Kjell Bjorgeengen/Paul Sharits
- Neil Cooper
- 2 October 2008
Dundee Contemporary Arts, until Sun 12 Oct
Do not adjust your sets. The 15 TV monitors arranged every which way in ‘Figment Light’, Norwegian auteur Kjell Bjorgeengen’s series of flicker-based sound and light installations, developed primarily at New York’s Experimental Television Center, may initially overpower the casual viewer like some on-the-blink version of The Twilight Zone, but the initial urge to recoil soon subsides into washes of chill-out zone sensorium.
With looped soundscapes generating the accompanying visuals, the intricate disparities between each piece move from amplified war-zone static and partially submerged ambience to Philipp Waschmann’s ornate violin-scapes and a trouser-rattling dub sh’boom. In ante-rooms beyond the black and white of the main space, languid pastorals contrast sharply with the sub-bass rattle-and-hum next door.
As a pop-eyed precursor to Kill Your Timid Notion, the DCA’s almost annual weekend festival which explores the relationship between sound and vision, it’s an indicator to how Bjorgeengen’s performance with Waschmann and Keith Rowe may pan out.
Similarly, Paul Sharits’ ‘Epileptic Seizure Comparison’ dates from 1976, and was seen in its purely cinematic form a couple of KYTN’s ago. This installation version, however, was how Sharits originally showed this twin-screen 16mm loop of two men in the throes of convulsion played in a relatively confined space in which assorted noises are bounced around. The idea here too is to linger awhile and transcend the initial discomfort to enter a state of blissed-out satori. You get the idea after a few minutes, but if you’ve the inclination to stick with both of these pieces, you may end up somewhere else entirely.