mark fell





attack on silence digitbeta edit for 25fps zagreb

at 25fps internacionalni festival eksperimentalnog filma | videa

title screen, duration 19mins 27seconds


Attack on Silence is a series of works initiated by Fell in January 2008 following an invitation from his friend and colleague Mat Steel to submit a work for the POV event (Wanchai, Hong Kong 2008). For this Fell developed an almost entirely static computer generated audio-visual piece that he described as a ‘reaction against the highly dynamic VJ style performances’ of his peers. In this piece visual patterns are not plotted in response to a real time analysis of sound, but instead elementary relationships between sound and image are specified at an algorithmic level that is prior to both sound and image. Initially intended as a computational exploration of extremely simple visual and sonic structures present in both sacred geometries and technological interventions in mind control, this work developed into a series of screenings, performances, print and a DVD. Although highly critical of any mystical rhetoric, throughout the development of this series it is evident that Fell’s concerns shift from an exploration and analysis of sonic and visual geometry, meditation and mind control, to explorations of perceptions of change and the interplay between the retina and the screen. In his most recent work in this series, subtitled ‘Isomorphism and Totality’, Fell works with a blurred radial image and minute spectral change prompting one to consider if the perceived image exists on the screen or retina; the viewer becomes acutely aware of their mental activity and inability to focus on the image as their perceptual system struggles to make sense of the environment it encounters.

"We’re reminded of the physical affects, suggested in Tibetan Buddhist teachings, that different frequencies of vibration can have on the body; Yogic concentration exercises which play out in mental imaginings of black ovals, silver crescents and blue disks (encountered by Fell in Alistair Crowley’s texts Eight lectures on Yoga (1939)); the Anti-Group’s Meontological research recordings (1987) intended to speak directly to the central nervous system; evocations of the mind lock from George Lucas’ 1971 film THX1138 or similar science fictions about mental control through the use of sound." Tony Myatt 2009

personal statement

Although at university I studied experimental film and video, it is as a musician that I have become increasingly interested in how we encounter time and change. My close friend Yasunao Tone recommended that I read Husserl’s ‘Phenomenology of Internal Time Consciousness’ (which he is rather critical of). I found Husserl's use of musical examples particularly problematic. After reading this it occurred to me that if perspective creates an illusion of space, familiar musical structures could be thought to create an illusion of time. Just as perspective is a description of space, the relation of spatially positioned objects within it, and our position as observer; music is a description of time: a technology for constructing an understanding and experience of time and our relation to it. Increasingly I have sought to challenge familiar temporal structures in Western musics. This is apparent in “Thunder Bollocks” a cassette release on the Spanish record label Alku, where rhythmic structures, specified in fractions of seconds, are based upon unfamiliar temporal ratios, and also in works such as Attack On Silence.

© mark fell, modified August 23, 2010, at 05:39 PM edit print