John Oswald Chronophotic: The Arc of Apparition

John Oswald has long been known as a musical innovator, both as a free jazz saxophonist and pioneer of sound sampling. His Plunderphonics projects explored the boundaries of musical composition via pre-existing material and raised questions of copyright in doing so. Now Oswald steps into the world of visual art with Chronophotic, a DVD/CD release for the exploratory digital collective of OHM/Avatar. The visual component of the work is a collection of still portraits, clothed and nude, that slowly and randomly appear and disappear within a blank framework. The figures overlap, develop and dissipate at different rates, creating imagery that is both static and in motion simultaneously. The bonus CD features multilingual whispers, some natural and others manipulated for speed and repetition. Presented together, the work is powerful and open-ended, allowing an audience to draw whatever meaning they care to from its exhibition. An unfortunate possible limitation of the work is its presentation, which tends to lose its impact when viewed on a conventional-sized television. Large screen viewing or projection would be recommended in order to truly experience the visuals to full effect. (OHM/Avatar,