A Chorus of Black Voids Sings In Rays of Unseeable Light (2017), by Michael A. Morris

By Wilder Zumarán

Program 1 of Crossroads 2019, Unseeable Light / A Chorus of Voids, is made up of three proposals of spatial (in the broadest sense of the term), intuitive and miscegenation vocation. From its viewing, one gets a tactile experience of the audiovisual, a free, alive and intuitive experience, as an improvisation in which a perceptive experience becomes aware of the media used, a dialogue between sound and image. The three projects take frames of reference and register in contexts that exceed the strictly cinematographic : Sick Sense 2, from a research on the perception of some frequencies on human sensibility, A Chorus of Black Voids Sings In Rays of Unseeable Light, from multiprojection-performance and Diamond Body, from the mix, juxtaposition and sound improvisation on the filtered image.

Sick Sense 2 (2019), by Brent Coughenour, is a study about the limits of visual and sound perception, based on sound investigations conducted by Diana Deutsch, Alfred Bregman and Maryanne Amacher, among others. We are presented with a system throughout the film: sound frequencies are linked with grids that vibrate with each one of them. Does the sound makes them vibrate or do they make the sound vibrate? There seems to be a mutual influence. We see the sound; the sound’s image. The different parameters of sound waves (their prolongation, their size, their harmony or dissonance) determine the size, position or even the color of the lines that form the grids. In this way, what at the beginning is a synthetic sound similar to the song of some birds (and which appears cyclically along with some thin lines) becomes, little by little, a kind of synesthetic concert, with overwhelming and hypnotic sound and image. This mechanism reaches its most intense point when a constant shepard tone coupled with the movement of the lines of the grids generates perceptive hallucinations, it rattles the retina with a violent sensation of falling. Finally, as the vibrations (visual and sonic) increase their frequency, a feeling of stability arises, and physically we notice the stability after the vibration, the intuition of a movement in the fixed image, the sick sense.

A Chorus of Black Voids Sings In Rays of Unseeable Light (2017), by Michael A. Morris, is presented as a performance. With the screen divided in two, on one side we see the filmmaker building the project and on the other the project itself, the result of the construction. This construction consists of the projection of several layers of image in different formats (16 mm film, analog video and digital video) on which Morris builds, on the fly, the soundtrack (from sounds that hi has saved and is modifying), thus creating almost galactic, spatial atmospheres. Exposed to this dynamic of seeing the act of creation, we anticipate what each creative decision means for creation itself. From this, a greater awareness of the mechanism that builds the work is generated, a sort of physical ritual experience of the material and its use, thus accounting for the differences and ontological similarities of the projection formats. The essence of each choir voice is exposed, but there is still singing.

Finally, clouds of colored light that dance, fleeting sketches of atmospheres, rhythm, the vaporous, an allusion to the strange, to the unknown. Diamond Body (2018), by Kris Force, closes this program with a proposal that includes a universe seen through a prism and a sound piece recorded live. Its title suggests the idea of ??a body as a prism, of the potential translucency that it possesses. To carry out this project, Force decides to capture reflections of light, refractions and filtered microspheres through natural crystals, in addition to asking a quintet of musicians to build and record live a sound proposal, then in turn digitally intervened. Thus, the superposition and disruption is also present in music, and combines the nebulous image proposal with the building of a phantasmagorical atmosphere, the intuition of a reality, of a body.

The Sick Sense 2 (2019) by Brent Coughenour (US); video/sound performance, color, sound, 25 minutes
A Chorus of Black Voids Sings In Rays of Unseeable Light (2017) by Michael A. Morris (US); 16mm/video/sound performance, color, sound, 15 minutes
Diamond Body (2018) by Kris Force (US); digital video with musical performance, color, sound, 19 minutes