Tenori-On and iPad apps, hardware designs and visual creations: set against the beautifully-generative mind of Japanese/New York artist Yayoi Kusama, the flurries of dots and circles and patterns in musical interfaces take on a richer meaning. This video, from a workshop hosted at the Tate Modern alongside an exhibition of Kusama’s work, needs little introduction. Instead, the dizzying cuts of geometric abstraction, the array of visual ideas for musical interface begin to take on the same personality of her expansive creations. The galaxies produced out of the minds of musicians somehow overlap with this iconic artist. I hadn’t really made the connection before, even as a fan of her work, but with this workshop, the sympathetic vibrations – intentional or not – become clear. Description:

Sonic Kusama:
Workshop exploring connections between the work of Yayoi Kusama and creation and representation of new music & sound art through visual audio interfaces.
Presented by Simon Little and Kelvin Brown with Chase Lane.
Audio track by Capstone Music
Video production by Territory Studio

If you’re in London, Infinite Kusama is on view now at the Tate Modern.

  • markLouis

    Thought-provoking title.  In case no one is immediately a Kubrick fan, when the astronaut Bowman in 2001 looks into the stargate he says, “My God, it’s full of stars!” and then gets transported to another universe.  Art does transport us to another universe.  Cool quote.

    My thoughts were so mundane I’m almost ashamed:  I kept staring at the TE OP-1 and wishing I had the courage to spend the money and buy one.

    • Chad

      :)  You’re talking about that quote like it’s obscure.  It’s almost as ubiquitous as “May the Force be with you.”

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      I’m going to start using the other half of the quote now. It fits her work just as well: “The thing’s hollow … it goes on forever.”

    • markLouis

      I know a musician who plays in bar bands every weekend, always out with an audience.  One time I made some off-hand comment about George Harrison bringing in Eric Clapton to play on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and my friend nodded, but then told me my comment might sound a little obscure.  I said, “It’s the Beatles!” And my friend took me out and we struck up conversations with some young people–as a kind of improvised social survey right there–and quite a lot of the people we talked to said they ‘recognized the name’ ‘George Harrison’ but didn’t know what he did or why they might know the name.  I never know what is obscure and what is obvious any more.

    • Chad

      Well, yes, if George Harrison is obscure, then 2001 is certainly obscure.  But I would say that if you don’t know who George Harrison is and you’re a teenager, you’re certainly culture-starved and/or pretty damn incurious.

  • nick

    Actually she gained gained attention in the NYC art scene of the 1960s but left apparently disappointed almost 40 years ago. Just mentioning that she’s not been actually active as a New York artist in a long time. On the up side she has been active long enough that now she’s recognized and successful in her eighties.

  • rodwarner

    I went to the Kusama exhibition a couple of weeks back and I’m going again before it closes in June.  Mind-blowing in parts – especially the last room which brings to mind that Kubrick quote.