Christo
The Big
2018
Experimental

Swing Duration 20m18s
Seattle and Enumclaw, WA, and Watertown, WI
Film and Music by Interdisciplinary Artist Dan Senn

Film Synopsis

The Big Swing (2018) includes documentation of 3 events at 3 locations in the United States plus a sound improvisation by the artist. In six windows, a area of each film is revealed cyclically and within an ever changing visual and sonic context. The videos were recorded over a period of five years (1996-2000), with sound added many years later (2018) and includes a Summer Solstice Parade in Seattle, Washington, a Ku Klux Klan rally in Enumclaw, Washington, and a farmer's market in Watertown, Wisconsin. The sound material used in the improvisation was recorded in 1989, feedback from a Scrapercussion sound sculpture, and reconfigured in 2018, in Prague, as an Ableton Live set. The music was composed live at Waterhouse Studio in Watertown, Wisconsin in 2018.
Director Biography

Dan Senn is an interdisciplinary artist working in experimental music composition, video, and sound sculpture but also makes feature length documentary films with little, if any, assistance from others. He is the director of the Echofluxx media festivals in Prague and co-founder of Roulette Intermedium in New York City and lives in Prague, The Czech Republic, and Watertown, Wisconsin. Dan has directed and produced the documentaries “The Exquisite Risk of Civil War Brass”, "A House on Jungmanova”, and most recently, “Voices of Theresa” and "The Christo Effect", along with scores of experimental works. His work can be viewed at Dan-Senn.com.
Director Statement

"Intended meaning is often the first step toward producing kitsch and yet using socially volatile materials, such as documentation of a Klan rally, along with a Summer Solstice Parade and a farmers market invites meaningful comparisons. Nevertheless, this has been a main stay of my approach to art for many years, with a only few exceptions, as guided by the work of John Cage. I intend no meaning in TBS but recognize a context for which interpretation is manifold even within myself, a kind of retrofitted metaphor."

See video excerpt.
The sound for this work comes from electronic feadback recorded from my Scapercussion #7 soundsculpture ci. 1989. In 2018, I imported these sounds into Ableton Live, and created a software instrument for live performances. The backing sounds, therefore, for TBS were improvised live using this software and these 1989 samples--made while a college professor at Ball Sate University in Indiana. The videos were recorded between 1996 and 2000 in three American locations and without a final work in mind. I have long banked video and sound in this way. TBS is made of video from a Summer Solstice Parade in Seattle, Washington, a KKK rally in Enumclaw, Washington, and a Farmer's Market in Watertown, Wisconsin where my parents, now passed, were caught on camera by chance. In 2006, I used a version of this work (different format) for a kinetic sound and video installation called "Uncovered States" at Galerie AT, in Poznan, Poland. For TBS, which is in 1920x1080 pixels, I have expanded the frames (see the banner screen above) from 3 to 6 panels, worked out a new window algorithm, and added the improvisational sounds. It is effectively a new work.