PROGRESSION

interactive audiovisual installation

Luxembourg 2020

 

Sound installation as part of the solo exhibition Sitting for Decades at the Casino Luxembourg – forum d'art contemporain.

 

Musical performances – Guy Frisch / Victor Kraus (United Instruments of Lucilin)

Drawing performances – Olivier Pestiaux

Concept, artistic direction – Patrick Muller

 



The first performance of Alvin Lucier’s I am sitting in a room took place at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1970: The glued-together tape was played back over loudspeakers, concert-like. Accompanying and synchronized to the music, video artist Mary Lucier projected slides of her artwork Polaroid image series (room), this being a visual analogy to Alvin Lucier’s tape piece: A Polaroid photo of a living room was photographed again with the same camera. The resulting Polaroid photo was photographed again, etc. All photos lined up display the same effect on a visual level as I am sitting in a room does on an acoustic level: While two adjacent cycles are very similar, the differences become clearer the further two cycles are apart; the last cycle has very little in common with the first one. While the room acts as an acoustic filter in Alvin Lucier’s work, it is the artefacts of the camera that are amplified and crystallized by the process in Mary Lucier’s work.

Progression refers to both the acoustic and visual output-to-input processes of Mary and Alvin Lucier’s works. However, unlike the latter, which were created independently of each other and presented in parallel to each other, Progression represents the attempt of serially interweaving the visual and acoustic levels and making them depend on each other: Over the course of the exhibition 19 translation processes will be performed, always alternating from a visual level to an acoustic and from an acoustic level to a visual one. Therefore the artist Olivier Pestiaux and the musician Guy Frisch* are invited to complete one translation process per day. While Pestiaux draws a graphic representation of Frisch’s music, Frisch plays a musical representation of Pestiaux’s drawing. It is important that these representations should not be subjective interpretations, but rather translations as objective as possible from one medium to another. Of course this seems to be a paradox, since such an objective translation always requires a systematic approach, which in this case is not given and can only be determined by Pestiaux and Frisch themselves – which in turn demands a certain degree of subjectivity from the two translators.

Progression is an experimental installation in the sense of John Cage’s definition: I call this ‘experimental’ music: a music where research is done without knowing the result. The set of rules for the translation processes is determined without knowing what the outcome will look like. This is the exciting aspect of the installation: Will all the drawings and all the music recordings be similar in the end? Or are they completely different and seemingly unrelated to each other? Are the translations from one medium to the other understandable as such? Is a development, a progression, recognizable?

The translation sequence will be launched on the evening of the vernissage by Olivier Pestiaux translating the soundscape surrounding him into a drawing. After that, one translation per day will be performed, on the weekend of the symposium (31.01 – 02.02) two translations per day; always alternately drawing to music and music to drawing. In the order of their creation, all drawings are shown on paper, and all musical performances are presented as audio recordings on a wall.

*On the exhibition opening and on January 26th, Victor Kraus (United Instruments of Lucilin) will take over the musical part.


Photo by Emile Hengen

Photo by Emile Hengen


Photo by Emile Hengen

Photo by Emile Hengen


Photo by Emile Hengen

 

Photo by Emile Hengen

 


Photo by Emile Hengen

 

Photo by Emile Hengen

 


Photo by Patrick Muller

 

Photo by Patrick Muller

 


Photo by Patrick Muller

Photo by Patrick Muller


Photo by Patrick Muller

Photo by Patrick Muller


Photo by Patrick Muller

Photo by Patrick Muller