by Norbert Pfaffenbichler for sixpackfilm
white square; on black; brown noise; This video’s title provides a complete description of its contents and contains all the elements employed in it.
The viewer first sees a white square situated in the center of a black field; it flares up, disappears and changes size synchronously with the soundtrack. The quick succession of images, the jumps in scale and maximum contrast between black and white irritate the eye and leave afterimages on the retina.
Artist and computer programmer m.ash, aka Michael Aschauer, employed solely computer-generated elements. Digital “brown noise” was broken down into hundreds of individual components and then played through a random number generator. A crackling audible at the edges of the sound units is layered over the constant dully rumbling noise, and it structures and adds rhythm to the audio track.
Analogies to historically relevant works by Kasimir Malevitch and Peter Kubelka are inevitable.
In contrast to these great predecessors, m.ash allows the digital machinery to communicate in its own mathematical language. The artist developed a program which makes esthetic and formal decisions for him; all subjectivity and questions of taste have been eliminated.
And this represents the work’s provocative potential: Modern masters are referenced with the intention of making an ironic statement about them. These “artistic geniuses” of the past have been replaced by a banal computer program.
(translation: Steve Wilder)