Pierce Warnecke is sound and video artist from the US, based in Europe for over a decade. He works equally in the aural and visual domains by creating performances, installations and compositions. His works have been commissioned by CTM Festival, Deutschland Radio Kultur, ORF Musikprotocoll and Mirage Fesitval. He has received supporting grants from Germany, the European Union and France (Arcadi, Dicream).
After studying at Berklee College of Music he obtained his Master’s at Universität der Kunst Berlin (Kunst und Medien). He is currently a professor at Berklee College of Music’s Master’s program in Valencia, Spain. Recent projects include collaborations with Frank Bretschneider (visuals for his latest work "Sinn+Form" on raster-noton) and Matthew Biederman (sound composition for the installation "Perspection").
He has presented his works in many international festivals and spaces, such as KW Institut, CTM, Elektra, NEMO, Zero1 Biennale, Transmediale, Bozart/BEAF, Semibreve, MadeiraDig, Ososphere, Mirage, LAB30, Jazz à Vienne, Boston Cyberarts, SXSW Interactive and more.
He releases music on Portals Editions and most recently on Room 40. In summer 2016, Warnecke held a weeklong residency at Sweden's legendary Elektronmusikstudion EMS Stockholm. Commissioned by Deutschlandradio Kultur, the residency resulted in a new work titled: "Functional Mating Calls (for animals and electronics)".
My work stems from interest in the effects of time on matter: modification, deterioration and disappearance. Whether the focus is on digital forms or rough materials, large scales of time or microscopic details, the goal of my work is to re-adapt existing sound, visual or physical objects and materials into parallel contexts where their signified meanings, symbols and cultural connections have become residual ghosts. I like to imagine false paradigms, inexistent branches of research and fictional sciences in order to create unrealistic questionings as a basis for a new work. Form emerges through a process of collecting, filtering and combining phenomena (objects, data, sounds, images) that are linked to the conjecture. There are explorations and structures in this 'research' but no conclusions, except the ones you make.
Warnecke graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2007, and in 2013 completed his Meisterschüler (MA) studies at Universität der Kunst Berlin (Kunst und Medien). He co-curates Emitter Micro Festival and label with Kris Limbach, and has presented his works at KW Institut, LEAP, and FEED in Berlin, Harvestworks (NY), Luggage Store Gallery (SF), Berklee (Boston), CalArts (LA) as well as festivals like Zero1 Biennale, Transmediale, Bozart/BEAF (Brussels), MadeiraDig (PT), LAB30 (DE), Boston Cyberarts, Visionsonic (FR), Pixelache (FR), Vidéoformes (FR), SXSW Interactive (US) and more. His music has been released on Khalija, Staaltape, Gaffer, Attenuation Circuit, and Gruenrekorder.
Pierce Warnecke currently lives and works in Berlin.
The following are some of the more recent projects, both solo and collaborative, developed by Pierce Warnecke. Many more are available - please contact us for more information.
SINN + FORM is a project by Pierce Warnecke and Raster Noton’s Frank Bretschneider. It explores the limits of man’s constant attempts to capture and control the world through description and prediction. Reflecting the fact that mathematical and physical theories and models increasingly incorporate chaos and contingency, SINN + FORM (sense + form) takes shape as a modular synthesizer system that produces a constant flow of randomly generated data that influences the musical parameters of pitch, note length, volume, tone.
Bretschneider’s music, recorded on both Buchla and Serge synthesizers at the prestigious EMS Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm, is fused with Warnecke’s visuals, mechanically produced through printed stills that are modulated through a custom built machine so as to create movement and variations in lighting. The result is a hybrid analogue-digital system that uses light, machine, image and sound to create an interactive multimedia ensemble.
"SINN + FORM" premiered at CTM 2014 festival in Berlin.
Pierce Warnecke and Matthew Biederman collaborate "Perspection" a series of audiovisual explorations of the limits of our sonic and visual perception. Anamorphism and illusions of three-dimensional objects are projected onto two separate screens, placed orthogonally from one another, and exploring the primacy of the line vs the primacy of colour. Rotating hypersonic speakers sweep the audience with narrow beams of sound, confusing the senses by navigating between interactivity and synchronisation, extreme dynamics and static drone moments, and the very dimensions and characters of the physical space created by the interplay between light, sound, and colour.
The project premiered at CTM 2014 festival in Berlin.
"The Mirror and the Mask" is a collaborative project by multimedia artist Pierce Warnecke and composer Yair Elazar Glotman. The project was developed in conversation between the artists, and is an alchemistic audiovisual performance exploring transformation, dematerialization, re-articulation and phrasing. The project draws inspiration from the body horror genre, as dealt with in David Cronenberg’s early work, as well as drawing on themes from Borges and Burroughs’ imagery. As in Borges’ worlds, and in electroacoustic composer’s Horacio Vaggione’s work, a multiplicity of time scales and outcomes are present simultaneously. The images of the "Mirror and the Mask", objects of concealment and refraction of identity, and their historical and fictional instances play a major role in the project.
Equal parts live cinema and 3D imagery, "The Mirror and the Mask" seeks to question boundaries of spaces, times and identity by juggling between physical objects and their virtual simulacra, between mask-like surfaces and their materialized doubles, between real-time object manipulations and fictitious archival imagery of inexistent ancient relics. The audio elements are composed of sounds generated on the KYMA system, foley recordings as well as tape manipulations, a technique that also integrates real spaces and resonating bodies as reverb and unconventional echo chambers. Minor and major scales collide with microtonal tuning, further acting to create an ambiguous harmonic sphere.
In the performance’s visual composition, mirrors are used as portals towards parallel representations of reality in which the fabricated mask-like artifacts are conjured into their virtual representations, skin-covered and pulsating. But just as they materialize in splintering flashes, the masks disappear- engulfed in smoke and intense polyrhythmic stroboscopes that leave in their wake an empty stage.
The collaborative project was commissioned by Mirage Festival and premiered in Lyon in March, 2016.
“Reality is precise; memory isn’t”
— Jorge Luis Borges, In Praise of Darkness
An elegant auditory hallucination, "Memory Fragments" represents Warnecke’s latest solo endeavour, and the first to be released as a namesake album via the acclaimed Room 40 label. Recorded over the better part of three years, "Memory Fragments" ties together interests in electroacoustic sound, field recordings and harmonic incongruities. The work explores recordings as memories by taking samples (sound, images, objects) of a physical space and then placing them in an imaginary process of transformation and transience that slowly erodes these digital memories until disappearance.
“A memory is a recording of senses with the mind as the medium,” Warnecke explains, “When a memory is recalled it is played back in the mind's eye, but the experience is never as exact as the original moment. This makes memory a volatile storage medium, subject to transience, whereas digital audio/video recordings are theoretically immune to this decay caused by the passing of time."
Territory: worldwide → Remco Schuurbiers
Available for concerts and festivals.