by Dan Senn
of Hand (see video) Headphones recommended.
Video with a prepared violin improvisation.

duration 4:12

"Sleight of Hand" was filmed in October of 2018 at Waterhouse Studio in Watetown, Wisconsin. The concept for this work arrived while observing that these water plastic bottles, when turned on end, were unusually stable even when blown. I had to try recording this... Within an hour the stage was set and well lit in my recording room, but it soon became  clear that it needed to be further populated and so a retrieved two eggs from the  kitchen. Pleased with this, I commenced shooting several hours of experimenting (playing) with the objects as they moved like dancers across the mini stage and interacted with each other. I was probably already anthropomorphizing the objects though not so consciously from the start.

Both the eggs and the plastic bottles exhibit a curious type of unstable-stability. A measured resiliency. The eggs are filled with fluid, a yoke, the surrounding egg white plus a pocket of "air", which gives weight as well as unpredictability in motion. And this movement is easily interpreted as human-like especially when there is more than one egg, a perception was further enhanced by interactions with the two plastic bottles likewise stochastically active.

After recording hours of improvisations with this quartet of dancing objects, a sat with my video segments and for the first time realized the human-like interactions that were occurring that, perhaps, had been channeled from my sub-concious. This work, "Sleight of Hand", was further processed using simple editing techniques in Final Cut Pro X.

The sound track for this work was improvised via Ableton Live on a prepared violin played by my mother in childhood, in my Smichov studio in Prague, The Czech Republic, a few weeks after the video was recorded.

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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).