Jonas Bers (b.1977, NY USA)
Jonas Bers is a media artist who works with with hand-built and hacked audiovisual systems.
Bers is best known for his single-channel realtime video sonification performances, in which salvaged VHS-era editing machines, surveillance cameras, military surplus and laboratory equipment are modified and repurposed into tools for artistic expression. Tangled systems of equipment are used to uncover and amplify audible frequencies within video signals into a stark and droning synesthetic score; an intuitive and meditative illustration of the hidden waveforms that create both electronic video and sound. Bers’ work is concerned with connections between technology, sensory perception, and the physical universe; and the phenomenological aspects of intense audiovisual stimulus.
Bers’ DIY video synthesizer tutorial for the CHA/V (Cheap, Hacky, Audio/Visual) is a simple, inexpensive, straightforward alternative to costly and complicated video synthesizers, providing artists and amateurs a low-cost, low-barrier entry into visual synthesis. Parts for the CHA/V are readily available and can be independently sourced online for less than $20, while a comparable commercial product typically costs upwards of $1000. The CHA/V has been included in the curriculum for Sonic Practices at Rhode Island School of Design and Experiments in Electronic Arts at Cleveland Institute of Art. Formal workshops using the CHA/V tutorial have been taught at TOYZNOIZ in Bolzano, Italy and in the UK at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex.
Bers has performed and exhibited at The Wrong New Digital Art Biennale (Rendertime_pavillion, Ghent, Belgium), Seeing Sound (UK), Télépresence at La Lumière (Montreal), and in numerous NY cultural institutions, notably, Dixon Place, CR10 Center for Contemporary Arts, The Seligmann Center for the Arts, The Chashama Gala, and the Transient Visions Festival of the Moving Image.
Career highlights are sold-out shows at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Sound + Vision performing analog audiovisual synthesis on the world’s largest plasma screen, at 3LD Art and Technology’s .ZIP viral immersive media installation, and at LaMama for ReFEST using a custom anaglyph 3D hybrid digital/analog system.
Bers was a participant in the 2017 World Maker Faire at the NY Hall of Science, presenting an interactive kinetic raster sculpting exhibition that was covered by MAKE: Japan. He has been the artist in residence at CultureFix (NYC) and Signal Culture (Owego, NY) competing projects in EEG brainwave controlled video projection, spherical luminance displacement, hardware-based vector rescanning, and analog laser synthesis.
Bers is represented by Moving Pictures Gallery. His inaugural performance for Moving Pictures was featured in NYC Creative Tech Week, and covered by VICE: Creator’s Project.
Single-edition, authenticated digital works available at Moving Pictures Gallery.