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Cynthia and Paul conversed about the joys and pains of collaboration between a visual artist and a composer in a work that required a complex meshing of skills and concepts.
Cynthia Beth Rubin and Bob Gluck discussed their conception and construction of Layered Histories. They also described their respective previous works incorporating themes of Jewish cultural heritage, and explored how their ideas about the underpinnings of culture informed this collaboration, as well as the 1998 animation Inherited Memories, by Rubin, with music by Gluck (to be shown at the upcoming LA Jewish Film Festival).
Layered Histories is an interactive work weaving sounds and images associated with the wanderings of a 13th century Spanish illuminated Hebrew Bible. Using a stylus as a reading pointer, the viewer explores the surface of a “book”, triggering short moving “paintings” and layered sounds, ranging from representational to abstract. Pointer movements influence the choice of material and the speed and direction of playback, opening space for personal reflection and association.
Layered Histories: the Wandering Bible of Marseilles was on exhibit at the Fine Family Gallery of the Atlanta JCC, through April 23.
Cynthia Beth Rubin has been an active digital artist since the early 1980’s. Working with photographs as a point of departure, Rubin’s imagery recalls the cultural legacy of times and places beyond her own lifetime, referring to the subjective experience of memory. Rubin’s digital prints and animations have been widely exhibited and written about in shows ranging from SIGGRAPH and ISEA to AniGma in Siberia. The recipient of the first individual artist’s grant in New Media from the Connecticut Commission of the Arts, Rubin has also received grants from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the New England Foundation on the Arts, among others. She recently served as a volunteer with American Jewish World Service in Africa, working the non-profit Green Senegal as a consultant on their web site.
Bob Gluck is a composer and performer of interactive sound installation and performance. His work includes Sounds of a Community (2001—2002) and performances featuring electronically expanded acoustical instruments, with piano and Disklavier, baglama saz and shofar (ram’s horn). Gluck’s recordings include Stories Heard and Retold (1998) and Electric Songs (2003). He also has written extensively about the history of electronic music beyond Europe and North America. Bob Gluck is a graduate of the University at Albany (BA), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MFA), Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work (MSW) and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (MHL and title of Rabbi). He is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Electronic Music Studio at The University at Albany, Associate Director at the Electronic Music Foundation and co-executive editor (with Joel Chadabe) of the EMF Institute.
Tags: Upgrade!, sound art, interactive, cultural heritage, collaboration, animation