“Interview” (Used 8 times)
ange on 10/18/2012 at 02:00PM
Vicki Bennett has been making audio and visual collage since 1991, when the internet was a fetus and you probably didn't own a computer. She creates her work with the nom de plume People Like Us. It's a moniker that speaks to the role of the collective and popular culture in her work, and a need to belong. Using collage as her medium, she creates audio recordings, films and radio shows that mix and manipulate original sources from both experimental and popular media. Her work has been shown at Tate Modern, The Barbican, Sydney Opera House, Pompidou Centre, Maxxi in Rome and Sonar, and she's hosted the WFMU radio program Do or DIY since 2003.
Plus, she's a judge for our Past Re-Imagined As the Future remix contest. In our Q&A, Bennett shares that she's hoping to see works that are engaging and transformative. As you comb through the materials in the Prelinger Archives, she reminds us that these videos aren't just about the past, but also about the present, the future, and something timeless.
What first drew you to the practice of AV collage art?
This contest is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
ange on 10/02/2012 at 12:00PM
As you prepare your entries for our Past Re-Imagined As the Future remix contest, we thought you could use some tips.
We asked moving image archivist, filmmaker and contest judge Rick Prelinger to share his thoughts on what makes for an incredible remix. Is it lots of looping and repeating footage? Machine gun single frame montages? Prelinger suggests that there's new ground to broken as you sculpt your new Creative Commons masterpieces. In our interview, Prelinger explains how ephemera can help us avoid the trap of presentism, his new interest in collecting home movies, and more about the history/future of the Prelinger Archives.
Why preserve ephemera? How have you grown to understand its historical and cultural significance?
Nothing gives a better sense of ordinary peoples' experience in the past than evidence drawn from daily life. And most of this material wasn't meant to survive -- we have it only by lucky accident. Ephemeral material, like the kinds of films in our archives, is permeated with a strong sense of time and place. It shows how people interacted, worked, presented themselves and partied, and it's also filled with evidence of past persuasions -- how we were told to behave, study, work, and believe.
I also like ephemeral material because it's extremely vivid and accessible. It's a seductive gateway to the many histories that combine and recombine in America, and more than that, it gets people thinking in historical terms. It's one way to avoid the trap of presentism -- the idea that life was, and always will be, as it is now. It also helps us realize that we're not living in a time unlike any other. Much of what we're going through now as a society has already happened in other contexts.
dvd on 07/06/2012 at 01:00PM
Sam – can I fluff one of these?
[takes a cigarette; they’ve been talking about musical foreground]
Patrick – What’s your conception of the relation between saxophone and electronics, as far as foreground and background in the Diamond Terrifier project? It seems to me like the saxophone is generating simultaneously foreground and background, and the two become importantly inextricable.
S – Yeah, yeah. That’s some spectral shit, where the sound of the sax is happening and then the electronics are happening, almost inside of the sax. And there is some loop work going on as well: that’s working towards embracing the MC model.
P - That’s what I’m working on for Bachanalia, building loop tracks that are simple harmonic pedals, just one chord that floats, emerging beneath the performance so that the work played over it may or may not always agree with the pedal, but produces continuous moments of contrapuntal or harmonic tension. Not necessarily a part of the composition, but a result of the fact that you’re insisting on one chord underneath it the whole time. So it provides a “backing track” but also disrupts the performance as the static harmony begins to disagree with the moving melodic line.
S- Yeah, I think that’s a cool quality, the quality of a backing track absorbing the function of the band. In SOCA music or in dance hall music there’s a hip parallel there… hip, but thoroughly understated [laughs] between the way in which thoroughbass absorbed the tradition of polyphonic music. In the Renaissance, when polyphony was the primary vehicle, the Florentine Camerata come along and knock that shit out with a foregrounded melody. All of that which would have been executed by a polyphonic choir realization gets absorbed into a thoroughbass instrument.
P - So now it's like electronics conceived as the new thoroughbass model for solo performance.
S – That’s why it is hip to do that in Bachanalia, to have a backing track. Bach is at the end of that trajectory. Open modal polyphony getting codified through chanson into vertical organization and that vertical organization arriving in thoroughbass with the Camerata and Monte Verde and just ditching polyphony. Suddenly cats were rolling with a lute player. It used to be just like choir and no one is sure what the foreground and background is, then all of a sudden these cats nix that and role with a lute player. Singer…lute player. It has a similar vibe to the calypso, steel drum band shit to electronic rationalization of that sort of tradition, to soca singers going off with a backing track. So to bring your Bachanalia project to this place, with Bach being at the end of that conversation where thoroughbass went, putting a backing track under that is some deep, spiral folding-in-on-itself shit.
P - The compositions I'm playing are written as these self-sufficient solo works that operate symphonically in the sense that even when Bach is composing for a single line, it’s always implying ornamentation and orchestration in a way that is not immediately present; there's always a suggestion of a harmonic basis, even if you're just hearing a single line. So the electronics allow you to toy with that, shift that around, exploit that, undermine and amplify that. There will be certain points where there's a whole line that is suggesting some kind of pedal point underneath but not present in the playing, so by allowing the electronics to provide a new note underneath, it is re-contextualizing something that is already suggested but isn't there.
S - Or providing something that it's not suggesting.
P - Yeah, just coming into conflict: counterpoint as disagreement.
douglasawh on 06/16/2011 at 01:59PM
Do you want SEX SCANDALS? Do you want BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS? Do you want CRONYISM? We'd be telling LIES if we said WE HAVE IT ALL HERE! That's right, hear Jason of the FMA's tell-all interview with the Music Manumit Podcast.
Jason tells us how a shadowy benefactor named WFMU launched the FMA as a vieled assault on American values. He explains that FMA is coordinating a new world order with the likes of blocSonic, KEXP and the Issue Project Room. The reach of these organizations will have you packing food in your basement as even our music show gets infiltrated with a couple -ND tracks.
douglasawh on 05/28/2011 at 10:30AM
Isaac's punk roots don't really come out in his debut album "Empty Vessels," but his fantastic and somtimes playful ("Photographs and Histories") song-writing certainly do. The variety of influences certainly do make appearances; blues, folk, singer-songwriter and sciffle all make appearances. If not a direct homage to sciffle, the use of chair and drumsticks for the drum recording only fail to deliver that homage because they sound so good. While mostly a singer and his guitar, a variety of other instruments make appearances; harmonica, piano, violin. One would also be remiss if they didn't mention Isaac's progressive leanings, obvious in a track title like Karl Marx and the Reds and stated influences such as Billy Bragg.
The punk roots come out out on the myriad of cover songs recorded on his YouTube page. Frank Turner, formerly of post-hardcore band Million Dead, also choose one Isaac's song to be featured on one of his albums and despite my opinion it doesn't belong, that doesn't stop punknews.org from giving it a review.
Despite an otherwise glowing review, punknews.org points out that the variety of influences coming into the album might not be for everyone. If the DIY production values coveted by the punk and folk scenes don't do it for you, you'll just have to wait for the much-anticipated second album where Isaac is sure to hone his sound. Hell, if you're a production snob, make sure you donate to the cause of getting him in a studio. One thing is for sure - Isaac Graham is a rising star in Creative Commons music.