SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS is pleased to present Vita E Morte, the first solo show of new work by multimedia art collective Cross My Heart Hope To Die (CMHHTD). The collective consists of Sean Bonner, Brevi, Andrew Kline (Strife), and DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill). The idea for forming CMHHTD was the result of casual discussions about the excitement that at one time came with discovering new music. The group consensus was this sense of excitement has been somewhat lost with the always on, always connected world we live in today.
With Vita E Morte (which is Latin for life from death), CMHHTD is challenging ideas of what music and art, delivery and discovery, actually mean. By bouncing between the physical and the online, between wide release and hidden secrets, between artist and band, the group hopes to bring wonder back into art and music. The purpose of the project is to create a cross platform between the sonic experience and the visual experience. How one intercepts each medium (sonic versus visual) will impact their perception of the project as a whole.
The CMHHTD collective has combined high-tech custom circuitry, laser cut parts, and sensors with low-tech hand made molding, photography, screen prints, and spray painted works. These artworks are placed both in the gallery and around Los Angeles as street installations, allowing viewers to create personal connections and impressions of their own based on the location and mindset at their exact moment of discovery. In addition, the collective will be releasing an EP shortly after the opening reception of Vita E Morte. The songs on this EP will be performed for the first time opening night, providing viewers the opportunity to engage with the collective on both sonic and visual levels for a more complete sensory experience.
The works that constitute the core visual component of the Vita E Morte are images of nature (or images of man’s representation of nature) that have been databent. Databending is a process where the context of the digital (visual) file is disregarded and it is instead analyzed as pure data. This data is then imported into an audio editor and the file is modified as if it was a song being edited. The file is then re-exported as raw data and an image editor is ‘tricked’ into opening it as if it was a photograph. The resulting glitches are representative of disjointed context and crossed boundaries, fueling the primary intention of the entire CMHHTD project, which is to challenge preconceived classifications of art versus music. According to CMHHTD, the final imagery provides a tangible way to explore this topic because they are essentially photos being treated like songs.
The main images in Vita E Morte are derived from source photographs shot by either Bonner or Kline, while some are video stills pulled from the official Miracles music video released by CMHHTD. The set of smaller photographs on display are sections pulled from the larger, primary images that were printed as individual works to highlight a specific portion. This series is titled Clips and serves as a visual reference to how DJs and producers might highlight only a short ‘clip’ of a song. The third set of digital prints on display is the 90 Seconds series. These horizontal images are graphical representations of audio data from individual CMHHTD songs. Each one displays what 90 seconds of a particular song (indicated by artwork title) looks like to a photo editor if only the raw data is examined without contextualizing it as an audio file.
In addition to the photographs, the exhibition will feature plastic sculptures printed using a 3D printer that have then been hand painted, a multi sensory sound installation, and 10 gallery versions of the music boxes that CMHHTD have displayed in random locations across the city of Los Angeles. The sound installation will react according to the viewer’s location, playing different parts of each CMHHTD song from their new EP based on the proximity and placement of the individual in relation to the wall sensors. All aspects of Vita E Morte¾from the opening night performance to the street installations to the artwork¾highlight the interactivity of this body of work and the interconnectedness that extends between various members of the group, between CMHHTD and the public, between time and location, and between subject and object.