John-Robin Bold

Digital & Interactive Art Portfolio

Audio Library of a Viewable World

YouTube video series, 20 videos

2023 – ongoing

Presented at Mille Plateaux NON-ference (Graz), Millennium Film Workshop (New York City), Creative Cluster (Vienna)

Audio Library of a Viewable World is a series of experimental videos specifically made for YouTube by using its interface and functions as integral elements of the artwork. These ‘website-specific’ videos exist in between the video frame, the subtitles, the description, the comment section, and the viewer’s interaction with them. As it repurposes our common ways of watching videos on YouTube, the project opens a different perspective on how we engage with online video in our daily life. Each video is based on one category of YouTube’s own audio library, a collection of 4000 copyright-free sound effects that have been used in countless videos and heard by millions of viewers since 2013. The sound for each video is composed entirely of samples from the audio library’s respective category.

Excerpts:

Emergency

YouTube video, 4:04min

2023

Images of decontextualised catastrophes are separated by YouTube’s auto-play countdown, establishing an interplay between time, anticipation and event.

Science Fiction

scheduled YouTube video

2023-ongoing

 

The furthest date that a YouTube live video can be scheduled is two years. The continuous postponing of this video will make sure it is never published whatsoever. The future remains forever evasive. No video can depict it. In the constellation of stars, glowing to us from the distant past, we have a blank slate.

Animals

YouTube video, 2:09min

2024

 

What can animal selfie filters tell us about the relationship between our self-image as humans in the digital age?

Cartoon

YouTube video, 2:37min

2023

Cartoon turns subtitles into visuals. Large blocks of text appear in an interwoven font which can be zoomed in and out of using the + and – keys. 

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BREATHE

Immersive installation, 39min loop

2021

A collaboration between John-Robin Bold, Daniel Vier and Andy Cowling.

Commissioned for SAAI Factory 2021.

Exhibited at Wood Arts Institute Hamburg, Galerie Obrist (Essen), Spazju Kreattiv (Malta), Foundry (Dubai).

BREATHE

-The Hub- is a dream journey embedded in a coherent system of electronic music, video and living sculpture. The audience follows the female narration of a text unknowingly written by an AI. What begins as a stereotypical meditation guide, gradually evolves into uncanny visions of corporeal self-dissolution in the universe.

Surrounded by plants common in astrobotany and a multi-channel CGI video projection, the visitor is invited to embark on an ambiguous journey at the intersection of modern esotericism, self-enhancement ideology, and transhumanist fantasies.

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S Y N O P S I S

Interactive installation

2021

A collaboration between John-Robin Bold and Andy Cowling.

Commissioned for Musik21 Festival.

Exhibited at Kulturzentrum Faust (Hannover), SYNNIKA (Frankfurt am Main).

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An ensemble of six model heads with built-in loudspeakers hangs from the ceiling. They express opinions on current issues, antagonisms and crises. The statements come from protests, news, interviews, and journalism; from well-known as well as unknown entities; from all imaginable political orientations. The eclectic collection of statements is deliberately compiled to provoke disagreement from all visitors. 

A book with a built-in controller connects to each of the talking heads. With it, the statements of each head can be distorted to the point of incomprehensibility. It is up to the audience to decide what should be heard and what shouldn’t be. 

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SoundCloud Gazing

Website-specific SoundCloud series

2018-2022

Exhibited at /rosa (Berlin), Ars Electronica (Linz), The New Art Fest (Lisbon), The Wrong Biennale

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Online music streaming has strongly influenced our listening habits over the last two decades. By setting the frame for distribution and consumption, every platform facilitates certain types of music and listening. SoundCloud Gazing presents three website-specific pieces made for SoundCloud to explore how its features influence the way we experience music online.

TRACK

SoundCloud track, 4:33min

2021

Track originated from thinking about the common habit to look at a SoundCloud track’s envelope and thereby anticipate its development. The envelope graphically represents a track’s climaxes, fade-outs, and build-ups.  Track was composed to address this audio-visual relationship’s effect on listener expectation and the experience of time. With frequencies beyond the auditory threshold, sounds too short for the envelope to detect them and comments masquerading as part of the envelope, the typical relationship between envelope and sound gets decoupled.

STREAM

SoundCloud profiles, tracks, images

2018 – ongoing

STREAM is an open-ended (net)work that consists currently of around 20 SoundCloud profiles containing over 4 hours of music/sound in over 100 tracks. These rather obscure profiles have followed, liked and reposted each other’s tracks, tricking SoundCloud’s auto-play function to lead automatically from one profile to another. Alternatively, the users can explore this interlinked community of anonymous profiles on their own by the very same routes that are used to explore ‘real communities’ on SoundCloud. STREAM can be accessed and exited by accident or through visiting one of the profiles featured in this playlist.

Click on an image to open that profile. Then enter the stream.

John-Robin Bold, 2018-2024