audio/video: phonocrystallograph projected animation example

from Dr. Soanes’ Odditorium of Wonders catalogue, written by Jane Edmundson (curator):

“Denton Fredrickson’s Phonocrystallograph also presents the viewer with ghostly apparitions, though these are manifest through spinning crystals, dusty panes of glass, and the low tinkling notes of a glass armonica.  Wooden spirit horns mediate otherwise silent entities and the rotating quartzes reflect spiritual energy, as the contraption promises to give viewers “brief glimpses into seances of the future”.  It is unclear at first encounter whether one’s physical presence affects the flickering of the projected candles, or the haunting countenances that occasionally fade into view.  Perhaps we can hear whispered messages from another realm if we don the offered stethoscopes, the otherworldly signal strengthened when each side of the hexagon is flanked by a believer.  The expressions of the foggy, fleeting faces (crafted from stills extracted from YouTube reaction videos and hand-tinted by the artist) would almost be decipherable, if only a thick coat of centuries-old dust was not enveloping the machine.  It slowly becomes clear that the Phonocrystallograph, for all its timeworn stature and kinetic complexity, is an amalgam of obsolescence and contemporary technology.  The peering specters dissolve in and out as the device continues to conjure spirits indefinitely, audience or no, its whirring crystals replicating continuous candlelight long after the viewer departs.”

link to catalogue

produced in 2013

With assistance from Mandy Espezel and Andrew Martin.

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