Thursday, October 22, 2009
Using pre-recorded sounds from the cobble stone street outside Location 1 as a source material, Okkyung Lee blurs the physical boundaries between the venue and the outside by interacting with Kjell’s visual responses in real time, along with pre determined + processed materials.
Kjell Bjorgeengen’s art practice is an investigation of reality. Recently Kjell has put an emphasis on working live with a wide range of musicians. The live works feature the production of flicker videos, which have also been presented in various exhibitions since 2002. The flicker is sound given video sync, thus becoming video and revealing the self -identity of the two. The flicker image is perhaps the most simple and fundamental image we can think of, the oscillation between shades of light and darkness, given from the outside as a simple binary pairing of the visual experience. The flicker videos came about as a counteraction to an easy intellectual approach to art viewing. The flicker works can be harsh to watch, as they are perceived on a physical level. The black and white works are often perceived in colors. There is a threshold that needs to be overcome, so the works in a way resist the viewer, or the other way around. A still image from the video reads like a minimal work; set in motion the work turns into its opposite. The art work, having all the traditional marks of the art-making process, turns into a phenomenon and touches the demarcation line between art and non-art.
After being in music schools from age of 3 to 25, Korean cellist/improviser/composer Okkyung Lee finally found her artistic freedom in New York’s Lower East Side where she moved in 2000. Since then, she has performed and recorded with numerous artists such as Laurie Anderson, Derek Bailey, Carla Bozulich, Nels Cline, Chris Corsano, Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, Miya Masaoka, Min Xiao-Fen, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Larry Ochs, Jim o’Rourke, Zeena Parkins, Marc Ribot, Wadada Leo Smith, C. Spencer Yeh and John Zorn to name a few. Okkyung has released the following albums: her debut album as a leader, Nihm on Tzadik; a duo recording with Christian Marclay, Rubbings on My Cat is an Alien/Silnet Place; a solo cello album I saw the Ghost of an Unknown Soul and it Said… on Ecstatic Peace!; Check for Monsters, live recordings from a mini tour with Steve Beresford and Peter Evans, is out on Emanem and currently working on her follow up album on Tzadik.