Synchronator, analog sound and video signal hacking


‘Rediscover analog’ sounds like the guideline for many contemporary digital artists who research in the audio-visual field. Combining this attitude with the desire of going over the limits imposed by a specific technology you get a project like ‘Synchronator‘, analog sound and video signal hacking by Dutch artists Bas van Koolwijk and Gert-Jan Prins. The duo, who have been active as solo artists in the field for several years, met while presenting their individual AV performances at Impakt in Amsterdam. Although Van Koolwijk was working with digital equipment and Prins with analogue electronics they found many similarities in their work. They started experimenting together, in a laboratory that was arranged for them at the Impakt building, on the problems concerning the recording of complicated or distorted video and audio signals, with the aim of getting merged video and audio signals accepted by current video equipment. They started making video recordings of their studio. This video material was transformed by means of audio equipment, which resulted in jerky black-and-white images of something that can vaguely be recognized as a room. Distorted signals like these usually cannot be processed by standard video equipment and projectores, but the artists solved this problem by the use of the Synchronator, which they developed themselves.The result is the performance ‘Synchronator’ that will not come to an end with the appearance of the video: the artists will continue to work on their experiment during various performances. As Nanda Janssen from the Netherlands Media Art Institute has written “this work falls in the category of medium-specific media”. It’s a formal reasearch on the specifics of the audio-visual language.

Valentina Culatti