Sunday, 29 November 2009

”Horizon, no horizon. (The poetry of) Repetitive Vertical Movement (at sea)”

My fascination of the sea has obviously not yet been satisfied by «POLARSTAR».

Since my last project I’ve been occupied by the shape of mountains and waves and how they can relate to optical sound. The saw-toothed shape of mountains of, for example, the Lofot Isles can easily be associated with the unilateral variable area soundtrack that is one of the 3 most used forms of optical soundtrack on film. And by playing such a shape would have a sound close to [e]. On the other hand the sleek sine curve shape of a wave would resemble the sound close to [a].

The funny thing I discovered is that the shape of steep mountains visually looks more than captial A, than E, and a linje of minuscule handwritten e’s looks more like waves than a line of a’s.

So the sounds wants it the other way around.

Blame the incorrectness on the Roman alphabet.

Since the project is all about letters and 2D material (no speakers in sight), it has turned from musique concrete to concrete poetry in shapes, patterns and typography. The ship rolling around an axis parallel to or crossing the direction of motion almost give a vertical movement at rough seas where you see and do not see the horizon of mountains.

”Horizon, no horizon. (The poetry of) Repetitive Vertical Movement (at sea)” is first shown at Oslo National Academy of the Arts’ christmas calendar of fine arts December 3rd curated by Tito Frey and Mohamed Fadlabi.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Artist book for sale!

For my last exhibition «POLARSTAR» I produced an artist book to be included as both a traditional catalogue but also as an art piece. As the exhibition discusses the point where formalism and narrativity collides, the hidden narrative is presented in the booklet.

It is a nice little booklet (16 pages) where part one includes a text by Jeremy Welsh, documentation of work, contact info and a biography. Part two is the artist book itself, with photos and text about «POLARSTAR»'s background.

The puurdy design is done by Jennifer Wiseman in Spijkenisse (Holland) and was printed by the magnificent print shop Extrapool in Nijmegen (Holland).

It's for sale for 50 NOK/ €5/ $8/ £5 (shipping included).
Send your requests to cbjordheimATgmailDOTcom.

Human voice and talking machines

Besides my own work I want to use this blog to present shows and works I've a particular interest in. It might be something close to what I do myself or something quite opposite.

I visited this show "APPARATUS" at Lydgalleriet in Bergen, Norway a couple of weeks ago, curated by Carsten Seiffarth. The main piece is Martin Riches and Erwin Stache's "Talking Machine" (1990) which produces human speech. The audience uses a computer to write down sentences for the machine to pronounce. 32 organ pipes shaped in the correct resonating shape of a human voice is being played. The machine triggers the air system signals that opens up the organ pipes syllable by syllable (or sound by sound).
As the organ pipes are all tuned in the same tone height, every word is pronounced in a monotone way without any intonation. However, the machine holds a vocabulary of three hundred English words and it can also count to 100 in English, Danish, German and Japanese.

The shape of the organ pipes makes me think about Rudolph Pfenninger's try-out for a hand drawn human voice and his shapes on optical sound on analogue film in Munich 1932. Pfenninger's sounds are photographed paper with sound-curves drawn on them to represent each note of the soundtrack graphically. In that way one can use this on the optical sound track and have a human voice.

The gramophone record, the musical idea, the written notes, the sound
waves, all stand in the same internal representational relationship to one another that obtains between language and the world.
—Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus logico-philosophicus (1921)