Transcode: Dialogues Around Intermedia Practice, curated by Gwen Miller at the new UNISA (University of South Africa) Gallery, explores the space between digital and traditional work for contemporary, South African artist-researchers. It premieres new work by many artists, including Lawrence Lemaoana, Celia de Villiers & Intuthuko Sewing Group, Frikkie Eksteen, Marcus Neustetter, Carolyn Parton, Churchill Madikida, Colleen Alborough, Minette Vári, Sello Mahlangu, Gwen Miller and Fabian Wargau.
Nathaniel Stern's new piece, static, is an enclosed installation of six looped films, where each is edited down through "thresholding" the audio: any time the volume goes above a set and very low amplitude, that section is completely removed, and the film jump cuts to the next (nearly) silent sequence. These are in a tight corridor with three body-sized and wall-to-wall projections on either side, spatially putting viewers "in quotes" as they inadvertently cast shadows into the stories around them. High-volume loudspeakers accompany each projection, creating a hum out of the minor background noise left behind in all six Best Picture-winning films: Apocalypse Now, Casablanca, Silence of the Lambs, On The Waterfront, The Godfather II andMidnight Cowboy. What we see or experience is reliant not only on the work's rich-but-noiseless stasis and over-determined visual action, but also our familiarity with each film or filmic genre. The clips' varied lengths, styles and narratives, all seen together, accent our collective, social relationships to archetypal stories and characters at large.
Also on exhibition is Stern's well known interactive piece, stuttering, and several works from his Compressionism and Distill Life series (the latter with collaborator Jessica Meuninck-Ganger).
The exhibition runs from September 7 - 30 with an opening reception on September 7th.