Bainbridge Held performance, distENDED cinema curated by David Linton, Brooklyn, NYC 2016, document video by Yana Milanberg
Media art collaborations by BENTON C BAINBRIDGE (The Bronx) and BARBARA HELD (NY/Barcelona) pair acoustic and electronic sound with realtime image processing. Their live performances, installations and recordings are composed using audiovisual synthesizers modulated with flute, as well as generative software. Solar seismic activity, the human breath, and other periodic measurements inspire their structural strategies.
Their generative audiovisual installation Observatory / Lisa Joy is currently on view as part of “Escuchar con los ojos. Arte sonoro en España, 1961-2016”, a group exhibition of Spanish Sound Art from the past half century at the Juan March Foundation in Madrid. Held’s software system, a sonification of helioseismological measurements, translates numeric data into another numeric structure: the overtone series of a sampled flute note, filtered and reinforced in the rhythm of the sound waves produced by solar oscillations, varying the intensity of harmonics. These frequencies are used as control voltages to shape sinuous lines from Bainbridge’s modified video game console, creating calligraphic patterns from the same electronic signals.
A previous collaborative performance with Nancy Meli Walker in 1995 for the Festival Grec in Barcelona, Spain used the sound and live video images of vintage laboratory glass and an original 19th century physics apparatus called the “singing flames” on loan from the Mentor Alsina laboratory museum.
Bainbridge/Held’s current project is Pausa, a collaborative composition in which sound and image “conduct” each other. The Binary Pattern Generator, a one-of-a-kind modular instrument by Brendan Byrne, generates simple rhythms which are interpreted by a software and hardware A/V synthesis system, triggering variations in the timbre of a live flute performance and layering of abstract forms into moving pictures.
BARBARA HELD is a flutist and composer based in Barcelona. She has performed the audiovisual work of Eugenia Balcells at MACBA; with Ursula Scherrer, Katherine Liberovskya and Anne Wellmer at LOOP Festival of Videoart in Barcelona ; Soundproof Festival, London; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; Solianka Gallery, Moscow; Issue Project Room, New York; The Bridge, Cologne; Experimental Intermedia, New York; Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; she participated in the group show “Microcosmics” curated by Joan Fontcuberta at the Sala Metrónom in Barcelona, and “Bioderivas” at the Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre in Tenerife with Yapci Ramos and Richard Garet. Her music has been published by FO A RM magazine and Leonardo Music Journal, and on the Lovely Music Ltd. CD, “Upper Air Observation”. A collaborative installation with Kenneth Kirschner and Wolfgang Gil was presented by Contour Editions at Eyebeam in New York, and she recently created from 0, a performance/generative installation for the Signal X festival in Cagliari, Sardinia. She teaches as part of the University of Barcelona’s Master in Sound Art program.
BENTON C BAINBRIDGE is a Bronx artist who makes media art with his own custom systems. Bainbridge is best known for visual performances, solo and in diverse collaborations. Benton VJ’d for 2 Beastie Boys world tours and made analog video synth FX for TV On The Radio’s “Staring at the Sun”. His artworks have shown around the world; currently touring projects include Kaki King/Glowing Pictures “The Neck is a Bridge to the Body” and two collaborations with Jin Hi Kim, “Ghost Komungobot” and “Digital Buddha”. Bainbridge has been resident media artist for One Step Beyond since its inception; this monthly music and visuals series is now in its ninth season at American Museum of Natural History. Benton C Bainbridge teaches “New Forms in Media” at School of Visual Arts MFA Computer Arts Department. Benton’s generative browser artwork “justasecXYZ #3” recently showed at the MFACA exhibition “Techtonic Shift” and online at justasec.XYZ.