Artist Collaborations: New Technology Makes Collaboration a Breeze

My First Collaboration with Composer Henry Brant

Artist collaboratives can be a tricky business, but try doing it with neither the internet or even a computer. Years ago I collaborated with the brilliant, contemporary composer Henry Brant on a piece called “Inside Track“, which was played at the Holland Festival. My part in it was that I made slides of dozens of paintings on paper that were displayed on four projectors, which were “played” by two percussionists. Since the piece was performed in Holland, I never got to see it.

Let’s break down that last sentence. “I made dozens of slides.” We are talking about real slides, physical slides; slides that take a week to process in a film lab; slides made out of film and cardboard, that can’t be cropped, but rather have to be taped with physical tape to block out anything you don’t want the viewer to see. “The slides were ‘played’ on four projectors”; yes,  these were slide projectors, all mechanical, nothing electronic about them. They were noisy, had different lenses, could overheat and burn the slide. Or if you used the projection long enough, the slide just faded or turned brown. The button to forward the slides was not always reliable, nor was it easy to control the speed of the advancement.  The percussionists must have been very talented.

The New Artist Collaboration with Composer Thomas Oboe Lee

Recently the Boston composer Thomas Oboe Lee asked me to collaborate with him. He made two music videos using my paintings. In this case, I uploaded the images to dropbox, he downloaded them to his computer and edited them to his music.  By that night I received the video in an email and we both posted it to “the world” on Youtube and Facebook.

Here are the three videos:

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