His art is more than just sound or pictures – it’s entertainment for the whole soul

About Gabriel Shalom

Gabriel Shalom (US/UK) is an artist living and working in Berlin, Germany. His practice combines elements of experimental cinema, video art and musique concrète. He explores the hidden musicality in everyday objects, instruments and situations, using music as a vehicle for the transformation of the mundane into transcendent compositions and patterns. His 2014 audiovisual EP „Faces of N.“ has been compared to the music of Matthew Herbert and Matmos by the editor of Italian Rolling Stone. He has guest lectured on Hypercubism, his theory of object oriented aesthetics, at institutions such as the Paris Sorbonne, the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, and the Bauhaus University, Weimar.

www.music-news.at: How did you experience the CAMP festival? What was special about CAMP festival?

Gabriel Shalom: I participated in the 2005 edition of CAMP in Stuttgart. I really enjoyed how meals were organized as a communal experience. This created a nice rhythm of working together and sharing time together. I also enjoyed how the event culminated in a performance. In some ways the concept is similar to a „hackathon“ where teams of coders work for a condensed period of time on a demo of some software application. The pressure of a deadline can spark creativity and force decisions to be made quickly. In our group we had a VJ, a laptop composer, an acid jazz Trombone player, and myself. We spent the week creating a live audiovisual performance called „Suite for Ingrid“ which was a 2-channel video, stereo audio and live trombone.

www.music-news.at: Whats the general message of your work? Or is this depending on the project you are working on?

Gabriel Shalom: Much of my work is dealing with identity and transformation. How is our self-reflection and our perception of the world around us changing due to the influence of digital aesthetics on the physical world?

www.music-news.at: Does the live performance rather suit you or do you rather produce before hand and why?

Gabriel Shalom: My most recent work is a six-track audiovisual EP called Faces of N. which is a work of hypercubist portraiture. It exists both as a website and a live performance. The way I work with video is a combination of prepared sequenced edited into compositional fragments and live cueing. The reason I produce sequences for my live performance is that I have not found (or managed to build) a tool which gives me a sophisticated enough degree of control in a live context. I also believe there is something essential about my sequencing in the handcraft which it requires.

www.music-news.at: Which technologies and programs are you using for your art?

Gabriel Shalom: I use Sony Vegas for everything.

www.music-news.at: How do you define your art?

Gabriel Shalom: My work lives at the intersection of experimental cinema, video art and musique concrète.

www.music-news.at: When have you startet with this kind of art?

Gabriel Shalom: I created „Small Room Tango“ in 2004 in New York City in one weekend. Since then I have been interested in the ways in which the sounds of objects, instruments and situations can be manipulated into audiovisual compositions.

Gabriel Shalom: Another important piece for the development of my work is a kitchen suite in five movements called „wash choose peel chop rinse“. This work was premiered at the opening ceremony of Transmediale (Berlin 2011). I developed a related series of prints which were exhibited at the KiKK Festival (Namur, Belgium 2013)

Gabriel Shalom: My solo exhibition in Eindhoven at the MU Artspace afforded me a chance to do a large scale video installation with five channels called „The Tosso Variations“.


www.music-news.at: How political may art be and why?

Gabriel Shalom: It’s possible to use art for political aims but I am not concerned with this in my work. I believe the greatest change art can create in people is through transcendence and the altering of the perception of reality. I am interested in creating sublime experiences through aesthetic arrest.

www.music-news.at: Do you have plans for the future?

Gabriel Shalom: In 2013 I had two residencies in Frankfurt; at the Frankfurter Kunstverein and at the Motion Bank Laboratory (a part of the Forsythe Dance Company). During these residencies I produced raw material for several works which are still in progress. One is a transformation of a still life into a framework for an ensemble of players. The other is a solo dance piece in which I am the performer.

Photo Credits: gabrielshalom.com

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