Timothy Sherman – Looking Outwards 2 – Nonmanifold Mandible

by Timothy Sherman @ 3:49 am 12 January 2011

Nonmanifold Mandible is a video by Ben F. Carney, in which a digital model of a human face has it’s controls linked to 4 channels of audio, distorting and warping it depending on the music, in order to “parallel unreasonable human behavior”. The music that plays is fast-paced, and the face quickly warps between a recognizable human form, a jagged mass of swirls and spikes, and something in-between. I’ve always found the distorted, glitchy aesthetic appealing, but applying it to a human, more recognizable form, and switching between different areas and magnitudes of distortion so rapidly moves past just an exploration of glitch and distortion into a disturbing and monstrous realm. While the visuals are grotesque and engaging, and the rapid music and pace add a lot, it moves so fast that its hard for me to draw a mental connection between sound and distortion beyond a rhythmic one. I wish I could unravel more of what’s going on behind the scenes just through watching and analyzing. Because it’s hard to establish that link, I almost begin to wonder if there is one.

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