Salon Digital - Derek Holzer

Derek Holzer - Vector Synthesis : a Media Archaeological Investigation into Sound-Modulated Light

Lectureseries / 17.12.2019

"Vector Synthesis : a Media Archaeological Investigation into
Sound-Modulated Light." Mit Derek Holzer.

Vector Synthesis is a computational art project inspired by theories of media archaeology, by the history of computer and video art, and by the use of discarded and obsolete technologies such as the Cathode Ray Tube monitor. This talk explores the military and techno-scientific legacies at the birth of modern computing, and charts attempts by artists of the subsequent two decades to decouple these tools from their destructive origins. Using this history as a basis, I then describe a media archaeological, real time performance system using audio synthesis and vector graphics display techniques to investigate direct, synesthetic relationships between sound and image. Key to this system, realized in the Pure Data programming environment, is a didactic, open source approach which encourages reuse and modification by other artists within the experimental audiovisual arts community.

17.12.2019, 6 pm
Room 1.07.040 (Nebenflut), Am Speicher XI 8, 28217 Bremen

BIO: Derek Holzer (USA 1972) is a sound + light artist based in Helsinki & Berlin, whose current interests include DIY electronics, audiovisual instrument building, the relationship between sound and space, media archaeology, and participatory art forms. He has performed live, taught workshops and created scores of unique instruments and installations since 2002 across Europe, North and South America, and New Zealand.


The program for Digital Media at the University of the Arts Bremen launched a regular series of salon-style gatherings titled “Spectacle: Reenactments in the Arts, Design, Science and Technology.” The events have an open format and provide a forum for experiments, presentations and performances from a range of different fields, but with a common focus on old and new media, as well as technologies. The salon thereby enables a practice of reenactment as a way to make things past and hidden visible, present and also questionable.
Contemporary new technologies and media seem to cover knowledge with complex layers of materials, code/sign systems and history/organization. Reenacting can translate obscured knowledge, ideas and theories into bodies and actions. At the heart of this conceptual approach is a desire to turn past events into present experiences—although the very nature of the past prohibits such an endeavor.
The salon pursues the primary goal of opening closed systems and constructions (black boxes). Global power structures, as well as complex processes in development and production—leading to hermetic constructs—have made it even harder to understand science, economy and contemporary media, as well as new technologies. Recipients therefore tend to mostly grasp only their superficial level. The spectacle is a way to condense actions and processes. Reenactment, on the other hand, builds on repetition and history. But the spectacle is a moment in the here and now where everything flows together and culminates.

Organized by: Andrea Sick, Ralf Baecker und Dennis Paul

Salon Digital - Derek Holzer

Room 1.07.040 (Nebenflut), Speicher XI, Bremen

17. December 2019, 18:00