Kinetic shadows by Constantin Jaxy and Jos Janssen
According to the Sonologist Jos Janssen and Artist Constantin Jaxy their kinetic shadows are a symbiosis of electro - acoustic and kinetic - digital elements. Aestheticians or art critics without biological knowledge would call this symbiosis synaesthesia because Jos Janssen makes the organ of hearing listen whereas Constantin Jaxy makes the visual organ watch.
Kunsthalle Bremen Modul B
Morandi's clarinet (stills)
Kunsthalle Bremen March 2005
Dr. Frank Laukotter
According to the Sonologist Jos Janssen and Artist Constantin Jaxy "Modul B" is "a symbiosis of electro - acoustic and kinetic - digital elements". Aestheticians or art critics without biological knowledge would call this symbiosis "synaesthesia" because Jos Janssen makes the organ of hearing listen whereas Constantin Jaxy makes the visual organ watch. The acoustic as well as the visual stimuli are perceived at the same time (synchronously) by the receiver (aesthete), who, in this way, becomes a multi-receiver (synaesthete). The synaesthetes hear reduced, electronically composed sounds and see moved, electrically produced shadow picture.
The circle as a motif and circling as a motif of movement for the changing focus of ears and eyes directed towards the transmitted stimuli are suitable for the approximate comprehension of the synaesthesia of "Modul B". Acoustic and visual elements fill the volume and the spatial limits of the volume in which "Modul B" is installed and into which "Modul B" is emitted.The sound is a surround sound. There is a loudspeaker at each wall. The shadow plays are spread over one's field of vision. One of them is on a wall opposite a bench tempting to linger and to engage in multi-perception. The others are projected onto the walls to the left and to the right of the bench.
Chronologically-speaking, the sound moves through the permanent loops of the soundtrack, i.e. through the repetitions of the sound recording. The circling is also the movement followed by every shadow play when the motifs which cast the shadows become moving motifs by being turned through motors, which are otherwise used to move the round mirrors in discos. The motifs are fixed to their drive shafts. They are made of wood and cardboard, as collages or models, fixed with adhesive, blackened and starched with dull lacquer. The motifs absorbing the light for the shadow plays instead of reflecting the light like mirrors are also synaesthesias - namely, in the sense of something visual referring to something acoustic. The motif, titled "Sonitus" by Mr. B, is the visualization of sounds through a diagram of bars. The other two motifs refer to the emission and reception of sounds. The motif "Vocula" is the reproduction of a two-dimensional section of the larynx. The motif "Conversio" is a three-dimensional model of the spiral auditory canal. The moving shadow pictures of "Sonitus", "Vocula" and "Conversio" by Constantin Jaxy are accompanied by Jos Janssen’s composition of sounds, who is inspired by the shadow pictures in the same way as Constantin jaxy gets his inspiration for "Sonitus" from Jos Janssen’s work. These successive processes during the generation of their work of art are transformed by the artists into one blending process during the performance of their work.
The technical simultaneity of the picture track and the soundtrack of the film provides them with the possibility of adding the sound composition to the shooting of the shadow play. The film is presented on two monitors, the surround sound over the loudspeakers mentioned above. Thus the scope of the numerous perceptions is increasingly expanded in space and time. The actual shadow pictures on the walls exist alongside the shadow pictures visualized by the film shown on the monitors. The latest installation in the Kunsthalle shows the previously filmed installation in the studio at Oyten. And there is the soundtrack in between, it is younger than the installation in Bremen and older than the one at Oyten. Therefore, the synaesthesias of "Modul B" consist not only of syntheses of different instances of space and time but also of the encounter of acoustic, kinetic and visual elements.