The 11th annual Signal + Noise Media Art Festival presents a collision of revolutionary Armenian Kino Cinema, remixes of ex-Yugoslav and CBC Television Broadcast ID Music, travelogues from an arctic sea voyage, and science fictional rediscovery of diminishing islands.
The 2011 festival aims to create a space for the anxieties and tensions of this moment–haltered between the past and the future–to fold in on themselves. Video works by the Otolith Group juxtapose the utopic vision for Chandigarh with the dystopia of Mumbai’s slums. Hito Steyerl’s allegory on the contemporary economic crisis, plays the crash of Hollywood airplane hijacking off the burn of the DVD industry and the rise of scrap aluminum sales. Amie Siegel confuses the crosshairs of a militant pursuant with a fashion photographer’s gaze on a band of armed female revolutionaries.
Sound Artists Frederick Brummer, Experimental Theremin Orchestra, Giorgio Magnanensi and Hank Bull manipulate time’s weight on media obsolescence. Brummer works sculpturally with VIVO’s equipment archive to blur the distinction between audio and visual analogue forms. Through VIVO’s Studio Lab workshops, 15 artists will construct and perform their own theremins. The oscilloscope and its response to distorted waveforms and audio signals takes centre stage of Magnanensi’s ‘theatre for the ears’. Hank Bull and Patrick Ready travel through the seven dimensions of time and space in The Time Dilation Machine to present live narration and musical accompaniment to a collection of Bull’s unedited 8mm and 16mm reels.
As a homage to analogue television broadcasting, Signal + Noise presents two archives that reflect on the cultural influence of regional production. Serbian born Artist Aleksandra Domanović’s anthology of television news-music from the geographic region of ex-Yugoslavia will echo Anu Sahota’s installation of CBC program titles and station IDs from the 1950s-1980s. Station ID music from both archives will be remixed and performed by Basketball, Brady Cranfield, Julian Hou and Joshua Stevensen.
The poetic aura of archives are central to Armenian Filmmaker Artavazd Pelechian’s oeuvre which addresses violence of the twentieth century: its mass migrations, wars and dictatorships, through a lens on the Armenian people. Signal + Noise presents a retrospective of this little-known master of “distance montage”.
Ellie Ga’s five-month residency aboard a research sailboat frozen in the ice near the North Pole informs her autobiographical performance featuring photographic documentation, writing, video, drawing, and slides. The desire to translate one’s experience of travel and exploration is echoed in Nimalan Yoganathan’s sound performance of augmented field recordings from Inukjuak, Nunavik.
Existing somewhere between ethnographic study, documentary and fiction, Ben River’s investigation into the field of island bio-geography, accompanied by a spoken text written with science fiction novelist Mark von Schlegell imagines hyperbolic utopias that appear as possible future mini-societies.
Full Signal + Noise schedule available at: http://www.signalandnoise.ca/