I wrote up Joshua Bonnetta’s voyeurist Lago a couple of weeks ago, which is due out early next year I believe. I decided to look around for any other available limited edition releases from him and I’ve got one. This release came out last year, but lucky for us there’re still copies left. The film that accompanies this score is actually consists of two films – think Timecode but less confusing. The preview shows listless wildlife in misty landscapes, overcast skies, birds gliding through the wind and winter manifesting itself in the form of snow covered rocks/ mountains. There’s a distinct lack of sunlight/warmth in the preview which brings to mind Mamoru Oshii’s Patlabor 2 with its amber and gray hues intermixing. The film and music isn’t as much foreboding as it is mysterious. It makes you content to purely be an observer, with nowhere to insert yourself as the viewer. Bonnetta’s world in Strange Lines and Distances is something I’d certainly like to visit. Listen to a preview of the album below via the SoundCloud player and watch the preview of the film via the Vimeo player and see what you think of it all. Cheers!

The Details

Trailer: vimeo.com/85888726
Order: bit.ly/orderstrangelines

Experimedia Films presents Strange Lines and Distances, an award winning two-channel audio-visual installation by artist Joshua Bonnetta which examines Guglielmo Marconi's first transatlantic radio broadcast. Presented as a special limited edition featuring DVD of the film, 12" Vinyl LP containing an extended score, Printed inner sleeve with Monograph by Jeffrey Sconce, Uncoated Gatefold Sleeve, HD Video & Audio Download Coupons and Optional Blu-Ray Add-on.

The work is inspired by Marconi's belief that sound waves never completely disappear, but rather diminish incrementally becoming fainter over time. He believed that with an adequately sensitive receiver, one could amplify the echoes of history. Strange Lines and Distances looks at and listens to the past, revisiting Marconi's original transmission sites in order to explore the hauntological aspects of radio and landscape. The installation invites a consideration of the monumental impact of the first wireless transmission, and explores the medium's potential to conflate and fragment both space and time.

Strange Lines and Distances dual channels represent the transmission site in Poldhu Cove, U.K. and the receiving site at Fever Hospital, St. John's, NL. Each historical site is documented using 16mm colour negative film. The sonic composition was created from site-specific field recordings, shortwave and longwave radio recordings and archival material. Mired in static and atmospheric interference, the recordings exist as fragmentary spectres of outport beacons, noise, musical passages and human voice. Visually, each channel contains imagery that resonates and rhymes with the opposing channel in terms of shape, line, color, light and optical geometry. Through a visual examination of the sites' topographical similarities, the work plays with the juxtaposition of landscape, architectural ruins, flora, and geological and meteorological phenomena. The images unfold as a series of long shots, and this play with duration creates a montage that asks the spectator to consider distance and the poetics of form.

Joshua Bonnetta is an interdisciplinary artist working with film, video and sound in various modes of theatrical exhibition, performance and installation. His work has shown at The Berlinale, The Toronto International Film Festival, Images Festival, Mutek International Festival of Electronic Music, European Media Arts Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival and others. He is an Assistant Professor in the department of Cinema, Photography and Media Arts at Ithaca College in New York state and has served as a Composer-in-Residence in Electroacoustic Studio ALPHA at the Visby International Centre for Composers in Sweden.

Strange Lines and Distances has been featured at Images Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art and was awarded the Deluxe Cinematic Vision Award.

Presented by Experimedia Films in association with Images Festival, Umor Rex Records and Evil Llama.

Graphic design by Daniel Castrejon. Audio mastered for vinyl by James Plotkin. Video authoring and encoding by Evil Llama.


"What first draws you into Strange Lines and Distances is the film itself. That is, that luscious 16mm color film stock infusing (or revealing? - it's impossible to say) a delicate poignancy in all it depicts. These seductive surfaces are portals into a composition that patiently accumulates symmetries and juxtapositions and eventually enshrouds the viewer in a kind of stereoscopic temporal fog. Each pairing of moments is suffused with the ebb and flow of time's passage - we see the eternal in the specific and vice versa. Throughout, the static and hum of radio transmissions merge with the wind - blowing from the past, amplified into the audible range and into the present. As it unfolds, Joshua Bonnetta's beautiful film gradually reveals itself to be the sensitive receiver, picking up the echoes of history, of which Marconi dreamed." - Andrew Pekler

"Experimedia's most elaborate release to date is a lavish DVD/LP package based on the Marconian theory that sound grows faint but never dies. Our utterances, our banalities, our music and the music of the spheres tumbles into the universe, wave upon wave, shrinking like Ant-Man to the inaudible, then to the nearly infinitesimal. If we had the ears to hear them, we might perceive the sound of the Big Bang, as well as that of the dinosaurs, and of every word, false or true, that we have ever spoken. Imagine how well we might choose our words if every one of them might be recovered, and what astonishing sounds we might rescue from the cosmos: the cries of extinct creatures, the sound of dried-up lakes, the first rhythmic bashing of stick against rock. Marconi once imagined recovering the speech of Christ. A tangle of sound cascades through the universe, a jumble of television and radio broadcasts that might seem unintelligible or even threatening to an interstellar species. A golden record is one thing; this morass is another...." - acloserlisten.com

"....Bonnetta's work here is both thematically fascinating and aesthetically gorgeous. The video has 2 channels, it's split down the middle with footage from both of the original transmission sites in Cornwall and Newfoundland, it's a half hour of perfectly paired complementary images of snails & reeds, webs & leaves, clouds & trees. The visuals stand on their own as truly captivating, capturing the micro & macro magic of our planet. The sound part dives even deeper into the mystery of Marconi's world, finding the most subtle interplay between field recordings, radio transmissions, and electronic sonics, moving through a world of delicate precision and deafening static, getting rolled over by waves of heaven, overwhelming & majestic, next to the silence of being the only person around, hearing your heart beat in tandem with the natural drone of the world, slow & resigned. This is easily one of the most incredible releases so far this year. The record alone is some of the best drone around, and the video is downright masterful, but together, and so exquisitely packaged by Experimedia Films, the whole thing is just absolutely fucking perfect." - antigravitybunny.com

Price $29

Listen to a preview of Strange Lines and Distances on Soundcloud

TRAILER | Joshua Bonnetta | Strange Lines and Distances from Experimedia on Vimeo.

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