David Bithell is an interdisciplinary composer, artist, and performer exploring the connections between visual art, music, theater, and performance. Utilizing new technologies and real-time interactive environments, Bithell brings the precision and structure of contemporary music and audio practices together with an understanding of performance, narrative, and humor drawn from recent theater, live cinema, and performance art. He is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Arts at Southern Oregon University.
Time and Theater
I create work that explores the connections between visual art, music, theater, and performance while engaging with new technologies and real-time interactive environments. I view the unfolding of these diverse media over time as central to my process and to my larger project of theatricalizing media. The resulting artwork brings the precision and structure of contemporary audio practices together with an understanding of performance, narrative, and humor drawn from recent theater, live cinema, and performance art.
Form, Narrative, and Meaning
My approach is to create narrative structures out of abstract sonic and visual materials. These structures set up audience expectations that are subsequently manipulated and subverted in surprising and often superficially comic ways. This process of subversion is essential in creating an underlying sense of form in my work.
By creating a perceived uncertainty within the structure of the work, I have the ability to impart a larger and more provocative uncertainty within the audience. In the moment of structural subversion, the audience sees beyond their current perception of the work, creating a multi-layered experience that extends into their perception of reality. The smoke and mirrors of a magician cause one to question more than the rabbit in the hat.
Electronics, Ambience, and Illusion
I have chosen to work with electronic media as a way of extending my fascination with the illusory nature of artistic materials. I compose visual and sonic relationships that seem intuitive, while at the same time create scenarios to expose the arbitrariness of these connections and subvert their intuitive meanings. Electronic interactivity and “false” interactivity (systems which appear to be interactive, but are in fact highly-composed pre-determined forms) are used as essential structural materials—giving the concept of interactivity an important role in the creation of my work’s artistic meaning. I also use technology generatively to create richly detailed performance environments. These function both as stable states of being as well as formal signifiers—complex enough to be interesting in the moment, clear enough to be perceived as referable moments.
Reception: Saturday, July 16 5–7pm
Gallery Hours: Thur–Sat, 12pm–5pm
2600 NW College Way | Bend
Residence: Ashland, OR