BILL JONES and BEN NEILL
22 March - 19 April 2003
Sandra Gering Gallery is pleased to present Nite Nite, a collaboration between
visual artist Bill Jones and composer/performer Ben Neill. This is Jones’ and
Neill’s second exhibition at Sandra Gering Gallery.
Bill Jones and Ben Neill merge music and visual art, bringing the
improvisational real-time performance of music to moving and still images.
Together they make instantly responsive narratives of sight and sound, as well
as photographs and digital prints generated from Neill’s musical score.
Nite Nite is a real time video remix of an animated Volkswagen television
commercial played live by networked computers. The music for Nite Nite and
nine other VW spots was originally composed by Neill for Volkswagen via Arnold
Advertising. He then remixed and extended these compositions to form the
tracks of his latest CD Automotive, released on the Six Degrees label. Jones
and Neill have created video remixes of all ten VW ads. Photographic stills in
the installation represent images captured from the Nite Nite video remix.
In this exhibition, as well as in Neill’s live performance, the re-purposed
media gives a new voice to the dialogue between fine and popular art,
subverting both into a new multi-disciplinary form. Jones and Neill
reinterpret the corporate message within a wholly different context by
remixing the extended musical score and commercial footage.
The nationwide Automotive tour took place in Fall 2002. In performance, three
linked computers form a “Power Book band” that merges Neill’s self-designed,
computer interfaced, mutantrumpet with Jones’ computer controlled video.
Neill literally plays the moving pictures; he blows life into real-time and
recorded video, making the images an extension of his electrified horn.
In addition, Jones and Neill have produced a DVD of Nite Nite, with vocals and
lyrics by UK based singer, Andrew Montgomery. As the lyrics ask, “When we
wake up tomorrow, what will the world be like? When we wake up tomorrow, how
will we feel inside?”
Ben Neill, a noted electronic music composer, performer and protégé of seminal
minimalist LaMonte Young, has been working with Jones, a photo conceptualist,
media artist and founding editor of the digital culture magazine Artbyte,
since the mid-1990’s.