Videobass in India - some impressions

7 décembre 2011 | Creations
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30 November - Festival Opening Day


The Festival main site at the National Gallery of Modern Art, where all the screenings take place



Some of the beautiful festival posters.


Waiting for the venue to fill up…
Unfortunately the 16mm film reels for the Adolfas Mekas retrospective are still stuck in India’s customs waiting for endless signatures (and maybe some bak-shish?), but Pola Chapelle managed to bring another copy of the opening movie ‘Hallelujah The Hills’ in her luggage. There were a lot of sound problems that made the screening somewhat painful and on the third reel the image got more and more blurry - first I thought it was a problem with the 16mm projector and I felt really sorry for the projectionist, but it turns out that it was a really strange lab error, only on this copy of the film. Looks like the guy that developed the film went for a coffee break or something and didn’t realize that the shutter got stuck, resulting in a strange vertical motion blur and double exposure, with the shutter occasionally blocking out parts of the image. Looked quite like what we sometimes do with the videobass and I liked this part of the film most.. ;-)

1 December - Checking out Bangalore and workshop preps

We didn’t want to bring all the material for the workshop over from Switzerland, so the plan was to go shopping in Bangalore for the rest of the electronics parts and especially to find some old security cameras, TV’s and camera viewfinders to tinker with, but:

All electronics shops are closed because of a strike in protest of the government plans to allow for more than 50% of foreign direct investment in retail. Although we can understand and stand behind this decision, we’re a little bit pissed because we should absolutely get some supplies for our workshop tomorrow…

Fortunately we can source some old small black and white TVs at the market in Shivajinagar. Even though one of the TV-Repairman we go to wants to convince us that the era of CRTs is over. For about 15 minutes discussion, which ended somewhat like this:
- “Everybody is going to use LCD now - what do you want with CRTs?”
- “It’s just to open them up and play with them. For educational purposes”
- “No use for educating people about CRT, it’s all about LCD now!”
- “So why do you have all these CRTs in your shop?”
- “For educational purposes.”
We should have made an interview with the guy. Some blocks further we found another shop and I let Yashas do the negotiations:

2 December: The workshop at Jaaga

Jaaga Creative Common Ground is a cool project in the heart of Bangalore, it is an open space (both literally and symbolically). A social and collaborative place for a wide range of forward thinking people. Anyone can apply to use the space at no charge, assuming their event is open to all and has social, environmental, technological or artistic value.

Maïté checking out Jaaga’s modular architecture, a space built from pallet rack shelving, that evolves with the needs of its “inhabitants”.

Vertical Gardens @ Jaaga

The workshop turned out good, even if the beginning was a bit chaotic because we didn’t have all the material we needed… The time was very short as well - but despite all odds, in the end there were some funny noises coming out of self built synthesizers and oscillators directly modulating the magnetic coils of TV sets…
I’ve also brought a miniature, battery powered version of the Synkie (just the sync-splitter and the resyncer in one module) that I left to Bidisha, an enthusiastic participant, who from now on will be the Synkie’s ambassador to India…


Participants hacking TV sets and building oscillators and Maïté preparing for the performance tomorrow

Bidisha playing with the MicroSynkie and a self-made touch-controlled oscillator.

3 December - Performance

The place where we are playing at 7 High Street is a very nice early 20th century english one story building that normally serves as an office for an urban think-tank that goes by the same name. Created in 2009, 7 HIGH STREET THINK TANK is an non-profit organization, involved in operational research for the development of urban strategies, public governance, climate change and sustainable development.
For the ending party of the festival they moved out all of the furniture, making lots of space and nice white walls for us to project onto.



Bidisha preparing her magnificent LED matrix

Playing with Yashas Shetty was intense and inspiring. We played 3 sets, the second one ended in a dramatic break because of a power outage happening at just the right moment… Marc Dusseiller occasionally joined us, and the audience seemed really captivated throughout the whole performance. Below are some excerpts - a badly edited bad recording but better than nothing:

3 Dec At 7 High Street from Michael Egger on Vimeo.

Thanks a lot to Shai and the crew at Experimenta and also especially to ProHelvetia, Swiss Arts Council for making this happen.

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