Transistor

[Michaela Schwentner / transistor, sound: Radian / 2000]

A video clip as a structural model: Michaela Schwentner's video to "transistor" by the Viennese music trio Radian was in a sense composed in reverse, progressing from illustrated music to an abstract blueprint which could have been used for both media. On the visual level, transistor reveals a rhythmic plan which has a close affinity to the music in its temporally distorted geometry. While most conventional visualizations in sound are superimposed to create additional sensory and intellectual levels - placing images OVER the audio - electronic production methods and their image/sound interfaces permit the use of an entirely new approach. transistor shows an excellent model for a direct coupling of sound and image. Accompanied by short, choppy segments of noise fragments, geometric gridworks appear with equal abruptness, as in a visual staccato: empty picture frames, lines and planes in varying intensities, light, semi-light, bold, extra-bold, etc. In other words, the individual validity and quality of basic elements of digital (graphic) processes are exposed in transistor. This not only places a visual matrix underneath the rasping, eruptive sound as a foundation, it also reveals the underlying matrix-like quality, the locking function in the digital culture as the interface at which graphic and acoustic elements have always overlapped.

If structural film traditionally proceeded from the assumption that the visible world could be reduced to a geometric and conceptual image, Schwentner re-contextualizes such reduction processes: A kind of a dynamic structural model of an electronic culture which is crossing the genre is made visible. (Christian Höller)

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