A: Alain Thibault - alainthibault.com
V: Matthew Biederman - mbiederman.com
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The title of the work refers to the physicality of the perception of sound and image and explores the liminal edges of perception where the division of the senses begins to dissolve. By using techniques which overload the eye and ear, the work asks the question of where perception actually occurs – in ones head, or eyes, or ears – or quite likely, it is a more complex relationship than that.
According to recent theories of perception, namely by neuroscientist Alva Nöe (University of California, Berkeley) perception in the past has been regarded as something that happens ‘in one’s head’ however, Nöe states that perception is something that we experience with our entire body – and only through this ‘embodied perception’ do we truly sense the world. Physical then, by using visual tropes such as moiré patterns, flickering, and absolute synchronicity with the audio track, builds upon these theories to deliver an overall experience of a work which is not totally a visual one, nor an aural one, but begins to define an experience where the sound and vision are one and the same – a singular unit extended and manipulated through time.
From a historical perspective, the work expands upon many early ‘visual music’ works as well as contemporary practices such as James Whitney’s “Lapis” (1966) and Oscar Fischenger’s ”Kriese” (1933-34). In the case of “Kriese”, Physical relies on abstract geometrical, patterned light in order to build a dramaturgy comparable to the sonic composition where specific sounds trigger particular movements and shapes. In reference to “Lapis”, Physical visually works with an abundance of visual patterns to create a larger, more complex perceptual effect.
Within contemporary practices, there is a long history of audio visualization, however Physical breaks free from this paradigm by its outright avoidance of any spectrograms or similar visual cues, and instead creates a cosmology of the shapes, colors and patterns within the visual content to carry the composition. Technically working from the audio composition and receiving real-time data streams the visual component is entirely generated in real-time, with nothing but the underlying code as pre-recorded material, hence each iteration fo the performance is unique.
Physical (RT) has been performed at the following festivals:
Mois Multi, Quebec City 2013
BOZAR Electronic Arts Festival, Bozar, Brussels 2013
ART+COMMUNICATIONS, Spikeri Concert Hall, Riga 2013
Physical (linearis) - a linear version for extreme high resolution (4K x 4K) dome display has been presented at:
Understanding Visual Music, Buenos Aires 2013
MUTEK.MX, Mexico City 2013