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Visual Music Marathon 2009

The MFA Computer Art Department at School of Visual Arts, the New York Digital Salon and the Department of Music and Multimedia Studies at Northeastern University present the New York premiere of the Visual Music Marathon, a 12-hour festival showcasing 120 works by contemporary digital artists and composers from around the world. The event offers an encyclopedic look into the burgeoning practice of visual music, which combines animation and musical composition. The roots of the genre date back more than two hundred years to the ocular harpsichords and color-music scales of the 18th century; the current art form came to fruition following the emergence of film and video in the 20th century.

This event is free and open to the public.

The Visual Music Marathon presents a remarkable array of artistic strategies and sensibilities. Some of the selected works consist of abstract visual interpretations of pieces of music, while others apply structural concepts of music to create moving images, or explore the overlap between visual and musical languages. The artists make use of a range of media and technologies, including found footage, hand-drawn animation, stop-motion photography, digitally processed video, computer-generated imagery, and paintings made directly on film. Works include audio tracks ranging from computer-generated scores, to sampled sounds from nature, to both classical and contemporary musical compositions.

Northeastern University faculty member Dennis Miller , artistic director and curator for the festival, explains, "With the Visual Music Marathon, we have put together the largest and most historically representative selection of work in this field. It is a unique opportunity to see the best of cutting-edge digital art from around the world as well as rarely screened historical gems in the field of visual music." Bruce Wands , chair of the MFA Computer Art Department at SVA and curator of the New York Digital Salon hour of the Marathon, remarked, "We are excited to share all of these works with the city of New York -- the majority of which have never been seen here before. It is a wonderfully diverse group of films, which gives a sense of the creativity and momentum in this field right now."

The program includes works by established figures in the field, such as Canadian/Belgian artist Jean Detheux (DAYDREAM MECHANICS V SKETCH 3, RUPTURE AND LIAISONS), Icelandic artist Steina Vasulka (TREVOR), Austrian artist Tina Frank (CHRONOMOPS, PITBUDP) and American artists Stephanie Maxwell (TIME STREAMS, ALL THAT REMAINS) and Karen Aqua (KAKANIA, SENSORIUM). The festival also presents the work of emerging digital artists including SVA alumnus Joe Tekippe (2006 MFA Computer Art; MODAL DRAWING TOY), German artist Robert Siedel (_GRAU) and U.K.-based artists Ruth Jarman and Joseph Gerhardt of Semiconductor (200 NANOWEBBERS), among others.

In addition to the contemporary works, the program will include examples of rare, historic works from early practitioners of the art form, such as Hans Richter and Oskar Fischinger, which will be screened on 16mm film. The Visual Music Marathon will also feature live audio-visual acts: 1/X , performed by artist and SVA alumnus Chiaki Watanabe (1996 BFA Computer Art) and musician David Galbraith; and S 2: SIMSTIM SQUARED, performed by artist Marjan Moghaddam and composer Adam Caine.

For further details about the festival or to view the April 11 program schedule, visit and

Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 11:00am to 7:00pm
Submission Deadline 
Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 12:00pm
New York