The ‘birth’ of video-art is placed in a specific historical moment which opens up to new horizons in the music field. With the introduction of technologies and the consequent experimentations comes a range of languages radically different from the established traditional ones. This process allows the new ‘ phonicity’ displayed in front of the composers to mark a separation from the usual formal structures on one hand, while on the other it sets a new language based on a range of possibilities once beyond imagination for the traditional tools of sound production.
Furthermore, the arrival of the electronic image marked a breakthrough in the synaesthesic research by promoting the birth of new linguistic models, where the blending of sounds and images is being reformulated on a completely different level. We find the same experimentations in the field of video-art, animation and avant-garde cinema, of which this workshop traces a short perspective by presenting some quintessential figures. For this purpose, we must take into account of work of Scottish artist Norman McLaren’s, considered as a masterpiece of electronic art and in animation cinema thanks to its synthetic sounds. McLaren’s work is to be considered unanimously a benchmark in the experimentation area, and both Roger Manvell and John Huntley acknowledge him to be <<the most noticeable>> amidst the authors of this renewal of ideas in the sphere of the cinematographic soundtrack area. Comparable to McLaren are the Whitney brothers, full-blown authors of new universes of sound in the short films animation area. As we can notice in “Five Abstract Film Exercises” (1942-1944), their experimentations make use of an instrument, invented by John, which consists in an optic printer assembled with a series of calibrated pendulums that allow to record the music directly on the tape, a technique which results in an audio-visual connection and a highly elaborated synchronization.
Many years later, in the Italian setting, Giuseppe Chiari stands out as a leading figure of the Fluxus trend, which he embraced in 1962 with “Gesti Sul Piano” (performed at the Festspiele Nevester Music Festival of Wiesbaden), one of the most interesting personalities in the Italian body-art scene. Performer of his own works, Chiari tests different methods of playing by using water (<<play with water/and say the word “water”>>), hair, pianos, rocks, cellos and paper. This is where his constant tending towards linguistic trespass comes from, lying in the firm belief of the impossibility of enclosing music in a specific area. The notion of music itself is extended to his behavior, staging knowingly transgressive actions in order to destroy the conformism of the ritual of traditional performances, making the sound experience accessible to everyone in a strongly democratic intent. Art is easy on its own accord, and everybody can produce it: <<music in playing/music is playing/music is playing>>. In his concerts not only sounds are produced, but also gestures. This perspective ends with a small tribute to Bady Minck, a very outstanding figure still little known in Italy. In the work which is going to be presented, “Das Sein Und Das Nichts”, the animation techniques become means of examining the process of composition and structure of a work.