In the second night of Mixology Festival 2020: Psychedelia, Roulette presents the experimental cinema and sounds of media art duo Rue Bainbridge (Gryphon Rue and Benton C Bainbridge) and multimedia artist Lary 7.
The light and sound duo Rue Bainbridge create a space for collective dreaming, where quirks of human hand and electricity spawn impressions of nature and abstract language. More specifically, Bainbridge uses a hacked game console, driven by custom video synthesizers, to generate light drawings. For Rue, these drawings become a kind of score for electro-acoustic music produced with a singing saw—an abstract calligraphy with visual rhythms suggestive of sonic arrangements. Perception shifts as images and sounds contrast with one another or momentarily harmonize in a zone of concentrated intricacy.
Juggling arcane technologies on the edge between function and freefall, Lary 7 fires up his magic lanterns and legendary Owl Movie—a 16mm cinema work exploring the possibilities of arcane film equipment.
In Owl Movie, Lary pays homage to the many mentors and teachers who inspired and taught him: artists such as Tony Conrad, Hollis Frampton, Ernie Gehr, and Paul Sharits. Named for a stuffed owl that occupies the center of the visual field, Owl Movie, a double projection, utilizes several different 16mm film stocks, both owl and camera are stationary, but the lighting of the shot steadily changes. The projectors are continuously manipulated by Lary in real time, and the image is aligned and layered over itself to create a throbbing, flickering, quasi-three-dimensional effect. Once various gels and flickering are introduced, the multicolored owl images take on a startling, immersive, psychedelic quality that slowly takes hold of the viewer’s mind and doesn’t let go. The layers and strobing, caused by direct manipulation of projector gates and speeds, create the kind of oscillation effect more readily found in the acoustic sound world, and have similar characteristics to audible beat frequencies.
— Fabio Roberti, The Brooklyn Rail
Rue Bainbridge, the media art duo comprised of Gryphon Rue and Benton C Bainbridge, explores the intersection of expanded cinema with experimental music in relation to specific sites and audiences. Their work can be viewed as a live conversation between a sound artist and video artist. Rue Bainbridge is the first recipient of the Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota Video Art prize (2019). Rue Bainbridge have been presented by Hauser & Wirth, The Hepworth Wakefield, Slate Projects, Center for Visual Music, Public Works at Governor’s Island, Andrew Freedman Home, and Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation. Projects are realized as immersive audiovisual performances, yielding single-channel artworks with decentralized provenance.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Lary 7 is a multimedia artist who coaxes profane, inscrutable sounds and images from various mysterious devices. Eschewing the digital, his work mainly features vintage and forgotten electronic instruments and technologies. In the past he has taken the unique approach of modifying household appliances in order to give them a musical voice. Lary is a co-founder of Plastickville Records and has been a major figure in the New York experimental underground music scene since 1970. He has worked on exceptional musical projects with diverse artists including Jimi Tenor, Jarboe, Foetus, Tony Conrad, Alexander Hacke, Larry Mullins, Dorit Chrysler, Bernhard Gal, Jacob Kirkegaard, Gen Ken Montgomery, and Gordon Monahan.
Presented as part of Mixology Festival 2020: Psychedelia—music and media performances that revisit and restore the virtues of visceral imagination in the form of enlightened vision, sonic illusions, collective synesthesia, and transformative grooving. Moving beyond the cliches of drug culture fabrications, the festival seeks to induce sustainable euphoria. Curated by David Weinstein.
Roulette’s Mixology Festival focuses on new and unusual uses of technology in music and media arts. Programmed by a rotating cast of artist/curators with a collectively unorthodox perspective, the Festival has, since 1991, boldly embraced both the successes and struggles of gadgets in the service of innovation.