3 Sept 2009
For me, events at Ars Electronica 2009 began last night with a presentation at the Lentos Kunstmuseum by multi-disciplinary American artist Tony Conrad. Best known for his 1966 film The Flicker (which I saw in its mind-bending 16mm entirety, back in grad school), Conrad appeared in conversation with Chris Salter and talked about his interest in the margins between picture and sound.
Conrad performed his Bowed Film, an instrument made from a length of film spliced into a kind of lasso. This he looped over his head, the long end tethered to the floor, and played with a violin bow. Normally this would be a private experience executed by one person and heard on headphones. Last night Conrad attached pickups to the instrument so that we could hear, too.
Later in the evening I went to the Grand Cafe zum Rothen Krebsen in Linz to see Ronnieism, performed by Ronnie Deelen. The small crowd was treated to a funhouse fusion of live-controlled music and video, composed on Gameboys and played on an instrument made of fifteen small stuffed toy animals.
Openings today in Linz include the new Ars Electronica Center, the CyberArts Exhibition at OK Offenes Kulturhaus and Human Nature at Brucknerhaus. More about these events tomorrow.