Friday, 28 June 2013

Sounding The Body Electric

I went to the opening of this exhibition Sounding The Body Electric (Experiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe  1957-1984) the other day at The Calvert 22 Foundation, It was pretty interesting including some work by practitioners I was well aware of and some from artists I had never heard of before.
here is a shot of the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio

Especially of note was some work being shown by
Bulat Galeyev of the Prometheus Institute  whose site I have had bookmarked (and linked on my secret drawn sound/visual music blog) for a long time now, the work clearly used oscillographics and colorization techniques, here is a still form 1982 THE SPAСE DANDELION

There were also some nice Graphic Scores from various eastern european practitioners 
here is one form 1972 by Boguslaw Schaeffer, I have been teaching for a while about the realtion ship between video synthesis, visual music, drawn sound and graphic scores so it's nice to see these kinds of work be interpreted as related and exhibited together.

The only small shortcoming of the show (and it is a small one) is that it doesn't explain how much of the work here is influenced by the influx of western ideas and how much were from home grown ideas put on hold due to the political situation from the 20s onwards, having just finished reading the mind blowing Sound In Z by Andrey Smirnov whose research I have followed for years and seen speak many times, I imagine that some of the work and artists from the early 20th century in Russia could have provided at least a distant memory of and age of intermedia experimentation to the next generation, there is small mention of the influence of Léon Theremin and Arseny Avraamov arguably the two most influential players in early Russian electronics, visual music, drawn sound and experimental music however there isn't much discussed about any direct connections. For instance the ANS was still in development right up to 1957 when this exhibition begins to look at work however were any of the Russian and Eastern European Intermedia artists influenced by it's development?  arguably it is the last and most complex of the Russian drawn sound projects that I am aware of. However to be fair all of this research is fairly new and this is a tiny exhibition, I'm just glad it has found it's way to London at all! As Gagarin once said Let's go!

PS I picked up these exhibition Catalogues and books which perhaps go in to greater detail about context

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