To compliment the release of three new videos excerpts from Holographic, we asked Daniel Wohl and Daniel Schwarz to elaborate on their collaborative and creative process. Read about the "visual language" for the multi-media live performance below.
"I wanted to bring a visual element to the live performance to show another side of the music I was making. “Holographic” is an album which people can listen to on its own, but when they come see a live performance they get a different view point.
Daniel Schwarz’s visuals translate the sonic ‘data’ of my music into visual content. By taking the MIDI information (which gives rhythm to his video) as well as the live audio feed, the visuals are rendered in real time during our performance. The acoustic and electronic elements are being translated through Daniel’s particular custom created software and filtered through his unique visual language.
There is a lot going on in the live performance - the audience can pick up on the tone and the emotional content, but much of the imagery is left open to interpretation. Below we asked DS to break down some of the specific concepts behind a selection of pieces from Holographic to showcase the intricacies of his work."
– Daniel Wohl
Daniel Schwarz: The drone-y and forceful sounds in Formless reminded me of our current geopolitical fabric and the new ways technology has allowed us to see it. For the visuals I appropriated Google Earth fly-overs where acts of violence or human right violations are ingrained in the publicly available satellite imagery. The footage shows e.g. fights between the Russian separatists and the Ukrainian military near Donetsk, possible barrel bomb droppings around Aleppo in Syria, and a missile strike in Gaza indicated by clouds of dark red and black smoke.
In many ways it is a nod to the crucial practices of the Forensic Architecture project or Bellingcat and their creation of knowledge and evidence through similar means.
DS: Source’s soundscape is made up from a wide array of digital samples and voice recordings that are strongly manipulated. The visual content consists of live web content from various international news sources and platforms for information gathering and knowledge exchange.
The websites, initially clearly readable, become progressively more intermeshed - mirroring the manipulation of the digital sound samples in the song. Headlines, images and texts are arbitrarily juxtaposed creating new and unexpected meanings and also allow to situate the performance in its time-specific context within the current actualities of politics and social life.
DS: Shapes - Both the title and the sharp yet fragile string movements of this piece immediately brought to mind the shapes of borders and the act of crossing them; their control, oppression, and often times one-directional flow from the side of power, privilege or wealth (e.g. Mexico/US, Israel/Gaza, or the European Schengen zone). Experiencing the horrendous refugee crisis and the incapability or unwillingness of the international community to find humane solutions and approaches, lead to looking at symbols or signifiers for nationality and citizenship. How can national flags - which were designed with the clear intent to be easily recognizable and identifiable to a certain country - be abstracted and transformed into a different visual system or order? I ended up using common computer vision algorithms to detect feature sets and redrew thousands of lines connecting these machine detected points. The intention being to question understandings of what a country represents and the common populistic projections onto this symbol.
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