[ISEA2016] Artist Statement: Stefan Tiefengraber — WM_EX10 WM_A 28 TCM_ 200DV BK26

Artist Statement

Audio/video noise performance, 2014–2015

WM_EX10 WM_A28 TCM_200DV BK26” is a real-time audio/video noise performance. Sound is generated through short circuits the artist produces with his wet fingers on opened devices. The skin’s resistance and the conductance of the human body combined with the components of the circuits modify the sound. This generated malfunctions are used to let the played devices influence each other, as circuits are getting closed and current flows through the performer’s body from one device to the other. The audio signal which is audible through the speakers is sent to a projector and CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors visualizing the signal in flickering and abstract shapes and lines in black and white. On the one hand there are the obsolete analogue devices such as ‘Walkmans’ and ‘Bontempi’ keyboards, to produce the short circuits the sounds and on the other there are the CRT monitors. These as well are rather ancient devices, nowadays only found abandoned in basements, trash places and recycling centers. This performance shows the advantage of the analog and outdate seaming devices and signals very clearly. The speakers and monitors react organically and show the signals as they are. In contrast to digital devices, which will only display a picture or playback sound if the signal is stable and remains this way for a certain time, so the device decides if the signal is suitable for the user. At this performance unexpected and uncontrollable analogue signals are altered and bent by the artist to an audio/video noisescape. The interaction with the devices is not based on scores or presets and therefore improvised, the performer generates and alters the sound and thus the video by touching the circuits. There is no prior modification of the used devices, no additional computer or extensive audio program is needed to create the distortions. The title of the performance refers to the type designation of the sound-producing devices and changes with the objects used.

  • Stefan Tiefengraber (Linz, Austria)’s works often deal with the destruction and modification of objects through force and at first view it seems destruction may be the main topic. On further inspection one finds, that under the physically violent surface he much more focuses on a slow process of disassembling. The act of taking things apart and deconstructing given structures, becomes a method to figure out the function and malfunction of obviously working systems. Tiefengraber deals with these issues through different mediums, spanning from the digital and social media based work (‘User Generated Server Destruction’, ‘Senseless Tweet’) to the modification of readymade objects (‘rotating lights’, ‘ noise #1’, ‘Analog Delay’) and on to performance works and experimental videos (‘WM_EX10 WM_A28 TCM_200DV BK26’, ‘Radio 433’, ‘a to b’). On the one hand Stefan encourages the viewer to actively participate in the creation of the artwork. On the other hand he uses video and sound to create static or very slow moving sequences, where there is time and possibility to observe the scene and to dip into the happening or not happening.  stefantiefengraber.com

Full text and photo (PDF) p. 264-265