999 x (10^95)
Video-Oper von Matthew Ostrowski
Mi, 21.11.2001, 20:000
Sammlung Essl - Depot
Teil des Projektes Kopfwelten.ADOLF
Mit schier unabsehbaren Zahlenfolgen versuchte Adolf Wölfli
seine ins Unendliche dimensionierten Kopfwelten, die imaginäre
"Skt. Adolf Riesen=Schöpfung", zu beschreiben und zu vermessen.
Als in kosmischen Größenordnungen Denkender, wurden
Wölfli dabei die gängigen Zahlen rasch zu eng. Ein Stück
dieser Unendlichkeit im Schaffen Adolf Wölflis einzufangen,
ist das Vorhaben der Video-Oper des amerikanischen Komponisten
- Matthew Ostrowski (USA): electronic devices
- Benton-C Bainbridge (USA): visuals
- Stephie Büttrich (NL): vocals
- Chris Nelson (USA): vocals
A New York City native, Matthew Ostrowski spent much of
the '80s in the then-flourishing downtown improvisation scene,
playing antique synthesizers, amplified plates of glass, and broken
tape recorders in a long string of low-ceilinged venues whose
names are now lost to memory, honing his skills onstage with the
usual Downtown suspects: Zeena Parkins, Nicolas Collins, John
Zorn, Anthony Coleman, and that bunch. He was also the tape-loop
and drum machine player for the so-called rock band Krackhouse,
which was blissfully free of a guitarist at the time. In addition,
he wasted a great deal of his time on practically unperformable
multimedia music-theater pieces, incorporating actors, video,
slides, and kitchen sinks, including The Ruin, performed at New
Music America, Vox Dei for 4 vocalists, sampler, and video, and
most recently Guilty, (based on the '40s film noir classic Double
Indemnity) for 4 voices, piano, bassoon, strings, and electronics.
Forays outside the new music ghetto include audio installations,
shown in New York City, Holland, and Switzerland and music for
theater in Philadelphia and New York. From 1993 to '99, he was
composer-in-residence for the high-speed, high-impact Elizabeth
Streb/ Ringside dance company, amplifying and processing walls,
floors, and trampolines. In 1993, he abandoned New York for the
Netherlands, trading his battered '70s synth for a battered '80s
computer in a hunt for ever more powerful means to reproduce the
ferocious racket in his own head. This has resulted in (amongst
other things) a series of live solo pieces for computer-driven
sampler, culminating in his massive work Vertebra, released last
year on Pogus records. Ostrowski has appeared on over a dozen
recordings, has toured everywhere from California to Australia,
and has received various minor accolades and laurel wreaths for
his work. He currently divides his time between Holland and the
Benton-C Bainbridge has been working in cinema and related
media since 1983. For the past decade, Benton-C has approached
cinema as a performable medium, making audio and video in realtime
in a multitude of group and solo contexts.
Even in his earliest Super-8 film
work, Benton-C sought immediate means to create cinema, finding
little satisfaction in single frame animation. Video offered a
shorter feedback loop, as tape allowed for rehearsals and rapid
refinements. In 1989, working with David Jones' unique A/V synthesis
instruments at upstate New York's Experimental Television Center
confirmed Bainbridge's belief that movies are meant to be played,
like a visual form of music.
Like music, performed cinema is
commonly a collaborative art form. During the '90s, Bainbridge
co-founded the groups 77 Hz (with Jonathan 'Naval Cassidy' Giles,
Philip R. Bonner, Michael Schell and Eric Schefter), The Poool
(with Angie Eng and Nancy Meli Walker), and NNeng (with Nancy
Meli Walker and Brian Moran) to perform improvised and composed
video live on stage. Bainbridge has worked with DanceKumikoKimoto,
Ikue Mori, Abigail Child, Maria Beatty, Zeena Parkins, David Weinstein,
Nick Didkovsky, Gen Ken Montgomery, 99 Hooker, Hoppy Kamiyama,
Elise Kermani, David Linton, Hahn Rowe, Ron Anderson & The
Molecules, Jason Kao Hwang, Liminal Projects, Anney Bonney, Barbara
Held, Eugene Thacker, Bill Etra and dozens of other artists.
As his alter-ego "Valued Cu$tomer",
Benton-C has pursued a parallel live omnimedia career, co-founding
the groups Lord Knows Compost (with Philip R. "Bulk Foodveyor"
Bonner) and Stackable Thumb (with Jonathan "Naval Cassidy" Giles).
Lord Knows Compost was founded in 1983, and works mostly with
video, music, web art, comix, animatronic puppetry, long-term
food decay and Class "Insecta". The live A/V duo Stackable Thumb
performs rapid-change slapstick with an array of low tech and
broken machinery in an ongoing lament over the failure of the
Space Program to bring space flight to the people.
Benton-C Bainbridge has performed,
screened, streamed, broadcast and installed video world wide over
the wires and airwaves and in museums, galleries, clubs, colleges
and festivals including the Whitney Museum of American Art at
Philip Morris (NYC), Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Mercat des les
Flores (Barcelona), Uplink Factory (Tokyo), Anthology Film Archives
(NYC), The Kitchen (NYC), Blasthaus (San Francisco), STEIM (Amsterdam),
Metafort d'Aubervilliers (Paris), Miami Light Project, Dallas
Video Festival, and Hotwired (World Wide Web).
In 1997 Benton-C launched the website
Pulsating OKAY! as an information nexus on realtime cinema and
performed video. Currently, Bainbridge is designing 'Movie Jukeboxes'
with various artists, engineers and programmers. In 2001, Benton-C
will focus on video portraiture and experimental narratives.
Stephie Büttrich was born on the 4th of July in
1968 and decided to become a professional user of her vocal cords
right after her first scream. After studying school music in Köln,
she went to Berlin with the musical group "College of Hearts".
Besides music her passion has always been theatre. During the
past several years she has performed in various experimental music/theatre
works by Piotr Klimak, Matthew Ostrowski, Anne Wellmer, Scott
Blick, and Paul Doornbusch. In addition she was featured as a
soloist with the "Gelsenkirchener Ensemble für Neue Musik."
Since October 1997 she has been a member of the "Crash Ensemble"
in Ireland, a group devoted to the promotion of contemporary music
involving interactive multimedia. With Justin Bennet (drums +
perc) and Anne Wellmer (live sampling and electronics) she started
in 1999 the Trio "GrandMal". In conjunction with her performance
skills, Stephie Büttrich also is an avid organizer and concert
producer, directing and managing performances in Holland, Ireland,
Chris Nelson has been active in the downtown NY music
scene for more than 20 years. Among his credits:
- Six albums with The Scene is Now, as singer, guitarist, songwriter,
etc. The group is currently completing work on a new CD to be
released in late 2001.
- Six albums with Mofungo, as drummer, occasional vocalist and
- Performances and/or recording projects with: Yo La Tengo,
Elliott Sharp's Crowds and Power, John Zorn's Cobra, Judy Dunaway's
Pussee, Eyeball 9000, It, Information, Krackhouse, Red Dark
Sweet, You Rang, Bump, The Wygals, Will Rigby's Unmentionables,
I Ride the Bus, etc.
- Co-Founder of Lost Records, which has a catalog of fifteen
releases; producer of records by Chain Gang and Fish and Roses.
- Wrote and performed several one-person musical/performance
pieces, including: The Poison Has Done Its Work, The Somnambulist's
Revenge, and Deformed Bars.
- Performed role of Security Guard in NY and Philadelphia productions
of The Blinding, an opera by Matthew Ostrowski.