Freitag, 12. November 2010

Jacques Guyonnet, Geneviève Calame and the EMS Spectre Video Synthesizer

Geneviève Calame (1946 -1993, Geneva / CH)
Labyrinthes fluides (1976), 10'
U-matic, transferred to DVD by AktiveArchive
(YouTube-uploader stretched it to 16:9 unfortunately).

Jacques Guyonnet (* 1933, lives in Geneva / CH)
Lucifer Photophore, (1975), 7'
U-matic, transferred to DVD by AktiveArchive

Swiss composers and video pioneers Jacques Guyonnet and Geneviève Calame discovered the EMS Spectre Video Synthesizer as early as 1973 and bought one in 1974. Only 14 of these machines were built, only very few survived. Luckily, Guyonnet gave his to AktiveArchive, a project for the conservation of video and digital art.

EMS Spectre in the back, Egger&Kaufmann's modules in the front

There it was restored by artist and engineer Flo Kaufmann.
Kaufmann used it at this year's Shift Electronic Arts Festival, where he set up, together with Michael Egger, an entirely analogue video lab in the festival exhibition (where also the videos by Guyonnet and Calame were shown). Besides the EMS Spectre, they used their own home made modular analogue video synthesizers and tons of other stuff, as you can see on the photos. The period of analog synthesis in the history of video lasted only for a short time from the mid-seventies to the early eighties (when the digital era started). Kaufmann and Egger's revisited this short period and sort of continued to write its history, ignoring what followed (but of course with the knowledge of today's visual worlds).

The lab in the exhibition at Shift Festival. Photo: Peter Schnetz

In action during Andy Votel's set. Photo: Eva Flury

They also used their lab to create live visuals to the concert of Swiss electronic music pionneer Bruno Spoerri and Andy Votel's DJ set at the festival. Spoerri is also a famous user of EMS synthesizers (audio). He still uses his VCS 3, also on stage at Shift Festival, and had a Synthi 100 system. I'll post more about Spoerri soon.

2 Kommentare:

  1. Thanks for posting these great films. Anything about Spoerri would be welcome.

  2. Thanks for watching them. They were put on YouTube by Guyonnet himself btw.
    Bruno Spoerri will be the topic of several posts soon.