Steve Roden - light forms
  Year :   2002
  Location :   Germany
  Worktype :   Installation
  Materials:   -
  Info :   Parochial, Singuhr - Horgalerie in Parochial,

  Work Details  
  in 1997, i was in sheffield england, sleeping in a small room in the home of saxaphone player mick beck. it was raining rather loudly, and i woke up out of a dead sleep in the middle of the night and wrote down the phrase truth is the bell. bell is the truth on a piece of paper and fell back asleep. when i awoke the next morning, i had no idea why i had written this text. in 1998, i was in liverpool england to participate in isea 98. i was visiting a large cathedral and the bell ringer showed me a book of scores for bell ringing by jasper snowdon. it was written in the 1880s, (and still apparently in use). these scores were not only very beautiful; but had an uncanny connection to much of my own visual work. in 1999 i visited berlin for the first time to partipate in the sampling rage festival at the podewil. we wandered into the singuhr - hoergalerie in parochial next door to find a very beautiful installation by julius. i hoped someday to make a work for this beautiful space. in 2002, carsten seiffarth called me on the phone to ask about my performance for the resonanzen exhibition, and told me that the evening would have a slight theme to it - light . he then asked me if i would be interested in doing an installation in the singuhr - hoergalerie in parochial. a week or so later i found a 1944 edition of jasper snowdon s book - a coincidence too rich to ignore! while looking at these drawings; the church, the notion of bells and the notion of lights collided. in developing the performance for saarbrucken i began to use the sounds of various light bulbs tapping together... to be played in total darkness...their fragile glass surfaces and tiny springs. for the installation at the singuhr - hoergalerie in parochial, the light bulbs become the bells as their sounds float around a space where bell sounds have always existed. the visual element is a simple abstract film, shot with my super 8 camera and transferred to video. the first and last images are a translation of the phrase truth is the bell, bell is the truth done using my own method of alphabet translation via hand movements. the rest of the imagery was created using blue and red light bulbs and stencils following the line patterns of jasper snowdon s bell scores. as always, my own interest is not particularly in the bells nor the lights - rather in what these two things can inspire within myself and my own working process (the limitations of making sound with a lightbulb, the deviation from original intentions in using a score as an aesthetic presence, the untranslatable nature of a sign language known only to the speaker , etc.). the final work is not about lights, nor is it about bells - but is an abstract presence developed through these things to simply exist as sound and visual music.