Excessive mass is the result of substantializing surplus as a notion.
The first step toward embodying an idea is its articulation aloud – to utter something “weighs” more than just to think it. Only then the physical matter comes in. Something specific is produced, created. If it ensues from superfluous ideas, most likely nothing good will come out of it. However, the ecology of thinking is still rather an unpopular discipline, as it can smell of a certain ideology and restrictions on intellectual freedom. And so a sort of uncontrolled, wasteful attitude to thinking (and by extension also to words and matter) is going on.
Let’s consider a story: Continental Barum, a German company seated in Otrokovice, produces tires, the same as thousands of companies worldwide. It has 4,500 employees and makes 64,800 units of passenger car tires a day on an area of 738,552 m2. The key concept being acceleration, evidently dreamt of by people many thousands of years ago. Thanks to the “modern manufacturing facilities,” “state-of-the-art technologies” and, last but not least, “teamwork” (which, according to their website, are principles also shared by Continental Barum), “Fordism” enriched the acceleration concept with a new dimension. In the beginning was the word. Only afterward did the inventions follow – the wheel, the assembly line, and also the tire, which gave rise to the current global design of imprints and trajectories and to all the sounds, noises and smells that go with it. It is likely to be the largest multi-sensual installation on this planet.
Is it ecological to think in this way? And, moreover, to concentrate these ideas in a gallery space? What will solidify of it in the end? For his installation at Školská 28 Gallery, Daniel Vlček has invited a number of guests to sonify objects he has made from residual materials left over from tire production, and to collaborate with him on a series of complex audiovisual artworks. It was necessary to pull out all the stops for the imagination, and turn the heating up to maximum (which is usually the case with art). Yet, at the same time, so as not to drown in this intellectual hedonism, one must still manage to attentively read, investigate, stylize, formulate and translate (which ideally should be the case with arts). Considering it apart from all negative connotations of the concept of acceleration that has become emblematic of this installation, we must acknowledge that the word itself and its physical dimensions are also rather sexy. Hair blowing in the breeze, the landscape is flying by and becoming more and more abstract. A two-hour film has ended before we even noticed. A myriad of fingers are dancing on keyboards right now. Away from ecology, there is desire here! It may seem redundant, yet without it we would not move any further.
The following artists working with experimental music and light installations have been brought together by their shared interest in the process of converting painting, object, and space surfaces into sound. The exhibition Speed Index illustrates different approaches to the perception of space and to the methods of surface sonification. Various material collages and objects created by Daniel Vlček, who invited the participating artists, provide the basis for different sound scores. Collages and ob- jects were made from recycled material and pigments used in the production of tires obtained from the company Barum-Continental. In this way the present exhibition can be seen as a continuation of Vlček’s recent exhibitions, Further and Higher in Cabinet T in Zlín and Hidden Settings in the House of Art in České Budějovice.
David Vrbík uses laser beams as a musical instrument, scanning the gallery as well as Vlček’s vari- ous objects. The digitized recording scan is then used as a score, determining the sequence of notes played by a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer. Jiří Rauš’s mobile scanner scans a strip of wall embedded by Vlček with a repetitive drawing referencing Robert Ruaschenberg’ and John Cage’s Automobile Tire Print (1953), which was the result of a tire track rolled over white paper. The data acquired by Rauš’s scanner is also converted into notes and sent to a synthesizer, a clone of the legendary Roland TB303.
Jakub Krejčí uses rubber in his scan. He created his own object by setting the rubber on fire and allow- ing it to burn. He then obtained 3D scans from the burnt result. The data collected from these scans is translated into sound, further developing the multi-channel installation. Lucie Udvardyové’s text first appeared in the internet portal techno.cz and was concerned with the history and influence of Detroit techno and its relationship with the automobile industry (Motor City). This text, transformed into an audiovisual installation, becomes part of the current exhibition through an individual projection.
Speed Index as a whole represents the participating artists’ attempt at communication between autonomous systems. The information obtained from reading various surfaces is shared and sent among the systems, determining the overall course and sound of the installation.
Jakub Krejčí studied communication at FUA in Liberec. He is currently continuing his education in Audiovisual Studies at FAMU in Prague. He has interned at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and in Wroclaw. His work is engaged with different spaces reflecting the idea of one’s own space as opposed to the general. For Krejčí continual process, long-term continuity and development is important. His current work involves audiovisual performances, making use of available opportu- nities to actively share and create music through individual expression. His DIY devices represent the bounds in the idea of a larger system, the image of another world.
Jičí Rouš graduated from FAMU in the department of audiovisual studies. His work is above all focused on the improvisation of sound, visual performances and interactive installations making use of various electromechanical principles. His work is primarily driven by the philosophy of DIY and free software culture, topics which also make up the subject of his own theoretical research. He is a member of k-o-l-e-k-t-i-v, a group dedicated to live coding. In addition he participates in the audiovisual groups Lov na Bogora, Inocens and others...
Lucia Udvardyová is a music publicist and event organizer. In 2010, with Peter Gonda, she found- ed Eastern Daze, a platform aiming to document and link the emerging subcultural music scene of Central and Eastern Europe. Under the label Baba Vanga she releases music projects and orga- nizes concerts and exhibitions. In addition, Udvardyová works with Český Rozhlas, Resonance FM, the Quietus, Electronic Beats, Adhoc and others. In the year 2015 she was the co-curator of the biennale OFF in Budapest. She also works for Shape (a new pan-European initiative and festival that supports innovative music and audiovisual art). After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague from the department of New Media.
Daniel Vlček was known mainly as a member of the art group Guma Guar. In 2011, together with Matouš Medílek he founded the Ferdinand Baumann Gallery in the Štěpánská passage. Afterwards the two went on to found the multicultural center Berlínskej Model along with Richard Bakeš. Currently, along with music, Vlček continues to dedicate himself to painting, a medium he had spent most of his university years preoccupied with. His signature style is derived from the shape of vinyl records, as well as their material and symbolic aspects. Vlček uses vinyl records as a stencil, making identical repetition possible. In 2013 he was the curator of the exhibition 16-20,000 Hz in Prague’s Meetfactory. The exhibition was exclusively concerned with the visualization and interpretation of sound, leading to the 2014 exhibition Na počátku bylo ticho (In the Beginning there was Silence) in the Municipal Gallery in Pilsen.
Since 1998 audiovisual artist David Vrbík has collaborated on multiple projects in the Czech alterna- tive scene. His spectacular instrument “Laser String” was first presented in 2008 in Brussels. Five strings represented the Olympic rings during the opening of the Czech Olympic House in London at the 2012 Olympics. In 2004 he founded the project SPAM with Vladimir 518 (Karel Gott Prager 2009 BIT 2010 SPAM, SPAM SMRT 2014).
On May 4th, as an accompanying event, the exhibiting artists will present their individual installations and perform as a group in a musical improvisation.
The installation by Daniel Vlček is developed further on the White Billboard gallery and The Hole Gallery.
This exhibition is presented as part of the 2016 vs. Interpretation festival.