Hunting a Snark? | Rudi Knoops


exploring uncharted terrain on the New Media map (after Lewis Carroll)

MULTIPLE voice/vision @ Bach Academie 2014

Concertgebouw Brugge has a tradition of a yearly Bach-festival;  BACH ACADEMIE BRUGGE. My installation MULTIPLE voice/vision is part of this year’s edition, that runs from thursday January 30 till sunday February 2. I decided to limit the audiovisual materials to only the Ricercar a 6 from Johann Sebastian Bach’s  Musikalisches Opfer (BWV 1079), performed by Roel Dieltiens and Ensemble Explorations.

MULTIPLE voice/vision is permanently on display during the mini festival, so don’t miss this opportunity to spatially experience Bach’s Ricercar a 6 between the series of live concerts.

At a previous exhibition of MULTIPLE voice/vision I made a time-lapse recording of people spatially exploring the installation, to give you an idea:

MULTIPLE voice/vision @ Opening AWAKENING WOODS friday 20 / 07 / 2012 from Rudi Knoops on Vimeo.


Text from the BACH ACADEMIE BRUGGE brochure (in Dutch)

MULTIPLE voice/vision

De media-installatie MULTIPLE voice/vision van Rudi Knoops nodigt de bezoeker uit tot een fysieke wandeling doorheen het rijke contrapuntische weefsel van Bachs Musikalisches Opfer, uitgevoerd door Roel Dieltiens en Ensemble Explorations. In een ruimtelijke opstelling wordt elke musicus apart geprojecteerd, beeld en klank samen. De spatialisatie van de verschillende klanklagen maakt naast een meer immersieve luisterervaring vanuit het midden van de installatie, waar de verschillende sonore lagen samensmelten tot een surround klank, ook een meer analystische beluistering, dicht bij één van de musici, mogelijk. Voor het visuele luik gebruikt Rudi Knoops de barokke techniek van anamorfose; een vervormde weergave die met behulp van een spiegel in de juiste proporties kan worden waargenomen. Het observeren van een enkele anamorfose brengt de bezoeker dicht bij de projectie van één individuele musicus en versterkt de analytische luisterervaring. Het meervoudig gebruik van anamorfose dwingt de bezoeker echter keuzes te maken en zet aan tot een ruimtelijke exploratie van de polyfone gelaagdheid van Bachs muziek. In een universum van barokke beeld- en klankstructuren legt de kijker/luisteraar zelf accenten op individuele muzikale lijnen, zoekt naar interessante perspectieven – auditief, visueel, of een combinatie van beide – en creëert zo zijn eigen perspectief op de uitgevoerde muziek.

English text from a previous exhibition of MULTIPLE voice/vision:

In Rudi Knoops’ media-installation MULTIPLE voice/vision ingenious mirror structures and sound projections create a tension that encourages the visitor to explore music spatially. The installation invites visitors to take a physical walk through the rich counterpoint texture of Brackx’ Ricercari and Bach’s Musikalisches Opfer. In this universe of baroque and contemporary sound structures, viewer/listeners choose for themselves which individual musical lines to emphasise. They go in search of interesting perspectives – whether auditory, visual or a combination of the two – to create their own perspective on the music performed.

The Noises of Art – Sept. 2013

In september I was in Aberystwyth, Wales for The Noises of Art conference. The theme of the conference was situated on the intersection of “visual art and aural modes of creative practice”.  As my installations MULTIPLE voice/vision and DIORAMATIZED #02 both work exactly on that intersection – or the friction – between the visual and the auditive, this promised to be a very interesting conference.

Aberystwyth seafront

I sent in the proposal  The framing function of the body – a phenomenological inquiry for the session themed embodied sound. Its content was an iteration and further elaboration of the presentation I gave in February at the one-day symposium Sound & Image @ M Museum Leuven.
The Aberystwyth three-day gathering of noises and art proved indeed to be very inspiring with interesting talks and positive feedback on my own presentation.

My abstract:

In art theory and contemporary digital art sensorial mixing and transmutation have superseded the modernist segregation of the senses (Jones, 2007). Artists explore how the technologically mediated world is perceived through the body and its multiple senses. The phenomenological tradition shares this interest in embodied perception, and provides a broader context for these inquiries into the relation between human sensorium and technological mediation. In Mark Hansen’s concept of embodied perception it is “the confrontation of antithetical media interfaces [...] that can catalyze a shift in perceptual modality—from perception passively guided by a technical frame to perception actively created via (human) framing” (Hansen, 2004, p. 87).

In this presentation I will focus on disruptive strategies in my media installations: how injecting friction at different interface levels enables the framing function of the body; how this friction explicitates technological mediation, and at the same time makes it possible (for the observer) to question these forms of mediation.

To illustrate my discourse, I will refer to the media installation MULTIPLE voice/vision, a large spatial structure wherein multilayered polyphonic textures—Bach’s Musikalisches Opfer & contemporary polyphonic music—are mapped to multiple audiovisual elements. I will first discuss friction at a purely visual level: my use of cylindrical anamorphosis; its double (inter)face; its combination of analogue (hardware) and the digital; its phenomenological implications. A second level of friction is between the layers of sound and vision. I will discuss how this friction is also related to a built-in friction between different sensory modes of the human perceptual system. Using this multi-layered approach I will illustrate how the complex interaction of different levels of friction, presented in a black-box constellation, enables the complete dissolution of the traditional technical frame, and opens up possibilities to unleash the full potential of the framing function of the body.

Sound & Image Symposium – Febr. 2013

In february I presented part of my PhD research in the one-day symposium Sound & Image that took place at M Museum Leuven.

Sound & Image

My presentation was scheduled in the first part of the day, where “doctoral students and artistic researchers presented their research to a critical group of fellow doctoral students, supervisors and experts. This took place in the context of SeminArt, a cross-association seminar aimed at doctoral researchers in the visual arts.” I focussed on how friction functions  as a trigger for embodied perception in my installation MULTIPLE voice vision.

A description of my talk:

In his exploration of the multiple in audiovisual arts, Rudi Knoops applies multiple instances of specific interventions on the different audiovisual layers of my installations. In this presentation he focused on friction: how friction is at work at different levels in his installations; how friction can be used as a strategy to trigger embodied perception. Using Mark Hansen’s phenomenological lens of affective or embodied perception (Hansen, 2004) Rudi Knoops tried to analyse the workings of friction: friction at a purely visual level, friction between sound and vision, and finally, how friction is related to the multiple application of specific interventions. He referred to the research project MULTIPLE voice/vision to illustrate his discourse.


August 2018
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I currently have a PhD fellowship at KU Leuven, Associated Faculty of the Arts. This blog documents my PhD research, where I explore the workings of cylindrical anamorphosis in audiovisual media. My practice based arts research shows an evolution towards installation-based works.