Jonas Bers (b.1977, NY USA)
Jonas Bers is a Hudson-Valley based media artist working with hand-built and hacked audiovisual systems. Bers’ performances use salvaged scientific apparatus, VHS-era editing machines, surveillance equipment, and military surplus devices as tools to generate both sound and video in real-time.
In Bers’ practice, analogue displays and their supplementary technologies are re-wired, plugged back in, and given an alternate timeline. By manipulating the flow of electrical current, the tight coordinate systems used to reproduce two-dimensional video images become endlessly sculptural kinetic planes in Euclidean space.
Bers’ work is concerned with connections between technology, sensory perception, and the physical universe; and the phenomenological aspects of vigorous audiovisual stimulus.
Bers’ DIY 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 audiovisual synthesis. Parts for the CHA/V are readily available and can be independently sourced online for less than $20.
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. Bers has facilitated CHA/V workshops throughout New York, and also at Coaxial (Los Angeles), Radiona (Croatia), Ljudmila (Slovenia), and Laboratorio Aperto (Italy). Other workshops using the CHA/V tutorial have been taught throughout the world.
Bers has performed and exhibited at Sonic Acts (Amsterdam) The Wrong New Digital Art Biennale (Rendertime_pavillion, Ghent, Belgium), Vector Hack (Zagreb), 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’ interactive raster sculpting exhibition at the World Maker Faire, NY Hall of Science, was covered by MAKE: Japan and Hackaday.com. 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.