by Dan Senn
|Glass (see video) Use
headphones for full sound spectrum.
Video with 2020 Sound Improvisation
was filmed on May 4-5, 1993, a "percussive" mapping of the storage yard
of a Tacoma, WA, recycling business by the same name. Journal records
show that I was given a wide birth by the owners to record the video
and for this I am thankful. I may have used it in an installation, but
I do not remember. The piece was created with a particular sound track
in mind but this was set aside for 27 years, and in late September 2020
was transferred to digital. It was one of the first videos I taped in
this manner. The unused sound track, "Still Moving: Four Sides of a Japanese
"Percussive" is used here to describe a "tap-recording" method of filming objects close up and rhythmically. This was made possible by a Sony Hi8 CCD-V801 camera which could record as few as three frames (1/10th of a second) when quickly pushing the record button twice enabling “tapped” improvised visual rhythms. The videos were conceived for playback on two or more monitors in gallery installations as accompanied by my auto playing kinetic sculptural instruments.
By necessity these "percussive" videos were edited in-camera as I did not have access to video editing gear and this provided an improvisational edge I was familiar with from live performance of music. The works, again, were meant to be viewed over two or more monitors simultaneously, a preference the developed from easy access to used 13" computer monitors used as installation building blocks. From late 1992, I was viewing these videos over 2-6 screens at various angles and rotations in my Tacoma studio, aka Shy Anne Studio.
|During this period, I was also building pendulum-based
installations, and often performed my nonlinear sculptural instruments
with silent video. Thus, my filming was informed by the live
interactions of all these mediums, including spoken texts. My attraction to fluxes movement and artists (mostly in Europe) was
Recent versions of these early videos of mine use mirror images which were impossible in the 1990s unless I used actual physical mirrors. I have maintained the original pixel resolution, however, expanded over virtual monitors rotated over a 1920x1080 pixel canvas.
I will work for weeks on a video leaving it silent for months, years and decades only to, perhaps, impulsively add a sound track from from existing music or any part of my library of improvisations. Or I will compose something special. Videos with sound thus arrive in spurts as I combine mediums, the unifying factor being a well integrated interdisciplinary aesthetic. It is difficult to say when a work was completed at times.
From childhood to the age of 41, my two dimensional art was photography-based. When I purchased a video camera in 1992, every "percussive" frame was shot to have a still photo integrity of its own. DS September 28, 2020
Dan Senn (Prague-Watertown) is an intermedia artist working in music composition and production, kinetic sound sculpture, experimental and documentary film. He has been a professor of music and art in the United States and Australia and travels internationally as a lecturer, performer and installation artist. He lives in Prague where he directs the Echofluxx festivals, and Watertown, Wisconsin, the USA, with his partner-collaborator, Caroline Senn. Dan's work moves freely between expressive extremes and languages depending upon the aesthetic joust at hand. Dan is cofounder of Roulette Intermedium in New York City, Cascadia Composers of Portland Oregon, and the Echofluxx media festivals in Prague. (read more).
A high resolution, full sized video is available for download by request from the artist. Listen to video with headphones or a full spectrum speaker system.