Recent Arts (Tobias Freund & Valentina Berthelon)
Recent Arts is a duo formed by Chilean visual artist Valentina Berthelon and German musician Tobias Freund. Together they create live audiovisual shows ranging from experimental improvisations to works that are more aligned with the global electronic music club scene.
Since their first collaboration in the year 2011 they have constantly worked to bring together experimental music and visual arts to create a deep and unique audiovisual experiences for the audience. Influenced by the world of science they try to stimulate free associations between concepts and emotions, creating an instance not just to enjoy music but also to make deep reflections about the world and our position in it. Through a performance full of symbolism, stories, data visualisation and poetry they want to open a door to the possibility of rethinking the future.
They manipulate sound and images in real time during their stage shows. The music is created and performed by means of an application based on Max/MSP. It is a “Loop Based Computer Controlled Engine” that repeats and processes sounds in a free and natural way – which feels like listening to the flowing water of a creek, or to the sound of the wind. Repetitions are constantly being modulated, no patterns are the same. In addition, the musical structure is combined with a full range of analog synthesis to achieve a wide spectrum of frequencies. Synchronously, images are animated in realtime with a VJ software called VDMX. Using different audio-reactive techniques, complex behaviours and interactions are generated. A constant flow of videos and animations are displayed on multiple screens, creating haunting atmospheres.
Their first album was released on Freund’s label “Non Standard Productions” on March 30th 2016. The duo takes a trip to the dark side and back on this experimental album. The LP is percussion-free, traversing drone, noise and industrial. Ambient influences are definitely present, but is far from a relaxing affair. Organic sounds juxtaposed with sci-fi techno touch generating peculiar atmospheres. They emphasis into the overall experience over anything else.
In august 2016 Recent Arts premiered in Europe in Berlin Atonal Festival. They opened the festival on the main stage with a live performance of their latest production “The History of Darkness” which became the central video installation in the “Projektraum” two days later. Closing the year, they performed at HAU 1 in the course of “10 Years Non Standard Productions”, celebrating the 10th anniversary of Tobias Freund’s music label.
The History of Darkness
“The History of Darkness” is an Audiovisual installation that takes you on a trip into a universe of astronomical images and sounds. The visual work is mainly based on old photographs, drawings and diagrams of the cosmos taken from old astronomy books. The work highlights the beauty and simplicity of low-fidelity material by using images created without the technological tools available nowadays but also gives a look into the future by combining this material with contemporary ideas of theoretical physics.
Visual representations of the universe have the power to show stages of our evolving self-awareness as a species. Starting from this idea we talk through different chapters about the never-ending impulse to understand ourselves and the universe that surrounds us.
More details about this project in the following links:
Recent Arts live at HAU 1, Berlin November 2016
"Statik Universe" by Recent Arts, live at Perm 06, Berlin 2017
Tobias “Beautiful Mistake” (Recent Arts version) by Recent Arts, live at Perm 06, Berlin 2017