Bas van Koolwijk, Derek Holzer

Ozone is an environmental installation created by video artist Bas van Koolwijk and sound artist Derek Holzer to explore the shifting tide of signals, frequencies and codes streaming through the air and passing through our bodies every day.

For this installation, Koolwijk has produced a four-channel, generative realtime digital video using Max/MSP and Jitter which is sent as an analog signal to four television sets. In the same space of the Arsenals Gallery in Riga, a coil made from hundreds of meters of copper wire has been mounted. This coil is connected directly to the soundcard of a Linux computer which Holzer has programmed using Pure Data. The coil acts as an antenna to capture the Very Low Frequencies [VLF] emitted by the television tubes, which are in the same range as human hearing but inaudible because they are electromagnetic rather than acoustic. The soundcard of the computer converts these frequencies into digital audio. The Pure Data patch then analyzes processes and spatializes this digital material onto a 4.1 sound system. The resulting audio is then sent on to further influence the video, creating a feedback loop.

Taken together, the video and the audio give the impression of a space completely filled with a very tangible radiation--the electromagnetic waves made physical. At times this is a deafening roar, and at other times the sound subsides, and delicate signals appear through the clouds, inviting listeners to speculate on their source. Our aim is that a complex digital-to-analog-to-digital communications network evolves during the duration of the installation where no single event is ever repeated, and where the audio and video are constantly in transformation.

The Ozone project was made possible through the support of Medienturm Graz, and was presented as part of the Steirischer Herbst festival in the Fall of 2003. A special radio broadcast was made in conjunction with Kunstradio/Austrian Radio Ö1 for the occasion on September 21, 2003. It has also been presented as an installation at the European Media Arts Festival 2004 in Osnabrück, Germany and as a performance at the Earational Festival 2003 in S'Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.

Derek Holzer (The Netherlands). Derek Holzer (b. 1972, USA) is a sound artist with a background in radio, webstreaming and environmental recording. His work focuses on capturing and transforming small, unnoticed sounds from various natural and urban locations, networked collaboration strategies, experiments in improvisational sound and the use of free software such as Pure-Data. He has released tracks under the Nexsound, Sirr, and/OAR and Gruenrekorder labels, and has co-initiated several internet projects for field recording and collaborative soundscapes including Soundtransit.nl. Holzer has also performed live, improvised electronic music in many venues and festivals in Europe, the US and Brasil, including FILE (Sao Paulo, BR), WRO (Wroclaw, PL), Transmediale (Berlin, DE), Art+Communication (Riga, LV) and others. Derek Holzer is supported during 2005-2007 by Fonds voor Beeldende Kunsten Vormgeving en Bouwkunst (Fonds BKVB) of The Netherlands.

Bas van Koolwijk (The Netherlands). Although Bas van Koolwijk (b. 1966) began his artistic career as a painter, he soon found the medium too limiting to express the color and motion he envisioned. Using involuntary data streams found on televisions, he began active experiments with the analog and digital video formats. By analyzing the video disturbances and transforming them into numeric code, Van Koolwijk developed an essentially digital aesthetic, exposing a vigorous interaction between sounds and images. Since a number of years his live video and audio performances, both solo as well as in collaborations with other artists, have become an important part of his work. His work has appeared at media art festivals worldwide, such as: Impakt (NL), Mutek (CA), Netmage Festival (IT), Avanto (FI), European Media Art Festival (DE), Courtisane (BE), among others.

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