Music to Your Eyes


Before the advent of recording technology, listening to music was a very visual experience, as musicians and their audiences tended to occupy the same time and space. Christian Marclay's work often reintroduces us to the visual pleasures of music, in the form of images, sculpture, and video installations. Tonight at New York's Eyebeam, the artist presents Screen Play, a 'moving image musical score in which Marclay has combined found film footage with computer animation to create a visual projection to be interpreted by live musicians.' Members of three ensembles will respond sonically to Marclay's visual cues. Presented in conjunction with the Performa 05 Performance Art Biennial, the piece may be a mouthful to describe, but promises to deliver playful layer upon layer of performativity. Publicized stills from the project hint at a meditation on the relationship between composing and programming while, in some ways, Marclay is really engaged in a de-composition and breaking-down of visual texts. Ironically, much of the computer animation comprising the 'video score' in Screen Play looks like the graphic imagery in old computer games. With pictures worth a thousand notes, this high 'score' will surely take your eyes and ears to the bonus round. - Marisa Olson