Watching one of Karel Doing and Pierre Bastien's performances means entering into a strange, playful universe, where the layering of sonorous and visual materials can create strangely dense and hypnotic effects.
Often, their shows present themselves as a selection of sound and cinema fragments, reworked in a live edit. The sounds and the images, created specially for each show or taken from archival sources, mix in a play of audio-visual sequences with rhythms and tones which can vary from the sensual to the comic, from the heavy to the light, from the serious to the absurd. This sense of play present in their performances is also reflected in the continuous experimental research with new instruments and devices, often invented by themselves, or with other scenic devices.
More than an attempt to find a new experimental language at any cost, the unique quality of Karel Doing and Pierre Bastien's performances is probably that of finding a way of making past and present, old and new technologies, sonic and visual materials and languages layered through time co-exist, but also of showing us how apparently anonymous objects can transform themselves into incredible creative instruments.
Pierre Bastien, French musician and composer, began making sonic/musical automatons at the beginning of the 1980s with pieces of Lego and other junk. In a few years he had produced about eighty, which now make up a genuine orchestra, known as Mecanium. He is currently working on an incredible series of collaborations with international artists and musicians, and his recordings are now released by the Rephlex label. His first performance with Karel Doing was in 1996.
Dutch director Karel Doing was co-founder of Studio Een, a space dedicated to experimental cinema. His projects run from the experimental to the documentary, from multimedia to Expanded Cinema and show his ongoing interest in filmic language.
Pierre Bastien and Karel Doing's performance at the Independent Film Show, their first time in Naples, will consist of extracts taken from various recent shows. Images and sequences filmed in 16mm or Super8, and transferred onto digital will be mixed live by Karel Doing and given a soundtrack by Pierre Bastien with some instruments from his mechanical orchestra.