With every new season, experimental video label Undervolt & Co. drops a new set of releases: minutes of eye-candies just a click away. Today, they're treating us to the fall pack, adding fresh flesh to an already-stellar roster in the form of five artists—Carrie Gates, Andrew Benson, Rick Silva, Eva Papamargariti, and Ryoya Usuha. Bringing together work from different aesthetics and backgrounds, the label pushes the boundaries of contemporary video art by providing it a broadcast platform specifically designed for these kinds of creative approaches. “Undervolt & Co. takes pride in its reputation among artists—because we're artist-run, they know we'll always have their best interests at heart. Artists see what we are building, and want to be a part of that,” Rea McNamara, editor at Undervolt & Co., tells The Creators Project.
The collaboration between Canadian artists Carrie Gates and Venetian Snares gives life to Abducted for Life, a trippy and hypnotic sci-fi-inspired audiovisual experience that plunges viewers into the core of a 3D environment merging unearthly landscapes and geometric patterns with a fleshy organic element. Mud, by Andrew Benson, is a dream-based cartoon narrative involves an uncanny journey for a protagonist through different states, strange places, and situations, and ends with a gentle awakening.
New to the party as well, Rick Silva unveils Water Sign, a video that explores and transcribes the current unstable state of our environment. Lost in the middle of an infinite and disturbing digitalized ocean, an immersed, drifting body smoothly navigates the up-and-down motion of water, according to the peaceful Hawaiian "shaka" sign—perhaps a call for optimism and hope. On the other hand, Soft Touch by Eva Papamargariti provides viewers with a both sensual and nostalgic study of hands that explores and critiques not only our dependance on screens and—we must confess—our awkward social behaviors, but also our totally assumed relationship with new technology and digital devices. Which is sad. Right, Eva?
The highlight of this pack is possibly マンホールのふたをはがしながら歩く ("Open a manhole cover while walking"), by Japanese visual artist Ryoya Usuha. “Ryoya is probably one of the few artists in our roster using live action, but merges it with computer graphics animation in such a compelling way,” says McNamara, pointing out the particularity of Usuha’s creative process that is a tasteful mix of digital and real imageries. “I love how he edits his video. It's just so unpredictable and enticing. The use of sounds in the video is also excellent. Very minimal but it's super effective,” the label’s founder and creative director, Yoshi Sodeoka, adds.
If you’re in New York early December, make your way to the PAF festival to enjoy a delightful selection of Undervolt & Co. curated by Sodeoka. “We also have more singles coming this winter," he adds. "The label's focus remains on gradually expanding our archives—this is a core aspect of what we do, and why we keep doing this."