GIBSON/RECODER/BLOCK: Aberration of Light: Dark Chamber Disclosure
seddvd#1 | Released in 2014 | Ltd Edition 60 copies | $25
Aberration of Light: Dark Chamber Disclosure is a site-specific live projection performance that was a highlight of this year’s festival (36th Toronto International Film Festival). In the projection booth, Brooklyn-based artists Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder distilled a found 35mm commercial film print into rich, gorgeous beams of light that danced on the screen, the auditorium walls, and the faces of the rapt, dreamy spectators who filled the theater at the Ontario Gallery of Art. (The movie that was the basis for the work was never identified to the audience, and the artists have never watched it in its entirety.) The introductory movement of the piece is a marvel: tiny lines of white light that were movie credits in a past life shimmer onscreen like sunlight filtering through deep water. Occasionally a half-glimpsed face from the original film surfaces deep within the piece like a mirage in the desert; other moments resemble flashlights dancing through fog. The audio to the piece, created and mixed live in the theater by the Dallas-born contemporary composer Olivia Block, is at once organic and otherworldly. In addition to sounds produced digitally and musically, Block works with sounds she has collected from the world around her. Occasionally, these feel familiar: is that the sound of rushing water? Peeper frogs chirping on a summer night? The plaintive bleat of an alarm? The whir of an airplane about to take off? The pop of distant fireworks? Together, the visual and aural components of Aberration of Light are a symphony of lights and darks, quiets and louds, that are greater in concert then the sum of their parts.” (Livia Bloom, Filmmaker Magazine)
“Gibson / Recoder / Block in their live projection work Aberration of Light: Dark Chamber Disclosure, showcase an inversion of supreme materiality. Gibson and Recoder seem to get rid of film material all together, casting on the cinema’s walls the shimmering colored lights of pre-camera/projector early cinema or the shadowplay of Plato’s cave. The light work resembles unfurling smoke and lapping waterfalls in a fluid, satiny effect that in no way seems filmic: no frame rate, no grain, no scratches or reels, and certainly no representation. Nothing seems like film. And yet the work is entirely based in projection and films, with two 35mm projectors used and two films, one of clear leader and one of an actual film projected upside down and out of focus and refracted through crystals, lenses and gels and further manipulated with their hands. So much “cinema” and yet totally suggestive of something beyond cinema (beyond meaning both before and after), and while nominally narrativized and timed to a recorded musical piece of field recordings, the work's unrestrained movements (expanding beyond even the cinema screen into the theater space itself) seem to suppress the 20th century’s finite cinematic technology to evoke an ephemeral play of light unbounded by beginnings and ends. Because all the possibilities in the world seem at the hands of these filmmakers and they no longer need to seek the infinite, it is no longer the focus of their works, but rather the attitude of a working method, where what was once the “end” (if unending) for a story to pursue has now become the means with which to pursue other stories.” (Daniel Kasman, MUBI)
Sandra Gibson / Luis Recoder / Olivia Block have been collaborating as expanded cinema artists since 2007. In 2008, their limited edition DVD Untitled was released on SoS Editions. In 2009, Sundance Film Festival featured the world premiere of Untitled as a work for high-definition digital projection. Live 16mm projector performances of Untitled include Redcat in Los Angeles, Ballroom Marfa in Texas, and TATE Modern in London. Their second collaborative work, Aberration of Light: Dark Chamber Disclosure, takes advantage of the expanded cinema potential inherent in the 35mm changeover system of standard theatrical projection. Live 35mm projector performances of Aberration of Light include Conversations at the Edge in Chicago, 36th Toronto International Film Festival, Serralves Foundation in Porto (Portugal), Courtisane Festival in Ghent (Belgium), 25FPS Festival in Zagreb (Croatia), and Kontraste Festival in Krems (Austria).
Aberration of Light: Dark Chamber Disclosure DVDs are available in regular and gallery editions. Both editions are limited. DVDs include custom packaging designed by Amy Borezo of Shelter Books.
The gallery edition is $60 ppd within the US, $70 overseas
The regular edition is $25 ppd within the US, $30 overseas