Layers, grids, loops and filters: Michaela Schwentner’s video take the bus makes use of the basic means of composition employed for the piece of music it accompanies, applying them visually. While there is no direct translation of the music, which is largely without reference, a transfer takes place from one medium to another and the images are derived from the tracks’ structures.
There are the various rigidly, at the same time playfully reduced sound layers: General Magic loosely overlapped slowly grooving shuffle sounds, and interference is created through five to six simultaneous tracks in each individual sound layer. The same happens in Schwentner’s pulsing black-and-white animation:
Small fields filled with silhouettes blink along with the ping-pong beats in grid lines layered in two dimensions. The result is a mostly asynchronous flickering which conveys the impression of acceleration. When a sound layer is added, rectangular frames, transparent “blocks” and lines of pixels move across the pulsing field from the right or from above.
The individual layers are looped: The old General Magic obsession with driving and speed is in this case slowed to a leisurely swaying “bus ride.” The same applies to Schwentner’s video translation, which spices up the music’s pleasantly slow pace with almost prickling warmth. Finally, the constant filtering becomes a principle of composition as the video departs from the music’s blueprint: Reference material is no longer discernible, solely “negative images” are created with digital filters, each one forming a separate world of its own. The “bus trip” through their audiovisual circuits has begun. (Christian Höller)
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