In REDEFINE's first bi-lingual interview, we speak with Gabriele Ottino, director behind the acid trip visuals for Italian electronic artist TOMAT's latest track, "1984". Taking inspiration from George Orwell and a wide cross-section of human affairs, the video mixes archival footage of events between June 1st and June 6th, 1984, glitch and pixel elements, and modern day footage of the musician into a brightly-colored visual slideshow.
"The denser the number of events a second, the more we lose the facts itself, gaining objectivity but losing humanity." -- Gabriele Ottino

 

MUSIC VIDEO AND INTERVIEW CONTINUED BELOW Directed by Gabriele Ottino and produced by Superbudda Studio

 

"... All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome." -- George Orwell, London Letter to Partisan Review

 

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. All we need this time is two acts: Austin's Shmu (1/2 of Zorch) and California's Sacred Caves (member of Film School).

Shmu

Shmu is the new solo project of Sam Chown, one half of Austin's raucously insane rock duo, Zorch. His latest record, Discipline/Communication, was released on June 5th via Grand Theft Zamboni Records. The 16-track record, like Zorch's offerings, is sheer insanity, though in a vastly different sense. Discipline/Communication is not consistently high-energy, but each track encompasses its own bizarre universe of sound, each the sonic equivalent of a 15-minute Adult Swim show. This type of compartmentalization is evident in just the first two singles alone: "&hearts" is a spastic collage of noise and rhythm while the much more accessible "House Of Stares" cradles one in a smooth crib of silk, with psychedelic mobiles swirling up ahead. Tracks are streaming below, and if this is your bag, rest assured that the rest of the album can be found among and within these meandering boundaries of musical form. DISCIPLINE/COMMUNICATION TRACKLISTING 01. Impressions 02. House of Stares 03. Backwoods 04. Directions 05. Crazy #107 06. Shadowgames 07. Happiness 08. Peaceful Swan 09. Vanitos 10. &hearts 11. Heads Will Fall 12. Floatin' Oculus 13. Turpentine 14. Fester 15. Dangerous Passion 16. Pool Party (Place 4 Us) Shmu - "House Of Stares" - DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/mp3/downloads/Shmu_House-Of-Stares.mp3|titles=House Of Stares] Shmu - "&hearts" - DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/mp3/downloads/Shmu_and-hearts.mp3|titles=House Of Stares]

 

Before Seattle artists Shaun Kardinal and Erin Frost met one another, art and creation were relatively solitary activities. Now, as romantic partners, they find in one another both artistic confidante and critic, and another with whom to share space and explore overlapping interests in geometry, collage, embroidery, and reuse. In this joint interview, both artists discuss their personal works as well as the collaborations which tie them together, both figuratively and literally.

 

Erin Frost

Alteration No 12 "Alteration No 12 was my very first piece of this nature. It was intimidating and exhilarating to "destroy" something i had made. It's a strong signifier of recent change, play, and exploration. Its balance and pattern are one of my favorites, visually. It wasn't mapped, but sewn free hand, each point leading to the next, and because of that it, it maintains a loose and taught path. It flows yet is contained." - Erin Frost Alterotations "Alterotations was made for a mobile gallery project curated by Sierra Stinson in New York in 2011. For this piece, I started with a more defined pattern (the circle) and plotted growing triangles within. I wanted to play with the radiating visual, to complement the original idea of the piece. At the time, I shot the original photograph (Black Lace), I was really trying to capture the sensation of love/lust/elation where it seems you can feel your heart expand, like it exists outside of you." - Erin Frost

Shaun Kardinal

Connotation no. 8 "This was one of the earlier pieces made for Connotations. It has a few cut-up postcards and features the shaped-collage-behind-thread I had envisioned when first starting the series. While very satisfying when it worked, the technique proved very tricky, since each piece of imagery was first cut and then spray-mounted into place for embroidering. The outwardly radiating points that touch the white paper were placed there in attempt to make the thing look like it was held together solely with thread. It worked here, but I found it distracting in other pieces and eventually left that element behind..." - Shaun Kardinal

 

Connotation no. 15 "This was my favorite of the series which incorporated a single, full-frame image. The design of the three orbs came to me while riding the bus one afternoon, and I was fortunate to have my Moleskine and some pens with me at the time. like most of the work in this series, the image came from a LIFE magazine published in the mid-'50s." - Shaun Kardinal

 

I discovered the work of Belgian artist Arn Gyssels years ago, thanks to Flickr. At that point, he seemed like he was just beginning to hone in on a tripped out collage style full of decay, glitches, and geometries, and I was instantly captivated. Now, on May 25th, 2012, Gyssels has a solo show in Antwerp, at the H.O.T.F.O.X gallery. Binary Fluidity will showcase "a series of contrasting fluidic forms that are believed to represent, within our own streams of consciousness, certain aspects of reality. It is exactly this content of experience and discovery in all its simplicity that will give the observer a visual tour on the border of an ectoplasmic experience." Gyssels has come a long way in defining his style, and in working his worldview more and more into his visual style. Below is a short Q&A -- just an introductory preview of the artist before a more in-depth collaborative feature with Gyssels and his girlfriend, Line Oshin.

 

(R) "This is one of the creatures that came out of putting black and white acrylic paint on a paper, scanning it in, and mirroring it from one side. You can see some form of underwater intelligent entity."

 

"Love and light. Everything should be treated with the utmost respect and understanding."

 

Coinciding with bright spring threads come a fascination with brightly-colored, geometrically-minded embroidered works! In this post, we examine works from artists who painstakingly thread through paper to vastly different ends.

 

Shaun Kardinal

This year, Seattle's Shaun Kardinal has taken a bold leap from minimally embroidered postcards to more involved pieces set upon multi-layered collages. By reconstituting rare pages from 1950s LIFE magazines, Kardinal explains what he calls "a long-time fascination with radial compositions and mandalas" in his Connotations. Expect a joint interview between him and Erin Frost within the month.

 

MADNESS! A recurring series of audio WTFs and head-twitching, spine-tingling experimental or chaotic fun (k-k+st)icks.

Eric Copeland

Does it sound like Black Dice? It sure does. That's because it is Black Dice -- or, at least, it's a core member of Black Dice gone solo without sacrificing the madness. Eric Copeland's album single for Limbo, "Louie, Louie, Louie" is like a more restrained but just as chaotic and visually-evocative counterpart to any Black Dice Song, and the album cover alone speaks volumes about the tendecy of this music. It's a burst of pattern, certainly not lacking in energy and intricacy, but lacking a wee bit o' color (I'm still comparing it to Black Dice, though, not to Coldplay). Limbo comes out June 5th on Underwater Peoples. Tracklisting for Limbo below, where you can also stream the entirety of his previous album, Waco Taco Combo! LIMBO TRACKLISTING 1. Double Reverse Psychology 2. Louie, Louie, Louie 3. Muckaluk 4. Fiesta Muerta 5. Tarzan and the Dizzy Devils 6. Lemons

 

Featuring two members of the indie psych pop band Nurses, HOOPDREAMS is the result of three multi-instrumentalists from the Pacific Northwest loosening their reins on traditional songwriting. Dub-influenced beats, layered vocals spanning multiple octaves of harmony, and mysterious electronic noises are explored to evoke vaguely familiar feelings of nostalgia that rest densely upon the human psyche. DARKSUMMER has recently been remastered for Baltimore record label Dymaxion Groove, which will release the album on a limited-edition, red, full moon picture disc (seen below), so that everyone on this great big floating ball of ours can get their hands on a copy, starting July 15th, 2012.

 

Pre-order Vinyl on dymaxion.fm Pre-order CD on dymaxion.fm
To introduce listeners to this release, we're featuring seven of the best videos for the short track "Spirit Momentum," which were created in conjunction with REDEFINE's interdisciplinary show MMMicrofestival. Hand-picked video artists were invited to give their interpretations for HOOPDREAMS' short track, and they are showcased in this unique abstract motion art gallery. See full artwork and stream the entirety of DARKSUMMER at the bottom of this post.


Arn Gyssels

Belgium digital and mixed media artist Arn Gyssels took the lo-fi route, creating a work of symmetrical beauty that morphs in and out of vaguely distinguishable human figures.

 

Daniel Cantrell

Illustrator and video editor Daniel Cantrell has quite the brilliantly deranged sense of humor, as you'll see from this mash-up video (complete with custom sounds, alien eyes, and social commentary)!  

When Nicholas Bohac left behind the Midwest to pursue his artistic career in one of the most expensive cities in the country -- San Francisco -- the decision must have been both wise, for the connections and experience, and terrifying, for the potential financial burden. But thanks to a sympathetic landlord and a supportive wife with more gainful employment, Bohac lives in the SF's Outer Richmond neighborhood, within blocks of Golden Gate Park, and has a studio space that he shares with his landlord, free of charge. The garage studio is hardly one to lounge about comfortably in, but considering the skyrocketing housing rates of the city and its general shortage of space, Bohac is one lucky man. Bohac is one of a small percentage of artists who has the rare luxury of working on art at his leisure. His leisure, however, is not one to be taken lightly; he estimates that he created 15-18 mid-sized pieces, 165 small pieces, and participating in eight shows in 2011. 2012, though, is a new year -- and with it, comes a new approach. He has taken the time thus far in 2012 to step back and reassess his work and his direction. He is learning to be more choosy and to expect more from his work, at the same time that he is reconstructing what he wants his outwards-facing image to be.
Upon first glance, Bohac's works are complex and psychedelic in nature, full of unnatural colors and shapes. But despite how obscured, manipulated and tweaked they might be, their very cores are centered around landscapes -- one interest that is deeply-rooted and enduring in Bohac's life. After all, it is landscapes which drew Bohac from the Midwest, where he had lived his entire life, to the West Coast. "I came out here to visit a friend who had moved out here... [and] I just was like, 'Whoa, there's a lot of stuff out here happening that I've never seen before,'" he recalls. "I'd seen mountains and I'd seen oceans, but I think everything just coalesced together in this area, and it makes these really interesting landscapes." To pay homage to his new surroundings, Bohac began with painstakingly rendered tempera paintings based off of photographs he had taken of the ocean. Ultimately, though, it was attending art school and taking in critiques from others that refined Bohac's style from mere imitation to reimaginings of everyday scenery.
"I think one of the best things anyone -- any instructor -- ever said of me was when I was making two or three of these collage paintings at once, and they were all at night and you could see the blue sky and the stars. He said, 'Why don't you make the sky this pink?' and that's all he had to say, and all of a sudden everything opened up a little bit more."

 

As unthrilled I am to have to link to Spin Magazine to make this happen... you can now listen to the entirety of the new Black Dice record on their site. It also comes with a track-by-track breakdown of themes. Mr. Impossible comes out on April 10th on Ribbon Music, and it's the band's first record in three years. "Pinball Wizard" and "Pigs" are the two album singles which have been released so far. Pre-ordering the record now will get you a special edition hand-numbered and individually-screened LP, limited to 350 copies! See the full post for album stream, tour dates, and music video for "Pigs."