Jeffrey Langille - artist statement

Working with sound and video gives me an immediate, immersive, and deep sensory engagement with materials. This happens in two distinct but related modes: composing with analog synthesizers and working with language using audio tape. Both modes allow a hands-on and spontaneous interaction with the medium: shaping sound with electronic instruments and effects, and editing tape by hand. These approaches allow me to embrace chance, to let materials and processes reveal themselves to me, and to relinquish some control over what I make.

Composing with electronic instruments allows me to easily introduce chance processes—to ensure my role as a participant in the creative process. In addition to interactivity, the nature of electronic instruments also allows near infinite possibilities for shaping sound in time, from modulating timbre to setting up generative melodies.

My tape loop video series, endless loop, focuses on the mechanical apparatus of cassette tape players and poetic elements such as repetition in sound and language. Posting the videos on Instagram allowed me to situate the work in the context of specific communities (experimental music, poetry, and visual art), but also to let the work fall where it may—to be scattered widely and randomly. Social media also provided a viewing and listening situation that was intimate and personal; the work was designed for the scale of a smartphone, to be held in one’s hand.

I am drawn to time-based mediums like video and sound because they give me opportunities to work spontaneously, to incorporate chance, and to step aside, allowing the work to emerge. I see all of my work as acts of participation, myself a kind of conduit. My video touch is perhaps emblematic of this approach, where my body interacts with a machine, where the apparatus offers resistance and feedback, and where the outcome is not known in advance.

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