erik bünger’s schizophonia

I watched two incredible films tonightSchizophonia and The Third Man, courtesy of Anette Hoffmann and the Archive & Public Culture Platform at UCT, with the kind permission of musician, composer and performance artist, Erik Bünger, who made the films.

In each film, Bünger both analyses and plays with the uncanny, magical potency of sound as recorded medium. Everything he does is underpinned by formidable quantities of research, a fondness for outrageously rhizomatic linkages and a wicked sense of humour. Definitely my new art crush of the month! ;)

Here’s a video of Bünger giving a lecture/performance which utilises much of the material presented in the standalone film, Schizophonia. This was recorded at MEDEA, Malmo University, in March 2011, as part of the K3 courses “Music in the Digital Media Landscape” and “Illustrating with Music”.

I really WISH I could find more of The Third Man to share here –  it was tremendously entertaining, and, even off on its most questionable, occult-paranoid tangents, bizarrely pertinent to so much of the stuff about performance, recording and playback of music that I’ve been posting and thinking about in the past few years; even down to an hilarious discussion of the “entraining” (his word) power of The Sound Of Music (my post this afternoon prefigured this too, eerily!).

Anyway, you can watch the lecture:

And here’s a bio:

The Swedish artist, composer, musician and writer Erik Bünger (1976) works with re-contextualising existing media in performances, installations and web projects. In ‘Gospels’, sections of Hollywood interviews are removed from their original contexts, interacting to form a new, seemingly coherent whole. Yet these pre-existing works frequently conflict; Bünger explores the disjunction between replaying and experiencing in his ‘Lecture on Schizophonia’. This simultaneously analytical and performative work highlights the relationship between sound and perceived reality, using popular references and familiar footage including Barak Obama and Woody Allen. Similar tensions are exposed in ‘God Moves on the Water’, in which two songs about the sinking of the Titanic are combined to form a third narrative. In ‘The Third Man’, the negative power of music is explored. Displacing and recombining familiar material, Bünger challenges the separation between authentic and simulated experiences.

Bünger may have followed a traditional education in composition at the Stockholm Royal College of Music, but he is hardly a run-of-the-mill composer. His works have increasingly come to approach contemporary conceptual art, but his combination of sound and visual is also linked to literary storytelling. In his performances, installations and web projects, different timelines are superposed, past worlds and present understandings. The most important thing about Bünger’s work is not the art or literature context but the transformation that takes place in the specific works. What may seem trivial and inconsequential suddenly becomes the stuff of dreams. He is attracted to moments when recorded sound and image bridge a space between absolutes, between death and life and between gods and humankind. –

This info comes from http://expo.argosarts.org/

hmv

Francis Barraud – “Dog Looking At and Listening to a Phonograph”(1898)

climb every mountain

Self portrait in the Cederberg, 2012

Self portrait in the Cederberg, 2012

“My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds that rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies from a church on a breeze
To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls over stones on its way
To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray
I go to the hills when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear what I’ve heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I’ll sing once more…”