Date of release: Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A sound you can feelSound influencing the moving image – and vice versa – will be explored at New York's iconic Lincoln Center next month in a show curated by a University of Greenwich academic.

The programme entitled, (I)MAGESOUND(S), features films and artworks by Senior Lecturer in Design, Jim Hobbs. Audio comes from Lecturer in Sound Design, Andrew Hill, and renowned New York, electronic musician and DJ, Dennis McNany (DFA/Museum of Love/JeeDay).

The show takes place on Thursday 1 December at the New York Public Library (NYPL) for the Performing Arts' Walter Bruno Auditorium, Lincoln Center. The project came about through Hobbs' relationship with MONO NO AWARE, a film organisation based in New York.

Using a combination of single screen films, archive footage from NYPL and the LUX collection in London, sonic installations and more complex expanded cinema, the show celebrates the collaborative nature of artists and the resonance of sound and image.

Jim says: "The programme is split up into four sections, each exploring a range of image and sound relationships. The first piece is Nature Morte, a suite of Super 16mm films based on the early floral still lifes of the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989.

"This work will be set to Dennis's live sound manipulation which will provide an other-worldly atmosphere. It is interesting how something as simple as flowers can take on such weight through interpretation – be it beauty, life, death, sex, etc.

"I was originally introduced to Mapplethorpe's floral works during a time when the National Endowment for the Arts was pulling its public funding due to the 'prurient nature' of the work. Now, with the current political climate in the States, the work feels as if it will take on some of those issues again.

"I often like to work collaboratively, so I asked Greenwich colleague Andrew Hill to come in. We've never worked together but it just felt right. He has a strong interest in the sound and image relationship and teaches these concepts here at Greenwich.

"I've known Dennis McNany for a long time and he's a great friend, musician and DJ so he knows how to work with a live audience. That's something I tended to shy away from, as I started in Fine Arts and Sculpture where I am removed from the performative - so this live interaction is an exciting avenue for me to explore."

Another element in the programme is Re(Score), which features Jim's curated selection of films dating from 1935 to the present. He spent time in New York researching films with the NYPL and LUX to present a wide range of early and contemporary 16mm films to explore image and sound. Dennis and Andrew Hill will provide new scores and responses to these films.

Projections, a sound piece by Andrew will also be exhibited. He travelled to Jim's studio in St Leonards on Sea to record the various sounds of a 16mm film projector. Using this material, he has created a layered sonic composition which will be amplified throughout the venue creating a type of sonic image.

To complete the evening, a new expanded cinema piece will be premiered. Vientos Fuertes (Strong Winds) includes a montage of films Jim shot on location at the Little Cheyne Windfarm in East Sussex, alongside new digital experiments transferred to film. It will be performed through four 16mm film projectors, with live improvisational sounds by Andrew and Dennis.

"The idea came from seeing these windmills in the distance of my local landscape. This put me right in line with picking up Don Quixote again," adds Jim.

"I love this idea that he would try and attack them – and as such, I am hoping to take on these beasts too. They are contemporary monuments in the landscape – but who or what are they for? Like Quixote does in the book, we can make them what we want them to be.

"We'll have big fans which make strong winds, which will get stronger as the sound gets louder. The idea is you give the viewer a sound they can 'feel'.

"The show will debut in New York and it has the potential to travel so we'll see. It's essentially a research project with an exhibition on an international stage.

"It's also a great opportunity to showcase the Department of Creative Professions & Digital Arts. We have amazing technicians, facilities and equipment here at Greenwich and it's fantastic to see it produce these types of things."

The programme is part of a month-long series of events taking place across New York.

For more details on the show, http://mononoawarefilm.com/calendar/2016/12/1/mono-x-imagesounds
https://www.nypl.org/events/programs/2016/12/01/image-sounds

(I)MAGESOUND(S) is presented by Jim Hobbs, with Dennis McNany, Andrew Hill and MONO NO AWARE.

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Nature Morte (Still Life with Lillies and Sound).