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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tuning oona

It seems like a lost town, a HiFi wilderness of circuits mysteriously broadcasting, and old signals leaking out of valves and scratchy needles. The little girl in the Test Card shivers a blank smile across the decades. There is nothing on TV... or is there? Are we just on the wrong wavelength, would a touch of the dial make it all spring to life? Among the shadow-filled carcasses of old speaker cabinets, the wire in the voice coil sings a hissing song of rare earth returning to earth, and the ghost of life and light glows in the valve glass darkly. Full of gaps and static, this is a whispering temple  to the age of analog, a far cry from the pure sound of the digital, poles apart, like the difference between teleporting and walking. The modern journey of sound has been truncated, perfected, but here among the hiss and scratches, we are reminded that in all refinement there is loss, that getting there is half the fun, and that is perhaps what makes us human.
This is Live! oona Eiren's new build which opens tomorrow at Dividni Shostakovich's  Split Screen Installation Space.
oona Eiren: Valve amps have the sweetest sound. I like to use lots of scratch in my sound work. Digital seems to want to do the opposite, to clean sound. The inspiration for this build was some vintage Hi Fi record players and TVs. They have history. I have records that jump in the same place they did when I was growing up, I love it, and old cassettes have it as well, they get stretched and warp.  I have software that's very good, but it all begins with hands on recording.
Oona jumped at the opportunity to exhibit at Splitscreen, a space she's sharing this time around with Misprint Thursday's  install White Sheets. It was a great opportunity for oona to try her hand at a bigger build, and over four weeks, the radio and televisual ensemble came together, both visually and with improvised sounds, starting with an image of an old TV and a ten second loop of sound that she recorded while out walking. As you move around the build, touch the objects and listen to their sounds.
oona Eiren: In RL I sometimes do illusration work, but work more with sound making installations and working with dance companys - and then theres a bit of film making thrown into the mix! My next move in SL is to try machinima. I've been playing with that a bit, it's fantastic, to build sets like this and then have a blast filming them!
Under the fun, though, there's a serious, purposeful side to oona's virtual work ethic.
oona Eiren: When I first got here, I had no idea how to use it but am slowly getting a handle on what I want to do. Now, I'm very excited about what I'm achieving, and I hope it's a launching point for my career. I want to show work I'm doing here at venues and places in RL, too. There's lots of places to show stuff, and I want to my feet in RL, not get lost in the SL whirlpool. I had a gallery in Avalon - that was my first public outing, but I always wanted to do bigger stuff. I do think people are missing out on a lot if they just stick to 2D. I must say the real artists for me are the great builders here - that's the way to go. I like what you can do if you layer, say, three or four ten second loops and play around with them.
 oona Eiren: Sound is so important!  Imagine watching a David Lynch movie to a soundtrack from some random band. It would ruin the experience. I'm a fan of Lynch. You should watch 'Fishing for Ideas', a video where he talks about his process of creating. Great stuff.
Among all the melancholy crackles and pops, a single, timeless, living image stands out in the build.
oona Eiren: That's Elsa Lanchester, the Bride of Frankenstein. I love this image, because she is strong. She rejects the monster. She is looking away, like she's saying  - No, you don't just build me to be someone's bride!
Oona a paused.
oona Eiren: I'll do a happy tune next I think - after all this doom and gloom :))) Maybe even a tune you can hum along to!
Live! is at the Split Screen Installation Space from tomorrow Sunday, February 6th at 2 pm SLT.

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