CROSS MODAL (26/05/2021 – 26/06/2021)

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Cross Modal: Audiovisual Sonic Art
26 May – 26 June

Across live performance, exhibition, and film screening, Cross Modal presents a variety of projects which draw connections between sound and moving image. Cross Modal is a project motivated by an understanding that what is heard and what is seen are related. Works presented here occupy a space of interference, fermentation and inter-influence, with each avenue of perception feeding into the other.

With work by Ary Jansen, Benedict Quilter, Chris Schmelz, Ducklingmonster, Isabella Dampney, Kim Pieters, Luke Shaw, Scott Flanagan, Theo McDonald, Tjalling de Vries



Cross Modal At the Audio Foundation

Opens: Thursday 27 May, 5.30pm
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 4pm
Closes: Saturday 26 June

Ary Jansen, Wanderers Loop
Recorded on what Ary describes as “a crap Huawei smartphone” and a Zoom recorder, Wanderers Loop, pauses to reflect on the sudden abundance of seemingly empty moments Aotearoa’s Covid-19 lockdowns brought about for the artist.

References to popular culture simmer occasionally to the surface over the course of the work’s duration which, while short, loops toward an uncertain eternity as Ary recontextualises his many drifts through central Auckland’s affluent, suburban city-scape. An otherwise innocuous series of sonic and visual events are digitally manipulated, filtered and repurposed according to an elastic aesthetic logic influenced by Ary’s appreciation for English electronic musician, Kieran Hebden (Four Tet), and teenage consumption of Richard Linklater films. Humble observations and simple moments of aesthetic pleasure during the Level 4 lockdowns of 2020 are sampled and mixed as time begins to warp, decelerating to a point where that which is represented is transformed into an ambient, stream-of-consciousness nostalgia-trip, before wrapping around on itself completely.

Ary Jansen is a visual artist, musician, event organiser and youth worker. His work across this broad range of disciplines and fields overlap, each nourishing and supporting the other. Much of his work in art and music is informed by critical, autobiographic reflections on how capitalist logics increasingly dictate social relations, senses of self, and the world’s appearance.


Chris Schmelz
The Audio Foundation is delighted and excited to host Christopher Schmelz as an artist in residence in the weeks leading up to the opening of the Cross Modal exhibition. Chris’ project will develop during public hours bringing an element of collaboration and performance to his time in residence. He invites public participation, offering to create moving image portraits which will be hand-processed at the Audio Foundation over the course of his residency.

During his residency, Chris will also continue his exploration of experimental filmmaking, specifically with hand processing expired 16mm films, generating sonic and film material in and from the Audio Foundation building and its surroundings. This material, along with the projectors themselves, will provide both the visual and sonic elements for an audiovisual, site specific film installation as part of Cross Modal.

Christopher Schmelz is an interdisciplinary artist from Koputai/Port Chalmers, Ōtepoti/Dunedin, predominantly working with analog film and sound. Chris has performed nationally and internationally as part of the long-running experimental film/expanded cinema group, Rubbish Film Unit, and in collaboration with a number of other artists and musicians. His work embraces visual aesthetics usually associated with lack of film care, technical mistakes or mechanical malfunction, utilizing found, forgotten, and hand processed celluloid film.

Recent projects/collaborations include Caffenol Cafe 1: RDC Espresso (2021); Wet Specimen, The Dirt (music video, 2021); Ben Woods, Body Rhyme (music video, 2020); ‘Skeletons In The Closet – 35 Years of NOM*D’ (2020); William Henry Meung, Down The Street Slowly (music video, 2019); Death and The Maiden, Mercury (music video, 2018); L$D Fundraiser, Witness Disco Excerpt 1 (music video, 2018).

Chris also is an active musician performing with several Ōtepoti/Dunedin bands; Wet Specimen, Guardians, Wolfskull, TPO8, Whiskey and The Wench.


Luke Shaw, Drawing Exercise #1

In Drawing Exercise #1, Luke Shaw builds on previous experimental works which utilised the OHP as a tool to invert the hierarchy of image over sound in cinema. Enlisting the help of a performer, Shaw sets up a feedback loop between the sound produced by the OHP and the manipulation of the light emitted on top. Through this holistic approach, ideas around expanded drawing practice and potentials for outmoded technologies to transcend their original functions are explored.

This work signals a new phase in Luke’s research and seeks to find a common ground between his undergraduate studies in graphic design and more recent research around sound practice.

Luke Shaw is an artist and musician based in Ōtautahi. His current research is focused on repurposing outmoded visual technologies into new sonic languages and articulating the relationship between sound and space through site specific interventions. Shaw obtained a Masters of Fine Arts from Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, in 2020 and is also one half of the inconsistent guitar duo The Opawa 45s. Recent exhibitions include Somewhere Between Nothing and Nowhere at Blue Oyster Art Project Space (2021); New Artist Show at Artspace Aotearoa (2020); and Domino Domino at The Physics Room (2020).


Scott Flanagan, Mixtape #7: E Tu!pac

Scott Flanagan’s work, Mixtape #7: E Tu!pac, is a contraction of two significant artists from the first generation of hip hop: Upper Hutt Posse (E tu!) and Tupac Shakur. “I am of a generation that discovered the wonders of the mixtape in that manner that youth finds ways of repurposing the technologies of its day”, writes Scott, “so it made great sense to me to mix together the very tapes carrying the audio component of these artists, weaving them together to remind us that silence is still available in our environments.”

In considering silence, Scott is influenced by the writings of radical French theorist, Paul Virilio, and offers the following quotations from Virilio’s essay, ‘Silence on Trial’, which comprises the second half of his text, Art and Fear (the preceding half being ‘Pitiless Art’):

“Silence no longer has a voice. It lost its voice half a century ago … the voices of silence have been silenced; what is now regarded as obscene is not so much the image as the sound – or, rather, the lack of sound.”

“Nowadays everything that remains silent is deemed to consent … whoever says nothing is deemed to consent.”

Regarding Mixtape #7: E Tu!pac, Scott observes: “I like the tension (and the weaving is by purpose constantly under tension) that resonates between the role of the artist as social agitator and the role of silence in the maturation of the art that becomes the determinant of said social agitation.”

Five decades in and still breathing, Scott’s works are conceptual in origin but are often created with a methodical and labour-intensive approach. The recipient of numerous international and national residencies and with work held in private and institutional collections both nationally and internationally, Scott Flanagan is an autodidactic artist living in Port Chalmers (in a house with many good windows), and has exhibited regularly throughout New Zealand since 1996.


Scott Flanagan and Tjalling de Vries, littoral landscape

A projected film of the Kaitorete Spit seascape bleeds over the edges of Scott’s weaving; the black weaving sucking away a lot of the image, with details remaining on the periphery. An audio recording comprised of the sound of the weaving straining on a fence in the wind (made using contact mics) plays alongside.

Responding through channels that are of interest in his own practice, these works by Tjalling de Vries overlay and converse with Scott’s piece, playing off of themes of silence, erasure, and obfuscation. Of the relation, de Vries observes, “I thought it would be interesting to incorporate a landscape Scott and I are both are fond of. Despite being synthetic in material, Scott’s weavings reflect their surroundings in a fragmented way and remind me of the complex ways in which we can witness the landscape around us. Different ways of experiencing, I suppose.”

The location depicted in de Vries’ recordings, Birdlings Flat/Te Mata Hapuku and Kaitorete Spit, is of significance to both artists. There, as de Vries recalls, “Scott once observed a humpback whale breaching, and a couple of months ago I was thrilled to have a large pod of common dolphins come past, appearing from the east and disappearing into the south west. They glistened black and very much wove their way through the turquoise ocean. The environment there feels expansive both visually and aurally, and there is a sort of hidden landscape of sound that is at once expansive and narrow.”

Tjalling is an artist who was born in the Netherlands in 1982 and grew up on Banks Peninsula in New Zealand. Tjalling has a Masters degree in Painting from the School of Fine Arts at Canterbury University (2011). Recent exhibitions include ‘Unmersion’ at Jonathan Smart Gallery in Christchurch (2020) and ‘Party Wall’ at 18a project space in Nelson (2021). Tjalling likes both disruption and harmony in art and lives in Lyttelton/Ōhinehou.


Opens: Thursday 27 May, 5.30pm, at The Audio Foundation with refreshments by Liberty Brewing Company
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 4pm
Closes: Saturday 26 June


Full Programme

Wednesday 26 May, 8pm
Cross Modal 1: Audiovisual performances at the Wine Cellar
With: Ducklingmonster, Luke Shaw (Ōtautahi) / P Wits
More info here:

Thursday 27 May – Saturday 26 June
Cross Modal At the Audio Foundation
With: Ary Jansen, Chris Schmelz, Luke Shaw, Scott Flanagan & Tjalling de Vries
More info here:

Friday 28 May, 8pm
Cross Modal 2: Audiovisual performances at the Audio Foundation
With: Chris Schmelz, LONDON DRUGS
More info here:

Tuesday 22 June, 7pm
Cross Modal 3: Moving images at Lopdell House
With: Ducklingmoster, Kim Pieters, Isabella Dampney & Theo MacDonald
(Presented in partnership with Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery)
More info to come

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