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EMPRES: The Art of Noises V(irtual): MIXER//SHREDDER
November 23, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Oxford University’s EMPRES Collective and Modern Art Oxford once more join forces to present a series of innovative performances and installations that explore the boundaries between music, art and technology.
Individual events will be streamed on YouTube through the week, all starting at 7:30pm.
EMPRES AWARD 2020 Finalist: MIXER//SHREDDER
The EMPRES Award 2020, launched at the start of lockdown in March, called for works with themes of Collaboration and Collectivity working within the digital arts, with two broad categories of Experimental Electronic Music and Sound Art.
Passing through a sequence of willing hosts, MIXER//SHREDDER evolves, mimicking the parasitic nature of a virus.
Four participants – Alice Hackney, Ananda Kupfer, Sarah Catterall and Sophia Hambleton-Grey – metamorphose a visual art practice into an ongoing sound art venture. Our submission, MIXER//SHREDDER was the first of many collaborative productions.
The practice initially manifested as visual art in the early weeks of COVID-19 isolation as a collaborative effort organised between first year students at The Ruskin School of Art. The instructions were simple: 1) select four images, 2) organise a repetitive ‘running order’ or sequence, 3) send your chosen images to the next host in the chain via email, and 4) upon receiving the images yourself, modify them using any of the digital utensils available (Photoshop, etc.). We would continue this cycle for around 2 hours per session.
Meanwhile, the intermittent sounds of our households and noisy electronic devices were echoed by the digital platform we utilised to video call each other. As a group, we reflected on this mediated ‘static’ we had come to expect in our weekly online sessions and decided to shift our focus, mutating into this new medium – sound.
MIXER//SHREDDER is comprised of the same strains, slices, augmentations, manipulations, and restrictions implemented by the original instructions. However, this time, we used a selection of sounds (as well as sound editing software and microphones of choice); activating a new sensory practice that is effortlessly dynamic.
Facing another imminent lockdown, our group revisits MIXER//SHREDDER, delving into film and continually infecting new mediums. This video art took film footage collected from our unique perspectives and early MIXER//SHREDDER visual art – expanding into what you see before you.
Our practice is greater than the sum of its parts. Muffled by unfamiliar reverberations, you may pick out words and lyrics or notes, but an attempt at a comprehensible interpretation is irrational. Its substance lies in its creation and not the final cut.
The University of Oxford’s Electronic Music Practice RESearch group (EMPRES) aims to promote and advance research and public dissemination in Electronic Music Practice. It does so by working with musicians, composers, producers, researchers and academics from a wide range of disciplines interested in electronic music, as well as other members of the music industry.