Stoned begins in silence. An image of a Buddhist monastery—a long stone corridor lined with receding columns—appears to jerk forward and slightly recede, or move tremulously back and forth. The single high notes of a piano begin to sound in a halting counterpoint to the agitated image, which fractures into a grid of rapidly pulsating segments. Cho's flickering digital manipulations disrupt the viewer's experience of processional space; his complex layering of highly saturated images results in a weave of frenetically vibrating architectural elements. The notes of the piano become more frequent, and the image careens back and forth, at an irregular pace, between long shots of a hall whose terminus is a rectangular doorway filled with white light, and close-ups of masonry. Occasionally, the vibrantly robed, moving figures of monks are captured, held as though in a state of limbo that is accentuated by the erratic nature of the music, or caught between Cho's rapidly shifting layers of architectural space. Nine minutes into the piece, the haunting and delicately ominous soundtrack is suddenly replaced by a grinding, 46-second segment from Fracture, a track from King Crimson's 1974 rock album Starless and Bible Black. For less than a minute, the viewer is thrust into a different visual and aural realm; the driving guitars force Cho's digital manipulations to take on new meaning. With his abrupt aural transitions, Cho investigates the way in which the 21st-century viewer's understanding of moving images and sound is loaded with cultural significance, and how sound (and its context) can alter the meaning and reception of images.
To "JB." A Video Tape by Seoungho Cho. Sound Concept & Design: Seoungho Cho. 46 Seconds of Music Excerpted from "Fracture" by King Crimson; Starless & Bible Black/Robert Fripp, 1974 Virgin Records, LTD. Partly Funded by Asian Cultural Council/ The Henry Luce Foundation, New York, NY, 2012. Studio.90125/New York/2012.
This work is HD video and must be shown with a 16:9, HD display.
High-Definition Video Guide