Projected video (DVD 4:3), b&w, sound, 9’ 32’’ (loop)

The maestro is forced to move in a way he never intended to and in this way creates music he never wished for.

Taking CCTV footage of a maestro conducting an orchestra, the position of his baton on each frame was determined, indexed and stored digitally, effectively converting the original diachronic video clip into a database of directly accessible individual frames. Once enough frames were indexed to represent baton positions covering the whole space of possibilities, the process was inverted: specific frames were chosen based on the desired positions of the baton. Having decided it should travel through a circular path, a new frame sequence representing it was rendered again into a new video.

The sound, sampled from a classical symphony, followed a similar process. The original audio was divided into several small parts, which were classified, converted into a database and then rendered together in a different order based on a similar path – a circle.

This way, the maestro in the video is forced to describe circles with his baton while, in a similar circular fashion, the music is forced to become strong or calm, staccato or legato. The result reveals the artificiality of the process but also a new order in which one can almost believe.

Maestro was shown in the following places:

  • May 2010 – SmallBox28 of Pavilhão 28 – Lisboa, Portugal
  • Nov 2010 – Atelier Concorde – Lisboa, Portugal
  • Nov 2011 – Ouvertures d’Ateliers – Marseille, France

I wish to thank Graham Hurman for giving me permission to use his image in my project.

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