[A]rhythmic dictation (2010)



two-channel split-screen video projection (on parallel walls), four pairs of headphones, laptop running Max/MSP/Jitter.

[A]rhythmic dictation - an audio-visual installation - was commissioned by Ken Goldberg and Catharine Clark of the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco for the group exhibit Teen Age: You Just Don't Understand, part of the 01SJ Art and technology Biennial. The exhibit celebrated the memory of J.D. Salinger (1919-2010) and his iconic Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye) through collaborations between teen and adult artists. Specifically, we were invited to reflect on the role of new media and technology in the lives of teens from the perspectives of teens.

[A]rhythmic dictation was created in collaboration with my brother artist Ben Vertzhaizer (who was 15 at the time), and his friends at the Thelma Yellin High School for the Arts.

Beautiful archival materials have made their way into our daily lives. To some, like my grandfather, they bring tears. To others, like my mom, they trigger pleasant memories of childhood. To me, they feel special, precious. To those who grew up with Youtube, they are a drop in an online database that's drowning in memories. 
For the exhibit, we invited young musicians from Tel Aviv and Berkeley to create their own musical interpretations of archival videos of conductors and singers. Silent and out of context, we placed the videos across one another in the gallery space, suggesting a connection, both real and imaginary. The new recordings that accompany them - heard through headphones - reflect the musicians' varying degrees of cultural familiarity, and their different sensibilities to an older visual culture.
“Teen Age: You Just Don’t Understand,” Catherine Clark Gallery’s current group show, hones in on how technology has become embedded in the everyday lives of adolescents. And contrary to the dismissive door-slam of its title, “Teen Age” actually gets its subject demographic right due to its collaborative nature.
— San Francisco Bay Guardian


Catharine Clark Galley, San Francisco, CA, 28 August - 25 September 2010.

Piano interpretation by Assaf Shatil. Recorded at Pluto Studios Tel Aviv:

Electronic interpretation by Simon Hanes: