OVAR (Origin of Visual Audio Research) is a new collaborative duo formed in Tokyo earlier this year by two guest artists from the 2010 Big In Japan program – sound artist Mamoru Okuno and Kentaro Shimura of SHIMURABROS. The first work by OVAR, FCN001 ver.1-3 is being shown at Yuka Tsuruno gallery in Tokyo (as part of the Lumen・Sonus・Memoria show, which is on from this week until December 10), and as part of the video art exhibitions I curated for the 2011 Big In Japan events in Australia next week (November 15 and 16 at Paddington Town Hall in Sydney and November 18 and 19 at 1000 Pound Bend in Melbourne).
What we call motion pictures are actually, as we know, made up of many still pictures. Starting with the fact that most contemporary film achieves duration by using twenty-four frames to make a second, the artists constructed this disorienting video work from twenty-four still photographs. With a repeated sequence of stilted movements back and forth between different vantage points on the same scene, it attempts to visualise a multidimensional perception of time and duration that goes beyond the arrow of past-present-future.
The score is constructed from four tracks of sound (a field recording in the woods, a piano recording, and two digital sound files) which were switched on and off in every possible combination (2 x 2 x 2 x 2 patterns). Mamoru explains that since he and Kentaro do not believe in ‘pure random operation’, they experimented with various combinations of the audio and visual components, inserting subjectivity into the predetermined formulas by selecting patterns based on personal sensation.