Glitch Flowers, Audiovisual Art by Useless Idea / Cesare Bignotti – Prepared Piano and Circuit Banding

Artist Interview

Glitch Flower is an audiovisual project, by glitch aesthetic error connected to a concept album that I created in quarantine, with songs composed exclusively using the prepared piano, but the idea is less academic, I used the computer to post-produce the songs and The composition, the piano technique of the preparations is closer to circuit bending.

The idea of combining natural images in the visual part wants to give attention to the use of an analogue instrument such as the piano with an organic sound, the glitch refers to the circuit banding part and the use of technology, but with a human touch.

Many of my musical productions are experimental approach, the songs are born randomly, in an unpredictable mood, like a designer who sketches on a sheet of paper, only after having messed up many sheets of paper does he reach awareness and gestures to obtain consciousness, often use visual art because I derive from that context, and for me, it is easier to approach music in a visual way, when I reach a certain number of tracks and notice similarities in them, at that moment I become aware of the work process for create an album, which then an album is a concept, a project that brings together a number of significant experiences for the composer, the artist.

Having reached this point I combine the tracks from a visual point of view, sometimes I start from the visual concept to produce the music, other times it is the music that suggests the images to me.

This work is based on a cycle of audiovisual experiences spanning several years of study. I have made glitch art since the early 2000s, playing with multimedia equipment, such as cathode ray TV, and the first 3000 pixel cameras.

Glitch flower is a title related to the visual part, the music in this case is an environmental texture at the service of the image, the theme of glitch art is based on an aesthetic search for error, aesthetics is the starting point, they are works created to be nice and usable, I also want to reveal other high expressive aspects of my work, often characterized by an imagery considered too dark, however it is nice to play with apparently harmless images, often the user sees colors and considers the image usable, but within these short audiovisual tests, there are references to life and death, the flower that is born and dies, and the theme of post-humanism, which appears in many of my video art works, images of organic, natural elements in contrast with digital.

Glitch Flowers – Bignotti Cesare / Useless Idea – Glitch Art Serie _ 2016

Even the concept of the continuous present is a theme I have been working on for the last 10 years, the internet has made it possible to use content by canceling space and time, these images, like music, have a cyclical process, which is based on the repetition of the loop and extemporaneousness, the internet like the computer has allowed people without technical knowledge to express themselves and this, in addition to invading the web with digital rubbish and clogging up the servers, has built a less academic imagination which in exceptional cases has brought renewal and spontaneity in the contemporary art expression.

Part of this work is a celebration of this aspect of fruition and expressive spontaneity, the error is a fundamental part of the imagination and a sign of the human touch, in an HD era, dominated by the rise of AI, the error is what it makes us human in an increasingly artificial world.

Glitch Flowers – Bignotti Cesare / Useless Idea – Glitch Art Serie _ 2016

I believe that art is this contrast, the interesting thing about IDM electronic music of the 90s was that at the time electronic art was experimental, and that type of imagery was incredibly well done, far-sighted, but above all it was experimental in a context where there was still skepticism towards digital, today digital is a reality, quite boring because it is so simplified that the languages are all the same, that’s why I appreciate the art of young artists, because it is not yet contaminated, it still maintains the imperfections of spontaneity, of attempts to accomplish something.

Today I believe that the future is connected to the romantic aspect of sound, we cannot stop the technique, but since that context is the present, then we can find the future in the past.

Glitch Flowers – Bignotti Cesare / Useless Idea – Glitch Art Serie _ 2016

In november 2020, I was asked to participate in a contemporary art exhibition at Prisma Studio, to take care of the soundtrack of the exhibition, the the theme of exhibition is how artists worked during the lockdown days due to Covid.

During the quarantine I have accumulated more than a hundred tracks, now I am post producing the demos to compile a record with the minimal atmosphere of a soundtrack of piano prepared, I am not a pianist, so don’t expect virtuosity, I am only a quirk guy that love the noises and melodies. Concept: A month before the quarantine, I got an old German Rönner upright piano. As an artist I try to create something every day, in music my work is mostly known in the field of electronic music, I often work several projects simultaneously, passing from different genres and techniques, then all brought together by their reworking on the computer. The quarantine, the loneliness and the silence of those months depressed my creativity especially towards the artificial aspect of electronic music, so the piano helped me to preserve my creativity, especially because it put me in contact with physicality, and with the possibility of expressing myself in a new way.

The pieces were performed using John Cage’s prepared piano technique, the technique allows you to change the sound of an instrument through the use of external objects, such as screws placed between the strings of the soundboard.

I had already worked in 2010 on some pieces composed with prepared tools, when I lived in Paris at the residence of the JCE Biennale Europea, but having an instrument in the studio allowed me to work more consistently. The tracks were recorded live, without rehersing, what came out was recorded, including errors, as well as electromagnetic disturbances of the mobile phone or unpredictable ambient noises. Unlike songs such as: “Blulia” and “Reznor”, made by processing the music on the computer sequencer.

My approach is random, it seeks irregularity and the unpredictable, the live recording maintain a non-academic performative aspect, and celebrates the aesthetics of error. In this case the error is defined by the use of piano preparation, and by the quantization imperfections of the notes, which have generated glitches in the tracks composed by computer. In addition to the audio installation, a video is attached to the exhibition showing the technique of the prepared piano used for the composition of the tracks and the period in which they were composed.

Words by EVES
February 27, 2024