Category: Smokes

Smokes | 2014

By admin, January 26, 2015

Installation, Hopstreet Gallery, Sint-Jorisstraat 109 Rue Saint-Georges B-1050 Brussels

Description: A “multi-fingered” object, reminiscent of a sea life plant or a musical instrument, stands on a pedestal 155 cm from the wall. 170 cm In front of the pedestal is a video projector that projects a white image with shadows of smokes so it looks as if the smokes are coming out of the fingers in the shadows behind. It plays with the experience and makes us think that the smokes really came out of the “fingers”. The smokes sometimes pop, change shape, and then pop back. There is a sound that accompanies the installation, fitted to the animations.

Dimensions: Variable

In a series of works, I have been working on creating Pseudo-Instruments. They are objects that pretend to be musical instruments but they do not produce any sound. Take a guitar, for example: when the strings of the guitars are stroked, they release vibrations that make us hear sound. Or when we blow air into a trumpet and hear a sound, traveling out into the room. These are original direct “cause and effect” instruments. The synthesizer was initially meant to be an instrument like the guitar or the trumpet, but it creates fake guitar- or trumpet sounds with electronic components and sends the sounds through wires to a loudspeaker. Later, the synthesizer became an instrument of its own genre- an electronic instrument. The Pseudo Instrument does not produce real sounds like a guitar or a trumpet, and it also has no electronic components that are able to make electronic sounds. It simply pretends to be a musical instrument by sending out signifiers of physical movements in shapes of smokes resembling the air coming out of the trumpet. The movement of the smokes is related to the physical movement of the air coming out of the trumpet, traveling out into the room. But why making this pseudo-instrument? Well, it is a performer, with a high emphasis on the visual appearance, which is something that a guitar, a trumpet, or a synthesizer does not do. The pseudo instrument uses video images as part of the musical experience. The smoke could also be read as notations that move in time over the screen. The sudden change of the smoke into a line or a cube is the virtual possibility of a single tone to change as it travels through air. Usually a tone stays the same, but within the virtual space of the video installation, I try to make a single note change as it travels. It is simply a fantasy about music; I am trying to explore areas of music that perhaps were not important yesterday, but might be important in the future, or are already important today. Usage of media equipment, like computers, smart phones, the internet etc, has changed the way we experience music. These new forms of equipment are as radical to musical experience as the electronic musical equipment, recording techniques, multi track recorders and computers. The computerized media that we use for communication in daily life is changing the music, not only sound wise but also the over all experience, which is more visual as well.

Photo by: © hv-studio. Courtesy of the artist and Hopstreet gallery, Brussels