THE WARP WHISTLE PROJECT
The Warp Whistle Project is a cross-disciplinary collaboration that stages various relationships between sonic and visual information. Visually, the work has included conventional painting formats, video, and site-specific installations. Sonically, each project integrates unique technologies (CMOS synthesizers, Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, etc.) for the production of sound, motion, and light.
We focus on the collision of multifarious forms and ideas as a way to uncover new problems for further investigation. As John Cage would say, we observe a working method “that, though coming from ideas, is not about them but produces them.” Our practice is rooted in experimentation and freely draws inspiration from diverse theoretical and historical discourses. Stops along this path to date have included theoretical physics, phenomenology, color theory, superseded scientific theories, video games, and 1950s science fiction.
Paul Schuette is a composer and sound artist. He received his D.M.A. from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati in 2013. He currently teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
The Warp Whistle Project is working hard on a cross-disciplinary performance piece that will debut on January 21st at the Caplan Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. Commissioned by the Network for New Music, The Navigator will feature performers from the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.
Special thanks to the University of the Arts School of Music and School of Theater for aiding in the facilitation of set design/construction, lighting, sound design, interactive electronics, documentation, and promotion.
About the work
The Navigator is a hybrid work of art: a staged collision of sonic and visual information. The visual components are inspired by Asa Smith’s 19th century astronomical illustrations: outdated planetary charts that served a didactic purpose for his readers. Additional source materials include 1950s science fiction stage sets, clock parts, and mythological scientific instruments. Tensions between the hand-made and the mechanical, illusion and artifice, and function and futility, positions The Navigator as an amalgamation of past representations of ideological futures. Similar to make-believe, the viewer is consumed by an experience on the verge of rupture.
As The Navigator performs its various functions, its true purpose remains enigmatic. While every journey has a destination, The Navigator’s priority is the voyage. In “Wind Up”, the music is energetic and intricate, influenced by strains of minimalism, yet the question of mechanical malfunction begins early on as kinks enter into the clockwork precision. “Unlock” is an hypnotic journey through nocturnal spaces - pointillistic starbursts of sound map a course out of the darkness and into the light. In the final leg, once a tenuous signal is established, The Navigator is ready to “Transmit” to its final destination.
In day to day life, we put the material world to use: cars, coffee makers, and cell phones, to name a few. These objects are typically defined by the unique purpose they serve: cars take us places, coffee makers fuel the morning routine, and cellphones . . . do most of the rest. However, philosophers have argued that we never truly see these objects for what they actually are until they break. A broken cellphone no longer able to serve any of its myriad purposes, can be seen for what it truly is: a chocolate-bar-sized piece of glass and aluminum housing an intricate array of precious metals and circuit boards. Without a purpose, the object’s techne is revealed.
Historically, art objects have served the purpose of glorifying the spiritual, entertaining the masses, and representing ideals of truth, beauty, and power. . In the early years of the 20th century, with the wheels of modernity in full swing, the purpose, appearance, and function of western art was set on a new course. No longer fixated on mimesis, artists began working in opposition to the dominant trend that art should copy nature. As The Navigator charts its own 21st century voyage, its destination remains a question and, in doing so, imparts something else about its true nature.
From the Network for New Music:
You won’t want to miss this unique, cross-disciplinary performance, where you will hear and see "The Navigator", a new multi-media work by composer Paul Schuette and visual artist Mary Laube, side-by-side in U. of Arts state-of-the-art black box theater. The Network Ensemble will also respond to iconic graphic scores by William Kraft and Gyorgy Ligeti/Rainer Wehinger.
Advance ticket sales: $20 Regular/15 senior/10 student (at the door; $25/20/10)
University of the Arts students and faculty FREE ADMISSION
check back soon for full video documentation!
IN PROGRESS PHOTOS:
Theory of Extramission:
Theory of Extramission, acrylic, glitter, and balsa wood on panel, LEDs, speakers, and electronics, 24"x24", 2016
Flowers, acrylic paint, spray paint, cardboard, wood, wire, speakers, motors, electronics, size variable, 2015
Nightly Light from Suns:
Nightly Light from Suns, acrylic paint, spray paint, Phototex, cardboard, speakers, wire, and electronics, left 88"x84" right 96"x102", 2015
Magenta, video installation, size variable, 2014
Vibrational #2, acrylic on panel, speakers, electronics, panel sizes: 42"x42"x3"", 42"x42"x3"", 36"x36"x3", 30"x30"x3", 24"x24"x3", 2014
Vibrational #1, acrylic on panel, speakers, electronics, 12"x12" panels, 2013
Check out and purchase a catalog of Virbrational #1 and Vibrational #2 from Blurb