Bart Vegter (NL, 1940–2011) made his first film in 1981, after participating in the Cineworkshop of the Vrije Academie in The Hague. Actually an autodidact, he was inspired by the attitudes and works of Frans Zwartjes, Paul de Mol and Jacques Verbeek, and by the experimental films he saw at the academy (mainly from USA), where he met many other motivated students. In 1990 he started using self-written computer programmes to generate his films.
Much of Bill Dietz’s (US) recent work addresses the performance of listening and the genealogy of the concert. He studied composition at the New England Conservatory and Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota. He has lived and worked in Berlin since 2003, initially as Peter Ablinger’s student and assistant. Subsequent collaborations include working extensively with Christian von Borries and Chris Newman, and with Maryanne Amacher until 2009. He has been the artistic director of Ensemble Zwischentöne since 2007. Along with Seth Josel and Chris Newman, he is MISS MOTH.
Carl Michael von Hausswolff
Carl Michael von Hausswolff (SE) is a composer and conceptual visual artist working with performance art, light- and sound installations and photography. His main tools are recording devices (camera, tape deck, radar, sonar) used in an ongoing investigation of electricity, frequency, architectural space and paranormal electronic interference. Hausswolff's own sound works are pure, intuitive studies of electricity, frequency and tone.
Amador Vega (ES) is a doctor of philosophy at the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg and a tenured lecturer at the Humanities Faculty of the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona). His fields of interest are medieval European mysticism and contemporary aesthetics. He has published books on Zen, Meister Eckhart, Ramon Llull and Mark Rothko.
Montreal-based Japanese filmmakerDaïchi Saïto’sworks explore the relation between the corporeal phenomena of vision and the material nature of the medium, fusing a formal investigation of frame and juxtaposition with sensual and poetic expressions.
Jacqueline Schoemaker (NL) is artistic researcher, writer and editor. She is working on a book about ‘the undivided city’.
Norman McLaren (CA, 1914–87) was a pioneer in a number of areas of animation and filmmaking, including drawn-on film animation, visual music, abstract film, pixilation and graphical sound.
Catherine Christer Hennix
Catherine Christer Hennix (US/SE) (voice, computer, sine waves, electronics) is a composer, philosopher, mathematician and visual artist. In the 1960s and 1970s she worked with illustrious figures such as La Monte Young and Pandit Pran Nath who were very important for her own work. She has frequently collborated with the American anti-art philosopher, composer and violinist Henry Flynt.
Eleh was formed specifically to pay tribute to early experimental minimalist pioneers Charlemagne Palestine, La Monte Young, Eliane Radigue and Pauline Oliveros. The enigmatic Eleh creates extremely minimal and deeply spiritual drone music with an emphasis on the physical ultra-low end using an enormous vintage modular analogue synthesiser, a battery of glowing HP tube test oscillators and occasionally guitar/piano. Incorporating tones as low as .05 Hz (well below the range of human hearing) Eleh provides a physical as well as a musical experience.
David Edgerton (UK) is the founding director of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, at the University of Manchester, where he holds the Hans Rausing Chair. One of Britain’s leading historians, Edgerton has published a number of works over 20 years which challenge conventional analyses of science and technology, including The Shock of the Old, Technology and Global History since 1900 (2006).
Ellen Fullman (US) is a composer, musician and instrument builder. She is famous for her Long String Instrument, an installation of dozens of wires 50 feet or more in length, tuned to just intonation and ‘bowed’ with rosin-coated fingers. She will discuss her work with the instrument during this interview. She has recorded extensively with the Long String Instrument and has collaborated with such luminary figures as composer Pauline Oliveros, choreographer Deborah Hay, the Kronos Quartet and Keiji Haino.
The works of Philipp Lachenmann (DE) deal with images as surfaces of collective memories whose self-referentiality can be revealed through interventions in their formal appearance.
Filmmaker René Jodoin (UK) promoted an artisanal approach to animation, with an emphasis on experimentation, innovation and education. As early as 1969, he began experimenting with computer-assisted animation.
Emptyset(UK) is a Bristol-based production duo, which explores the classic 1990s minimal techno on the M-Plant, Sähkö and Chain Reaction labels, suffusing them with the city’s culture of bass-heavy productions. Their sound has been described as ‘techno meets dubstep folded back onto techno again’. Emptyset acts as a research project, connecting the ideas and pleasures of a modern dance floor with experimental approaches to music and its design.
Enda Duffy (IE) is a Professor in the English Department at the University of California at Santa Barbara. His central interests include post-colonial literature and cultures; modernism and postmodernism; Irish literature; cultural studies and James Joyce.
Franz Hautzinger (AT) (microtonal trumpet) has worked with many groups since appearing on the Austrian jazz scene in the late 1980s. After a break of three years he returned in 2000 with a new approach to playing the trumpet, which focuses on breathing instead of producing notes. He is also part of The Choras(s)an Time-Court Mirage.
George Dyson (US/CA) is a historian and a philosopher of science and the future. The son of physicist Freeman Dyson, George grew up inside one of the most fervid hotbeds of scientific research in the Atomic Age. He spent his early adulthood living in a tree house, and designing and building Aleutian kayaks (chronicled in his book Baidarka: The Kayak, 1986). His 1997 book Darwin Among the Machines made a case for the Internet as a growing organism, an evolving life force. In 2002, he published a story from his extraordinary childhood, Project Orion: The Atomic Spaceship 1957–1965, about the drive to build a nuclear-powered rocket aimed at Saturn. His forthcoming book Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe is the fruit of years of research into the history and future of computing.
Ryohei Shimada (JP) is a graduate of Takarazuka University of Art and Design and of the Image Forum Institute of Moving Image.
Youth Lagoon is twenty-two year old Trevor Powers (US). Intimate and dreamy electronic music. His debut album The Year of Hibernation came out in 2011. Hidden beneath the melodies is a voice that is eerie yet nostalgic…
Hillel Schwartz (US) is a poet, translator, public arts consultant, and cultural historian. His 1000-page Making Noise. From Babel to the Big Bang and Beyond has just been published by Zone Books and distributed by MIT Press (2011). He also is the author of The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likenesses, Unreasonable Facsimiles (1998).
Hilary Jeffery (UK) (trombone) is a trombonist and composer. He performs with a number of other groups and musicians, including Zeitkratzer, Lysn and The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation. His is currently researching new compositional forms conceived as maps to explore spatial dimensions of sound. She is also part of The Choras(s)an Time-Court Mirage.
Ian Helliwell (UK) is a self-taught audiovisual artist. His work includes short experimental films, and the composition of electronic music with instruments he designs and builds himself. Since the early 1990s, he has completed a variety of short super-8 films using different techniques, including hand painting, bleaching, scratching, paper cut-out animation and collage. He continues to experiment with abstraction, colour, found footage and electronic sound.
Icarus (UK) have always carved their own distinctive, eclectic path through the world of electronic music, from their sampler-based deconstructions of drum and bass in the 1990s to the continuing generative and improvised software-based genre smashing that has characterised their more recent releases. In recent years, the band has tended towards the more conceptual end of electronic music, questioning the relation between music, digital distribution and uniqueness with the Fake Fish Distribution project, which by using generative and parametric techniques provided each listener with a unique version. Their freely improvised sets present a much harsher side, relying on complex beat patterns, dense soundscapes and volume. Amid layers of battering rhythms and complexities lie occasionally recognisable instruments, albeit in strange new forms.
Joanie Lemercier is a visual artist, and a member of the AntiVJ label initiated by a group of European artists whose work focuses on the use of projected light and its influence on our perception. Defiantly stepping away from standard setups and techniques, Joanie Lemercier presents innovative live performances and installations, providing the audience with a challenging experience for the senses.
Joe Gilmore (UK) is a multidisciplinary artist and graphic designer working in the fields of computer music, video and algorithmic art. He is co-creator of rand()%, an automated Internet radio station that streams real-time generative music. His work has been exhibited at numerous digital art festivals and galleries including Lovebytes (Sheffield), Sonar (Barcelona), Ear to the Earth (New York), and ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe).
Joel Ryan (NL/US) is a composer, inventor and scientist. He is a pioneer in the design of musical instruments based on real-time digital signal processing. He currently works at STEIM in Amsterdam, tours with the Frankfurt Ballet and is a teacher at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague. Starting from a scientific rather than a musical education, he moved into music by degrees from physics via philosophy. Ryan seeks to bring concreteness to digital electronic media through the intelligent touch of the performer.
At the dawn of the 1980s, Juan Atkins began recording what stands as perhaps the most influential body of work in the field of techno. Exploring his vision of a futuristic music which welded the more cosmic side of Parliament funk with rigid computer synth-pop embodied by Kraftwerk and the techno-futurist possibilities described by sociologist Alvin Toffler (author of The Third Wave and Future Shock), Atkins blurred his name behind aliases such as Cybotron, Model 500 and Infiniti — all, except for Cybotron, comprised solely of himself — to release many classics of sublime Detroit techno.
Juliana Borinski (BR/FR) works in the field of photography, videography and installations, experimenting with the conjunction between iconography and iconoclasm. Her works often integrate basic new technologies, materials or machines while referencing historical media techniques or physic experiments.
Julien Maire (FR) is a French new media artist who currently resides and works in Berlin. In his artworks and performances, he systematically re-invents the technology of visual media. His research is a manifest hybrid between media-archaeology and the production of new media constellations.
Keith Fullerton Whitman
Keith Fullerton Whitman (US) is a composer/performer obsessed with electronic music, from its mid-twentieth-century origins in Europe through its contemporary worldwide incarnation as digital music. He is currently working towards implementing a complete system for live performance of improvised electronic music that incorporates elements from nearly every era. He uses many stage names/pseudonyms, most notably Hrvatski.
Konzert Minimal is a Berlin-based concert series and ensemble started by Johnny Chang and Koen Nutters in November 2010 with the aim of performing the complete series of open instrumentation compositions by Antoine Beuger, from solo performer to 20 instrumentalists. One by one musicians from the experimental music community were invited to join the ensemble and explore the boundary between listening and perception through silence, tones, harmonies and space. In addition to completing the Beuger series the ensemble will start playing music by related composers such as Manfred Werder, Michael Pisaro and Radu Malfatti.
Mark Fell (UK) is a multi-disciplinary artist. His projects range from minimal electronic music, to audiovisual and sound installations. He works with synthetic sound, light and experimental technologies to bring together interests in computational technologies, non-musical sound synthesis, oppositional aesthetics and irregular encounters with time and space. His music compositions are mostly process-based.
Michael Pisaro (US) is a guitarist and composer. He spent much of the last decade making field recordings, occasionally using them in his own work. Many of his recent compositions, and especially his work with long-time collaborator, percussionist Greg Stuart, are concerned with the massing and subsequent spatialisation of sound to create ‘homemade’ environments. Pisaro teaches at the California Institute of the Arts, runs the Experimental Music Workshop, and curates his own record label, Gravity Wave.
Up until 2007, Model 500 was an alias for Juan Atkins. Then, Atkins partnered up with Mike Banks from Underground Resistance to form a Model 500 band. It wasn't the first time they had played together as Model 500 but this time Atkins added Detroit DJ/producer DJ Skurge to the mix along with longtime associate and established funk and techno producer Mark Taylor. As the "new" Model 500, they began performing as a band, debuting at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and not too long later, performing at festivals in Europe and Japan. Taking the band concept farther, the quartet has begun work on an untitled full length release. The current formation (2008 until present) of Model 500 consists of: Juan Atkins, Mike Banks, DJ Skurge, Mark Taylor.
Okkyung Lee (KR) is a classically trained cellist who has extended her technique by incorporating elements from jazz, traditional Korean music and noise. Since her move to New York she has become a prolific musician who releases solo albums and collaborates with many avant-garde musicians.
Olaf Nicolai (DE) is a German artist whose conceptual approach and use of diverse media question the way in which we view our everyday environment. He also translates theories from science and the arts into aesthetic-artistic idioms, rendering them accessible in a new context. His works deal with the perception of time in the reception of art. Nicolai has participated in international solo and group exhibitions. His works were shown at Documenta X, and at the 49th and 51st Venice Biennales. Several of his works can be found in public collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art / New York; Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary /Vienna; Friedrich Christian Flick Collection / Berlin and Migros Museum / Zürich.
Pauline Oliveros (US), composer, performer and humanitarian, is an important pioneer in American Music – and electronic music. She has explored sound for five decades, breaking new ground for herself and others. Through improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation she has created a body of work with such breadth of vision that it profoundly affects those who experience it. Music critic John Rockwell wrote: ‘On some level, music, sound consciousness and religion are all one, and she would seem to be very close to that level.
Paul Sharits (US) was a visual artist who is best known for his work in avant-garde filmmaking, particularly in what became known as the Structural film movement, along with artists such as Tony Conrad, Hollis Frampton and Michael Snow. His film work primarily focused on installations using infinite film loops, multiple projectors, and experimental soundtracks.
Peter Kubelka (AT) is a multifaceted artist and theoretician who has worked in film, cooking, music, architecture, speech and writing. He communicates through lectures, which also use non-verbal elements ‘to free our world view from being the exclusive property of language’. Kubelka’s cinematographic work is short and highly condensed. His ‘Metric Films’ preceded and laid the foundations for structural cinema.
The Pitch is a quartet from Berlin consisting of Michael Thieke (clarinet), Boris Baltschun (electric pump organ, sine tones), Koen Nutters (double bass), and Morten J. Olsen (vibraphone). They work with improvisation as a generative device within specific shapes, structures and ideas for a piece of music. Their debut album Transposition Zero was released in 2010.
Painter, filmmaker, creator of kinetic sculptures and mutoscopes, Robert Breer(US) became known for his experimental animation. As a self-taught filmmaker, his first pieces were driven by his interest in creating movement in his paintings. Bree, an American in Paris, experienced the European avant-garde and, back in the United States, underground cinema and Pop Art.
Robin Hayward (UK) (microtonal tuba) is a tuba player and composer. He has redefined the tuba’s potential both in the areas of noise and micro-tonality. His compositions for tuba and other instruments reflect a similar experimental, medium-specific approach. He is active in many contemporary music ensembles including Phosphor and Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin. He is also part of The Choras(s)an Time-Court Mirage.
Rod MacLachlan (UK) studied sculpture at Glasgow School of Art. He works individually and also collaborates with the Bristol-based art collective Blackout Arts. His projects range from video and light installations, VJ-ing, to production design for art events and music festivals.
Roland Kayn (DE, 1933–2011) was a German composer who lived and worked in the Netherlands from 1970. He developed a unique approach to electronic sound that he named cybernetic music. He envisioned the role of the composer as a designer of the technological conditions for the emergence of sonic phenomena that should be literally beyond imagination. Based on the recorded output of complex configurations of tone generators, filters, logic circuits, and feedback loops, his works consist of slowly evolving agglomerations of electronic sound that seem to grow and develop with an intelligence of their own.
Mixing drones, noise, dark ambience with classical textures Roly Porter (UK), formerly of Vex’d is taking bass-heavy music into unchartered territories. With Aftertime he presented a self-assured debut album, which also features extensive use of the vintage Ondes Martenot synthesizer.
Taku Sugimoto (JP) started playing guitar when he was a high school student. He has been member of the bands Piero Manzoni, Ghost, Hikyo String Quintet and (switching to cello) Henkyo Gakudan. After returning to the guitar he changed his style from a loud to an extremely quiet sound, which leaves room for silence. Currently, Sugimoto is focusing on composition and its performance, rather than improvisation.
Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec
Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec (SI/NL) is an artist and musician who works with invisible ephemeral phenomena and the notion of space. His artistic practice is a poetic exploration of relationships between transitory and temporal flows such as sound and weather phenomena and the architectural and social spaces they inhabit. In his installations, he makes architecture sensitive to its immediate ephemeral surroundings and enhances the temporal dimension of architecture by creating situations where the outside and inside, the unpredictable and constructed, the permanent and temporal, and time and space converse.
Thomas Patteson (US) is a writer, musician, and educator whose work centres on music, technology, and twentieth-century aesthetics. Currently a PhD candidate in music history at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, he is writing a dissertation on experimental sound technologies in Germany during the Weimar Republic. His projects include the music blog Acousmata and the event series Experimental Culture.
Timothy Druckrey (US) is Director of the Graduate Photographic and Electronic Media programme at the Maryland Institute, College of Art. He also works as a curator, writer, and editor. He lectures internationally about the social impact of photography, electronic media, the transformation of representation, and communication in interactive and networked environments. He edited many books, amongst others Future Cinema: The Cinematic Imaginary After Film (edited by Jeffrey Shaw and Peter Weibel, 2003).
Tino Sehgal (DE/UK) is a British-German artist whose works, which he calls ‘constructed situations’, involve one or more people carrying out instructions conceived by the artist. What all of Sehgal's works have in common is that they reside only in the space and time they occupy, and in the memory of the work and its reception.