Curt Cloninger: St Frank and the Wolf

11th January 2007
arts | conceptual | experimental | music video | technology | vj - michael

St Frank and the Wolf
St Frank and the Wolf (2007, 72MB, 6:21 min.)

Curt Cloninger is a clever, original & fearless commentator on new media art,
always worth reading for his eschewal (or at least extremely careful
chewing over) of received new media wisdom.
He also maintains the excellent lab404.com.
This is something a little different; a video record of a live performance piece.
Background from Curt:
‘The projected loops are pre-recorded, but they run in different synch
with each other and are modulated variably depending on the realtime
improvisational performance — so it’s a prescribed performance space
that is qualitatively different each performance. As the theremin
volume gets louder (as my realspace left hand gets higher), the
projected big hands get more opaque and their accompanying volume
gets louder. As the theremin volume gets lower (as my realspace left
hand gets lower), the smaller projected ghost hands get more opaque
and their accompanying volume gets louder.
…Legend has it that a wolf was attacking the town of Gubbio,
so St. Francis was called in to get it to stop. Francis brokered a
deal with the wolf where it agreed to stop attacking the people in
the town if they agreed to feed it and keep their dogs
from bothering it. In a similar spirit, this piece seeks to dialogue
with sound and light and come to some sort of consensus.
The piece is not trying to impose a “taming” order on the media,
nor is it letting the media run wild. It enters into a dialogue with
matter (sound and light in space) in order to modulate and be modulated
by it.’

Reasons to check this piece out despite its large file size:
(1) It has an oddness quotient of over 93%.
(2) The music is neat, bit like the rougher edged output of the
early minimalists plus, also, the generative/aleatoric
thing in music is a hard one to pull off & it’s well done here.
(3) Smart.
(4) It follows no fashion.
(5) It rejects irony – there is real human feeling here, sometimes verging on the ecstatic.