možnih interpretacij je pravilnost interpretacije postala nepomembna (inflacija pač razvrednoti vrednost posamezne interpretacije). Zanimiva je postala pot v skrajno poenostavitev (abstrakcijo) in de-avtorizacijo. Sistem naj bi postal odprt za naselitev (apropriacijo), avtorstvo pa bi razpadlo le na avtorstvo duhovnega koncepta (predhodnega razmisleka) in na avtorstvo v materialnem prisotnega (vloženega) dela. Kar je sicer imelo odmeve, hkrati pa ostalo za opazovalce nerazumljeno (nekonzumirano, celo nedotakljivo).

Razumevanje (in komunikacija) je torej ostala domena opazovalca in njegovega perceptivno-reflektivnega aparata. Vse skupaj je ostalo brez razlage – nekje med nebom in zemljo. Interpretacije obiskovalcev so prav tako ostale nekje vmes – med očividnim in njim lastnim notranjim vpogledom. Na nek način smo bili med vsemi nedorečenostmi in neizraženimi smisli (okviri, žanri, diskurzi) vsi opazovani.

Izvedba:
Sestavili smo dva modula: okroglo mizo (scratch’o’phone!?), ki je nevsakdanji zvočni vmesnik (interface) “s katerim je vsakdo lahko virtuoz” (ker nihče ne more biti virtuoz!). Torej: element demistifikacije, igralo (ne instrument!). S pomočjo gibanja rok nad tremi ploščami akter oblikuje zvočno podobo. Scenografijo smo zastavili minimalistično: v razmeroma velikem temačnem prostoru smo v središče špostavili slabo osvetljeni podij, organiziran na način komandnega pulta (okrogla miza) in nasproti njemu točko opazovališča. “Projektor” je bil neke vrste prizma (posoda) napolnjena z vodo, na valovanje površine vode pa najk bi vplival zvočni tok v prostoru. Rezultat odseva usmerjene svetlobe na prizmo naj bi na platnu na stropu galerije risal z mavričnim odtenkom obarvane interferenčne “tkanine”. Na žalost ideja ni že izvedba, predstava je eno, materialna resničnost drugo. Oblika triogle prizme (na vrhu) ni omogočala resonanc – torej tvorbe stojnih valov, cčemur smo se pravzaprav hoteli izogniti že na začetku. Resonance so namreč del “inercije” sistema, v našem primeru pa smo hoteli trenutni odziv – neposredno risanje “po nebu”. Za zadovoljivo vzbujanje obstoječega sistema bi potrebovali preveliko “ojačevanje”. Jasno je, da človek s sodobnimi sredstvi lahko “ojači” karkoli, vendar se mi zdi, da je to ena od temeljnih razlik med znanostjo in umetnostjo. V umetnosti se na neki meji ustaviš, kar se tiče kakršne koli uporabe tehnoloških sredstev. Cilj ne posvečuje sredstva! Ali je to etični moment? Je.

Razstavo smo odprli s koncertom, za katerega tudi ni bilo jasno, ali je koncert, performance ali karkoli drugega. Poleg tega je bila “komornost” (intimnost) same instalacije neprimerna za socialni dogodek, kar je otvoritev razstave. Kot tretji modul se v obstoječ sistem (brez nedelujočega “projektorja”) vključil avstrijski zvočni umetnik Ludwig Zeininger, ki operira s precej podobnimi kompleksnimi sistemi, a v računalniku. Verjetno z drugačnimi motivi, morda pa tudi ne – o filozofiji nisva nikoli govorila. Prav tako ni dobil nikakršnih posebnih obrazložitev, kako naj se vključi, kaj naj bo rezultat. Ludwig je včasih na Dunaju igral v jazzovskem bendu (z računalnikom!), poleg tega pa tudi v zanimivi elektro skupini Elektro Pathologic Consort (EPC).

Na koncertu, kjer gre ne gre za običajno sledenje predpisani strukturi, torej je vse improvizirano, je bistvena koncentracija in zavedanje prisotnosti (vložkov) drugega. Prvi človeški refleks je, da sliši samega sebe, kar običajno pomeni, da želi preglasiti ostale. Pri improvizirani glasbi (ali v splošnem: komunikaciji) je nujno potrebno obratno: da sliši drugega in da omogoči, da se sliši tudi drugi. Koncentracija je potrebna za brzdanje lastnega ega.

V tekočem trenutku sva torej odreagirala znotraj pripravljene strukture vseh prisotnih sistemov (tudi publike in celo enega psa), a brez želja po konkretnih estetskih ciljih. Ali je to zadovoljilo Ludwiga ali ne, ne vem. Zdi se mi, da ja. Če bi skupaj reflektirala za nazaj, bi se verjetno pokazala naprotja, vendar je bil skupen nastop dejanje kreacije trenutka in ne strukture.

Ludwig Zeininger je uporabil program Pure Data, zelo modularne in poljubno notranje povezane strukture. Njegova odločitev je bila, da se v sistem vključi s pomočjo prisluškovanja harmonični zgradbi (frekvenčnemu spektru) zvoka okrogle mize, kar poskrbi za kar nekaj različnih kontrolnih napetosti, ki vplivajo na računalnikov zvočni izhod. Sicer pa je bil njegov računalnik vzporedno tudi avtonomni sistem, ki je lahko prevzel iniciativo (in jo tudi je).

How did we achieve the abstract by multiplying the meanings (the symbolic content of the system, the associative field):

Water brings symbols: fluidity, softness, resonance, unpredictability, warmth, omnipresence, satisfies the thirst…

With a simple twist, we enter the symbolic depth of human spirituality… (do we really?)

It may be either ouroboros (kača, ki grize svoj rep in predstavlja neskončnost razvoja, poti, cikličnost, itd…), yin & yang, spiral, whirlpool (vrtinec: a path into the unknown, deep, dark…).

One should not take my using of these symbols too seriously, since I look at these human inventions with a lot of humour. But it is not about offending someone – one can see every system as a kind of machine for production of meaning. What is written here, is my machine (well, not altogether mine, but I deconstructed a lot, before I put it together again).

VISIT CYM...

 

SONIC POINT OF VIEW is a modular installation, that was supposed to “connect Heaven and Earth” with very simple means. The emphasis is on creating “an image of wholeness”. Therefore, every possible “connection” that would arise needed to point out to this elementary dualism of “Heaven and Earth”. A number of other similar interpretations, from various systems of thought were combined to this elementary system of duality – every system bringing its own symbolics. Systems cannot be easily translated into one anyother. A simple combination of a reduced (straightforward, clean) aesthetic (conceptual) model seemed a too easy job. Who needs a simple machine that one can buy at every corner. Therefore I added to the modular (material) part of installation also the modules of symbolic values from different thought systems. Symbols are stereotyopes – they are heavily concentrated with meanings and using the least amount of space.

How we connected “Heaven and Earth”?
To this elementary duality we superpositioned the aesthetic double of Sound (=Earth) and Vision (=Heaven). Since they are not conforming, the meanings start to multiply: vision brings forth the submeanings: image, view, understanding, reflection, thought, spiritual, the upper…, and the sound bringing the ideas of multiplity, omnipresence, fullness, resonance, the material nature of things (and thoughts). In fact: I see it as an example of autopoietic (or cybernetic) principle. Similarly, the interpretative systems begin to multiply, the ones that provide possible interpretations (understanding?). With the rising number of possible interpretations the right interpretation becomes unimportant. The inflation devalues all the interpretations.

Then it became interesting to do the most radical reduction, simplification (abstraction) of installation and also the de-authorization. System should be open for inhabiting (apropriation) and interpretation. The autorship would then be the authorship of the thought model (concept; preliminary thought process) and the authorship of the work (invested) in the material part of installation – the two are pretty much one and the same. It all had echoes, but it remained remote and far-fetched for the audience, which in any case could never grasp any meaningful part of it (consume it). So, the interpretation and understanding is totally in the domain of the perceptor and his perceptive-reflectory apparatus. In fact, there was never any easy explanation – words always hanging somewhere between Heaven and Earth.

The work:
I combined just two modules: the so-called round table (scratch’o’phone!?), an unusual sound interface “enabling anyone to be a virtuoso” (because nobody can be a virtuoso). An element of demistification and a play-thing instead of an instrument. A player makes sound by moving the hands (essentially). The round table however makes a step sideways, since it not only de-mistifes, but also re-mistifies. Or should I say: re-symbolizes. The table is round and it has three records (which can be scratched), but no DJ can produce a decent electro-sound. So: while bringing forth a little bit of the known qualities, we take away the possibility to use it as such. Yes, it is a game of de-manipulation/manipulation, of de-mistification/mistification, of showing/hiding…

The scene was minimal: in a relatively large dark gallery there was a lightly lit small podium, organized as a kind of command panel (the round table) with the point of viewing just in front. “The projector” was a kind of prism (a vessel with water) and the sound should make the waterwaves. The result of a projection from a directional light source should show on the screen on the ceiling of the gallery as a rainbow-edged wave patterns (“weavings”). Pity that idea was a disaster, since the prism was triangular, not allowing for the resonances. During the conceptual work the resonances were not desired, since they are a kind of “inertia”, though they provide a simple means of selective amplification. As it was, the system would need prohibitively large amount of amplification. It is a simple fact of life (and a proof to omnipotence of the humans) that anything can be amplified to any measure, but one of the most important differences between science and art is: in art amplification is an ethical question.

The installation hd its openning moment as a concert (it was not clear whether it was a concert, performance or something else). The gallery discourse (and the lack of a classic theatre podium) introduced its own vocabulary, but which didn’t impose its own boundaries. As the “da camera” nature (the intimacy) of the installation was unappropriate for a social event, which the openning night is, I introduced the third module. I also eliminated the functionality of the second (since the “projector” didn’t give any -> didn’t work…). However in the view of re-mistification process I left the “projector” as a “designer’s object”, with its symbolic values (the pyramid) and aesthetic values (transparent, water filled and giving the light). It was a visual focus, stronger than that of the performers. As the third module Ludwig Zeininger, a sound artist from Graz/ Austria joined in. Ludwig used to play with a jazz band in Vienna (playing a computer!) and in a very interesting elektro-band Elektro Pathologic Consort. Ludwig performs with similar complex structures, but within a computer. Probably with different motives, but maybe not – we never discussed philosophy. In fact, we never discussed much of anything, and he didn’t get any special instructions how to “plug in”. When the focus is on “moment” the “structure” disapears…

In a kind of a concert, where it is not about following the prescribed structure – the improvised concert, the secret lies in concentration and awareness of the presence of “the other”. The first human reflex is to hear himself, which usually means that he/she wants to overpower the others. With improvised music (and in general: in communication) the opposite is necessary: to hear the other and allow the other to be heard. Concentration is needed to control the overflow of our own ego. Everything else is powerplay. Structure is unimportant – what counts is the the moment.

So: the structure (of installation, gallery, our and audience’s plus a dog’s preconceptions, the gallery discourse, etc…) was rich in variety. It always is, whether artist wants it or not. Within the moment of the concert we were without any need for a specific aesthetic result. We simply reacted within the present multiplity of structures. Did it satisfy Ludwig, or not? He said it was ok. If ever reflecting it together, there would probably be large differences, but rebuilding moment as a structure is a useless job – it has nothing to do with the moment anymore – an altogether different quality.

The only thing that was seriously missing was a moment of ecstacy. It will always be missing. It is not my job to provide fulfillment for the public. Who provides satisfaction? The one who provides wishes and yearnings should also provide fulfillment.

Ludwig Zeininger used a software Pure Data (PD), of a very modular and interconnectable nature. His decision was to “listen” to the round table’s frequency spectrum, and parallely extracts a number of kontroling values, which he uses within his system. However, his patch was not a passive system, but an autonomous one, able to fully take the initiative.

VISIT LUDWIG ZEININGER...

ZVOČNI BIOTOP (1999), SONIČNO GLEDIŠČE (2002) in ZVOČNO GLEDALIŠČE (2003) je predvidena trilogija, ki estetski avtoreferenčni sistem popelje po poti od modela zgolj zvočnega izraza, preko sklopljenega zvočno-vizualnega izraza, do celovite oblike perceptivno-duhovnega značaja. Sistem se razrašča modularno, v obliki posameznih kompleksnih zvočno-vizualnih strojev (interfaceov, instrumentov), v katere se na nevsakdanji (kar pomeni: nekodirani, nepreddefinirani, ne “ustrojeni”) način lahko vpne človek. Ni pa človek (v humanističnem pomenu) središče sistema (oziroma: središče sem vendarle jaz), sistem ostaja kljub svoji poudarjeni fizični prisotnosti (kar je dezinformacija) popolnoma abstrakten in v najboljšem primeru igračka za trenutek ali dva.

SONIČNO GLEDIŠČE je naslednji razvojni stadij instalacije ZVOČNI BIOTOP, ki sva jo v 14 dneh junija 1999 v Galeriji Kapelica predstavila avtorja Borut Savski (SLO) in John Grzinich (USA) in kateri se je prav tako pridružil Ludwig Zeninger. ZVOČNI BIOTOP je bil za prvega avtorja začetek preučevanja dinamičnih samoreferenčnih sistemov. Čeprav konceptualno jasen, izvedbeno dovolj uspešen, da je potrdil pravilnost koncepta, je ZVOČNI BIOTOP v svojem prvem približku zgolj nakazal možne smernice za nadaljne adaptacije.

Avtoreferenčni sistemi so vsi, ki v teku svojega razvoja, trajanja neprestano opazujejo svoje delovanje in se na njih odzivajo/ popravljajo. Če bi bile reakcije predvidljive, bi zlahka govorili o avtomatu, ker pa so podsistemi (elementi), ki so vključeni v celotni kompleksni sistem nelinearni, kombinacija rezultira v zelo nepredvidljivem obnašanju.

I. In kaj ima tako obnašanje opraviti z umetnostjo?
Umetnostni izrazi so strukturirane (miselne) projekcije ljudi o okolju. Ljudje smo avtoreferenčni (avtonomni) sistemi. Ali to pomeni, da smo inteligentni? Inteligentno naj bi bilo blizu racionalnemu. Morda pa je avtonomnost sestavnih delov le najbolj ekonomičen način preživetja celote. Ali je inteligenca posameznega sestavnega dela sploh pomembna? Na drugi strani pa bi le težko govorili o kakšni posebni inteligenci celote (človeške vrste). Diktat sebičnega gena? Dve dualni kategoriji se zdita pomembni. Obe se dotikata svobode oziroma nesvobode. Ena je razpetost med organizacijo (človeško družbo, civilizacijo, “ustroj”, zgradbo, strukturo, institucijo, stroj) na eni strani in posameznega sestavnega dela (“avtonomnega” posameznika, nosilca inteligence) na drugi strani. Druga zanimiva kategorija je čas, ki se razpenja med tistim, ki ga mislimo – si ga izmišljamo, gnetemo, načrtujemo – in ki nas gnete… (preteklost in prihodnost) in tistim, ki ga čutimo – in se neprestano izmika (sedanjost). Zame je zanimiv neulovljivi trenutek. Torej je bistveni del realiziranje akcij v realnem času, z distanco (avto)reflektiranja za nazaj in s podobno distanco projiciranja za naprej.

II. Stroji in kreativnost, umetnost.
Izhodišče mi je, da je je človek edini interpret umetnosti in kreativnosti (in sploh vsega…), sicer pa stvari (in relacije in sploh cel svet) niti niso posebej vezane na njegovo verovanje in mnenje. Ključna točka razumevanja je osmišljanje, kar je isto kot strukturiranje, oblikovanje (logičnih) relacij, gradba sistemov. Torej smo že pri strojih. V osnovi nastanka (pravilneje: osmislitve, poimenovanja) vsakega sistema je človek.Človek – graditelj strojev. In človek – tudi sam stroj. O tem več kje drugje…

Pri sistemu, ki se s problemom razvoja estetskega izraza v času bavi s pomočjo (akustičnega, mehaničnega, električnega) dinamičnega modela, je percepcija, pretvorba sprememb v realnem času zgolj rezultat njegovih mehaničnih lastnosti (resonanc, inercij) in velike mere naključnega delovanja (notranjih nestabilnosti sistema). Naključno = nepredvidljivo (za opazovalca). Nepredvidljivo delovanje se zdi osnova avtonomnega sistema – ločenega, neodvisnega, neprepoznavnega s strani zunanjega opazovalca.

THE SOUND BIOTOPE (1999), SONIC POINT OF VIEW (2002) and SOUND THEATRE (2003?) could be my path towards an aesthetical auto-referential system. A path from a model of a complex (sound & visual) system, to a complete spiritual-perceptive system. However, the path is not direct or linear, and there is no end to it. It is a philosophic path towards understanding and learning. The system grows through years as modules, in the form of a couple of complex audio-visual machines (interfaces, instruments), which can be inhabited by a human, but in a very unusual way (meaning: non-predefined, non-yet-precoded). So, all simple preconceptions and understandig (coding, meaning) are avoided. On the other hand, some humorous miss-conceptions are welcome, since we deal with the impossibility of simple translation of the meanings from one (mind) system to another. The reaching of the point of the non-understanding and non-conceptions is our goal. The point beyond the (social and mind) machines, but with the use of machines. Freedom!!!

In any case, when the interface(s) are used, human movement emerges (not dance), when hands and fingers are moved, sound emerges (not music). In the best case playing emerges. The moment, no concept. There is a concept, of course, and planning and reflection, but at that moment…

SONIC POINT OF VIEW (a very close translation is also: A Sonic Perspective; an installation and introductory performance with Ludwig Zeninger at Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana in January 2002) is the next step from the sound installation SOUND BIOTOPE, presented in June 1999 at Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana by Borut Savski (SLO) and John Grzinich (USA), with interventions by a couple of additional people, also with Ludwig Zeninger at the openning event. BIOTOPE vas the beginning of constructing models of dynamic autoreferential systems by the means of aesthetic language. As with all the rest, the Biotope only hinted the possibilites – it was never aesthetically evolved from a crude model. This is really not the point at all.

Autoreferential (or cybernetic) systems are those (all, really) that during their “life-span” evolve also on account of their past dynamics. In this manner they can be viewed as “active” (auto-reflective, intelligent), when they show a “learning” quality, or “passive”, when they are not “learning”. The systems may also be described as linear (reactive?) or non-linear (interactive). When machines (or tools, or interfaces, or mechanisms) are linear, we will use the word avtomata, when in a more complex form, we will describe it as a complex system.