Relentlessly Neutral started as a field recording (only sound) which became a video.
A little background:
While on a residency, exploring Linz, Austria, with a microphone in hand, I ended up near the Ursulinenkirche, an absolutely enormous church built in the 1720s, where a beer and food truck festival was taking place right around the front steps. I was struck by the emptiness of the inside of the church, where a service was taking place, contrasting the booming party right outside the heavy ornate front doors. I had heard that the local residents are split on whether or not they want the church bells to still ring every waking hour. As I was walking away from the site a little later, many blocks from the church by that point, I noted the enduring loudness of the bells sounding down the narrow stone streets, and how the buildings almost made the bells sound autotuned, how the resonance was changing because of the surrounding structures. I took this sound recording and paired it with videos of a swimming stroke called Egg Beater, which is used in water polo and synchronized swimming. The interesting thing about Egg Beater is that it works differently with each person’s body dynamics, so if two people were to stay afloat, heads above water at the same height right next to eachother, their legs would always move at different rates. Same above, different below. Relentlessly Neutral refers to neutrality as a near impossible position, but rather an oscillation. This seemed a natural allegory to pair with the bells, as it matched the arhythmic sounding of the bells.
I made an accidental pun with this video that I only discovered upon showing the installation to my studio neighbors: “Bells” would be the English translation of the German word for balls.
2 Channel Projected Video and Sound
Installation View in studio at Atelierhaus Salzamt, Linz Austria, May 2017