Clinton Watkins | Frequency Colour
25.07.13 - 16.08.13
Starkwhite is pleased to present Frequency Colour by Clinton Watkins from 25 July to 16 August 2013.
A new work created for, and in reply to the distinctive characteristics of the Starkwhite gallery, Frequency Colour embraces the concept of space. Responding to the clean lines, pillars and sightlines of the gallery, Frequency Colour immerses the audience and manipulates their experience and environment via colour, sound and scale. Clinton Watkins is the artist behind a practice that is technically innovative yet also delights in analogue equipment. Producing artwork that investigates the affects combinations of sonic and visual information can have on an audience, he creates immersive and powerful aesthetic environments.
Recording short sound works – roughly the length of a pop song – and forcing them into advanced custom-made AV5-Error video manipulation hardware produces visual graphics created solely by the audio signal. Made in a live studio context in analogue they carry its warmth and process of chaos, fed through digital technology evolving into a real time visual abstraction. Keeping his compositions short is important to Watkins to retain the energy and impetus of the sound, which translates directly to the work’s audience.
Drawing upon his background as a musician, Watkins blends the dynamism and noise generating capacity of diverse musical influences into stylish minimalist abstractions. His installations are elegant compositions themselves. Generated by pure tone frequencies, metronomic pulse wave clicks, white noise and feedback, the immersive visual component of Frequency Colour is composed of monochromes of broadcast colour tones. Projected colour fields appear, morph or evaporate, only to be replaced by others in a complex game of repetition and distortion broken by pulses of pure colour. The work is twinned then mirrored on to opposing walls, encasing its audience in a palette of sound and image for the duration of the 20-minute piece.
Watkins has a Doctoral Degree in Fine Arts, lecturers at AUT in the Co_lab department teaching time-based media. Recent exhibitions include Delta, Air New Zealand In-Flight Entertainment System (2012-13); Transcode, Wellington City Art Gallery/Engine Room, Massey University (2012); Selection, Starkwhite (2012); Test Tone Aotea Centre, NZ (2011); Force FieldsTwo Rooms, NZ (2010); Line & Tone Hirschfeld, Berlin (2009); Avalanche NZ Film Archive (2009); and Cont Ship #1- #3/New New Wave #1-#2 Square 2, Wellington City Art Gallery (2008). His work has also been featured in curated group exhibitions throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe including: Wall of Sound Te Tuhi (2010); Under Lopdell House (2010); Super Deluxe Artspace Sydney (2010); Black Out I.C.A.N. Sydney (2010); 7:5 Two Rooms, NZ (2009); Past-Present-PlaceHeidelberger Kunstverein, DE (2008); Martini Shot Artspace (2007); 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Auckland City Art Gallery (2006).
Watkins is also a practicing experimental musician who regularly produces and performs as a solo artist and collaboratively as an active member of the minimal electronic improvisation sextet, Plains, one half of the electronic noise duo 1000 and most recently working with artist Santiago Sierra. Watkins has numerous releases of recorded material published on a variety of local and international record labels such as Circle, 20 City, Claudia, Mystery Sea, CMR, Absurd and Scarcelight.