Cycling '74 as Silver Sponsor
Mar 10 2006 | Sponsors
The San Francisco based company Cycling '74 is a silver sponsor of SOUND NOMADS.
SOUND NOMADS this time at probably the best butchers in Europe - Blutwurstritter Marcus Benser. Shane Anderson hops on board while Jakob Kort takes a brake from the project. Check out the recordings in our next performance at the 48-Stunden-Neukölln Art Festival. The chance to witness the whole process of blutwurst production, pigs hanging in the freezer, bones broken on the table, meat ground and mixed with bread crumbs. Result: delicate sounds for forthcoming artistic expressions. We would like to thank Paul Stankus and everyone from the Blutwurstmanufaktur in Berlin for their support.
Today on this rainy Sunday afternoon (it was far too hot last week anyway) sitting in Starbucks near my Berlin apartment and studio, i could barely concentrate on reading the this month's issue of the Wired Magazine. Wired has served as a source of inspiration ever since I started reading the magazine over ten years ago, although I can't explain it - especially today. You don't need to be an expert to realize that a formerly great, really innovative U.S. magazine turned into something mainstream just to reach more readers and advertisers.
How a Project Can Change the Way You Think
However, it turned out to be one of those days where thoughts and ideas come up faster than you can handle. Thus, I've decided to write some of them down. Besides several ideas and concepts for future projects, I found myself questioning about so many fundamental aspects of my works and my artistic/creative future. These questions arise more frequently/intensely since working on my SOUND NOMADS project last year. Travelling for six months through the Western United States, thereof working three months in a row with my assistant/project partner in places where your physical strains let push you beyond your limits every day. That let me think so much about me and let me feel things I've never felt before. Daily long hour drives through deserts and wilderness; lonesome scenic mountain and coast drives; jam-packed highways in the cities - car drives where used for discussing and elaborating concepts for upcoming performances as same as for watching out for possible SN playgrounds or sound huntings. But still there was time for letting me think about everything and nothing.
Especially during hours of driving in the heat of the day, when my project partner tried to find some sleep in the seat next to me.
Energy, Motivation, Complexity
To this day, he simply can't understand where my energy and enthusiasm comes from and how I'm able to do things with so much effort nearly 24/7 and still having the desire to work on - while driving the car, building up sensor equipped playgrounds in the desert's mid-day sun, or after setting up the tent in the dead of night. Perhaps it's the attempt to constantly find new viewing angles, to think far outside the box, to dive into layers of abstraction where the obviousness and importance of things follow their own rules and let you reveal something new. The urge on expressing all those emotions and sharing my experiences that pushes me forward. Surely, I'm also driven by my own perfectionism but this in turn is based on my effort to express myself in a most complete and appropriate way to create works, which resemble my original pictures in my head as far as possible. Since, these pictures in my mind are getting complex quickly, projects tend to do so, too. Even though, I'm an expert in simplicity and clarity when it comes to projects in the creative industry and I'm aware of the power of simplicity in art, at the same time I'm thinking it's only natural, that working with patterns of everday life (and life IS complicated) may result in something complex again.
SOUND NOMADS, the Concept, the USA Tour - It's So Much Me
By all means, that intense time of nomadism last year, working exclusively on that specific project, turned out to be one of my most important steps I've ever made. The concept of SOUND NOMADS IS to deal with those impressions every day, with emotions from travelling through breathtaking landscapes, foreign cities, different cultures. Working with the surroundings, creating technically complex sceneries and interactive playgrounds, reflect and express emotions of the very moment; spontaneously, unobtrusively or provocatively, poetically. This project became quickly so much me that I sometimes catched myself being scared of giving all this up and returning to Berlin/Europe again. It was not just the project. It was the working method, the life style, the adventure, the mobility, the liberty, the oportunity for artistical expressions in various forms (sound/performance/video) wherever and whenever you consider necessary, turning every single thought into something. But surely, severel reasons kept me from going on with the U.S. tour. Both of us were looking forward to living our own lifes again, i had to find time again for comissioned works, too, and the list goes on. But it became pretty much clear that this project at least has to go on and the decision was made to initiate short trips in Europe this year, too.
Diversity, Multi-/Interdisciplinarity, Uniqueness
Behind the fact, that SOUND NOMADS incorporates so many different art forms, mediums, and extensive technology usage, there is my constant ambition to work with the widest possible spectrum of disciplines, mediums, techniques, and technologies. I think, this has much to do with my inner need to do things differently. I always hated to go the same way again and again, saying something using the exact same words repeatedly. In school f.i. I rather risked bad results by trying something new than solving mathematical problems the same familiar way over and over again. I guess, it's also challenges I'm chasing after. I never take the easy way and: I need variety. Working interdisciplinary helps, not doing something only because you are supposed to do, too. To stay unique. Not copying others' ideas is restricting you with every creative work you get to know more and more, and not only once I've even dumped great ideas because I just had to learn that similiar works already existed or somebody was planning a similar project at the same time. But for me it's also a must to behave with respect and use other's ideas and forms of expression just as an other source of inspiration.
Open Up and Stand Out
However, as long as the idea is not the only important thing about a project or work, I'm not afraid of dealing openly with my own concepts, thoughts, and knowledge. Since, an artist or creative is not only acting as f.i. an inventor, visionary, or engineer but furthermore put her whole person and talent into the realization, the whole work will distinguish from others anyway - with its strengths and weaknesses. Sure enough, this doesn't apply as soon as the whole importance to a work is solely attached to its statement or idea or if you don't have enough confidence in your own capabilites doing it better, more passionated, more personal, with unique esthetics, or just different than others, anyway. From an artistic standpoint, sometimes, it's the idea that really counts, but most of the time the 'when' and 'how' is much more important. In any case, I think the most important factor in creative work which often decides over success can be you - your own personal touch, your one-of-a-kind working method, your esthetic, your way of doing things and bringing them to an end. Sometimes it's all about you, sometimes it's all about ideas and timing, sometimes it's all about esthetics and how everything is put together or the choice of the right medium.
Sharing Ideas, Experiences and Expertise
Thus, mostly, sharing ideas, concepts and visions can't hurt, furthermore acting and thinking this way can pay off. For me dealing openly with experiences and knowledge especially on the web became common practice over the years. Open discussions and feedback can bring you and enthusiastic ideas/projects huge steps forward into the right directions, people sharing ideas learn from each other, earning respect for your support can encourage you. On the whole, I guess, I'm doing it right with my open research and working methods and I'll definitely take this to the next level.
But why f.i. train somebody in technology and art for two years free of charge when that person doesn't plan to work in these fields of work, anyway, just to be able to work with him on a single high-tech art project? I don't know, but at least this is exactly what happened for the SOUND NOMADS project. Before I had trained my project partner, he knew nothing whatsoever about working with sound, video, sensors, and expressing himself artistically. Suddenly he not only found himself programming complex software patches and making laptop music - he became part of the process and in a sense essential for the whole project. Perhaps this is, again, connected to the idea of sharing my skills, spreading my knowledge and working methods. It's also an opportunity for a more intimate team play having somebody on your side who has access to the same technics, workflows, and mindsets but still maintains the advantage of thinking differently because of his background. Is it the chase after interdisciplinary, challenge and complexity, again?
Thoughts, It's You
Dealing with my inner thoughts more openly and even post them as blog entries like this seem to come late but can be seen as a very important decision. Especially, when in my works the process of making is quite often substantial and very apparent. I started early to share my experience and that's also what I'm using my website for and never hesitated to blog about things which could hurt my image as and artist and I don't go after 'less is more', when it comes to the content of this website. As a professional in the creative industry I always go for simplicity to create a strong, tight package. But as an artist, there is no distinction between work and spare time. It's all the same. Every silly film you're watching, every embarrassing band you loved to hear when you were young, and even if it stands in contrast to those 'intellectual' films and groups you're really dying for most of the time. It doesn't matter, this all is you and to a certain extent it defines your work. You can do nothing about it. But still, although I'm putting a lot of personal stuff onto this site for a long time now, most of the time my inner thoughts were expressed through my large projects, only sometimes through smaller works. Now, I'm excited to use this site to present smaller works, sources of inspiration, inner thoughts, too. There are so many reasons for starting with this right now. It really impressed me. I guess, I always had too many concerns about what others may able to think, when writing about thoughts in such a direct and poorly conceived manner while leaving several questions unanswered. This all let feel you vulnerable and amateurish at the same time. But as an artist you probably should take whatever it needs to free and express yourself ...
Several side projects and collaborations are in the works and gorgeous roadmaps are coming together. But now more than ever, I'm also yearning for artistic expressions beside those long-term projects. Constant reflections of my inner thoughts, everyday impressions and emotions. Thus, be prepared for more self-reflexive blog entries, too.
Happy Birthday Ger! Thank you for all the automated birthday e-/snail-mail greetings. My this year's birthday-donation goes to ... the former domain owner of gerger.com! This is a huge (though expensive) step and yes, I promise not to give future birthday-donations to myself again :-) I hope you like the new domain name as much as I do.
Update your bookmarks! After 10 years of existence of v-a-m-p.com, this site is now available at http://gerger.com .
Wow, that was fast. Tons of work and fantastic experiences lie behind me. Never a Year went by more quickly than 2006. Work updates, works on commission worldwide, o0oo upgrades, groundbraking productivity/workflow enhancements, 6 months nomadism in the United States and in November the Berlin art studio and apartment moved into a new space.
And of course: 2006 was the Year of the much-anticipated public sound/ performance art project SOUND NOMADS. But 2007 is going to be a blast! The equipment is still packed. Sensor repairs, postproductions but also preproductions in progress ... In queue: short SOUND NOMADS trips across Europe. This Year is going to be huge for SOUND NOMADS and further projects likewise.
Sound Huntings: 20 . Art Performances: 10 . Audio-/Backtracks: various tracks still in process
Active Nomads Hours: Jul/Aug/Sep: ca. 1300
Dokumentationsmaterial (Fotos/Video Clips): 16,958 files, 25.80 GB
Car: 15,000 mi, 5 flat tires, 1 car backed into Victor, 2 tickets, 3 cops, Gas: $2538.35, other car expenses: $3549.01
|GAS Apr||GAS May||GAS Jun||GAS Jul||GAS Aug||GAS Sep||GAS Oct|
DVD: estimated release Feb, 2007
STILL OPEN: Go for gold! The dog from our recent 'Play!' performance in Utah was buried in a nightly action at the beach of Santa Monica. Still no signs that it was found!
Santa Monica Watch Tower 7. Right back corner. 118 Ger Ger's feet (Puma Speed Cat P US Grey/Olive 9/EUR 42/UK 8/CM 27) to Pacific Coast Highway. Turn right. Keep on going 98 feet. Go for gold!
This is the end of the first SOUND NOMADS season and of this intense US tour. A continued series of performances will arise next year ...
The SOUND NOMADS project page with the full range of downloads and additional details will be complete in November.
|SEP 26||Art Performance: 'Lantern Dogs'|
|Location||Los Angeles, CA/USA|
|Timeframe||3:45-5:30 PM | ??:00 min. Video Runtime|
|Preparation||SEP 07, SEP 22 [2 days]. MAX/MSP, sound editing, track composing, callibration|
Los Angeles dogs and puppies. Sidewalks - rich, poor, famous, empty. Beverly Hills lost and found in translation. Who is the dog - we are what we do. Watch out for the sweet and lovely lamp posts - in broad light, by day and by night.
Technology: With the help of some self-developed RT noise generators, the lamp post become playable through distance sensors. Live audio inputs and master track round off the setting.
|SEP 25||Art Performance: 'Sound Pets LA'|
|Location||Los Angeles, CA/USA|
|Timeframe||1 day | ??:00 min. Video Runtime|
|Preparation||SEP 23-24 [2 days]. MAX/MSP, sound recording and editing, track composing, pet reconstruction, callibration|
Video Clip: Coming soon!
Never change a winning team ... after the success in San Francisco, we took the chance to reinvent the sound pets in LA with refurbished beats and a new language. Creatures fed with sound samples are playing their own rhythms based on the city's intensities of light and shadow.
Technology: Two light sensors - each mounted in a handsized transparent cube - are brought to life. A day around Los Angeles with the two unconventional pets. Software development for a certain level of autonomous intelligence and precise calibration allow these pets to emit beats and to place fast food orders along the way. Beat - order pet 1 - beat - order pet 2 - beat ... Light intensity (shadows of buildings, time of day, etc) as well as movements are responsible for the selection of fast food pool samples. The stopping of a pet manifests itself as the momentary arresting of the rhythmic chain.
|SEP 21||Art Performance: 'Victor's Desert Party'|
|Timeframe||5:00-7:00 PM | ??:00 min. Video Runtime|
|Preparation||SEP 07-08, SEP 21 [3 days]. MAX/MSP, sound recording and editing, track composing, callibration|
Video Clip: Coming soon!
Victor, the good guy behind the scenes. In honor of him a desert party was thrown last Thursday. Beats triggered by his turn signals, wired headlights, collective shaking/moving/sliding ...
Technology: In various ways the car becomes playable through sensors. Light sensors on the blinkers and on the headlights trigger samples; distance sensors generate sound changes to the master track when the car moves. Party karaoke thanks to the mic-in megaphone.
|SEP 20||Art Performance: 'Luxor 22.145'|
|Location||Luxor Hotel and Casino/Las Vegas, NV/USA|
|Timeframe||7:00 PM - 3:00 AM | ??:00 min. Video Runtime|
|Preparation||SEP 18-20 [3 days]. MAX/MSP, sound editing, track composing, callibration, storyboard|
As planned - a m/hotel performance went down in Vegas. Luxor: rooms 4455, employees 4000, casino 120,000 square feet, 250 miles visible Xenon light shot. Room No. 22.145: sensor equipped bending matresses, sound generating moving chairs, pitch shifting ironing and flickering lights.
Technology: Lamps become sound triggers and pitch shifters by means of light sensors, irons turn into turntables through pressure sensors, chairs become free-moving VST instruments through sensor combinations. Mattresses (bend it over), drawers (open/close), closet doors, curtains (movements) and the TV set (light intensity of a selected channel) become a sampler ... This performance consists of seven essentially different superstructures and interactive scenarios. A night in the luxury hotel becomes a performance night.