Celebrating its first decade next year, the Viennese Mego label is one of the foremost purveyors of the new digital avant-garde. Of the expansive Mego camp, Avanto has already hosted visits from Pita, Fennesz, Hecker, Skot (all in 2000), farmersmanual (2001), and Russell Haswell (2002). This year it is the turn of Tina Frank, the graphic designer/typographer responsible for Mego's visuals.
Characteristic of Frank's video works is the unabashed way in which she combines organic and synthetic elements. They are seemingly spontaneously created and often very angular and rough-edged in style - it's clearly not her intention to stylize the incompatible materials into a smooth package. Instead, she highlights the joins, collisions and frictions so that they become an integral part of the whole. Frank is at her best in her surprising, child-like animations. She also performs live, previously as the other half of Skot (Mathias Gmalch being the other), and lately solo, using, for example, a simple drawing programme for children modified so that each graphic "action" is processed further into sound.
Frank has been involved with Mego almost from the label's inception, designing the sleeves and the packaging for nearly all of the 70+ Mego releases, as well as the label's instantly recognizable blocky logo. While the width of many of the early Mego CD packages was standard, they were taller than normal packages. This simple yet brilliant idea enabled Frank to add MORE GRAPHICS. Furthermore, the surprising, deluxe packaging made them stand out from the conventional covers of electronic music (i.e. streamlined, sparse, elegant, sterile…). In practice, though, this made distribution difficult, as most stores found it hard to display CD's that do not fit in the racks. Still, in terms of creating an idiosyncratic style, the policy proved to be very handy, and it made the Mego products desirable as objects as well.
The screening in Kiasma offers a comprehensive cross-section of Frank's graphic art. Recently released in Japan, the Fuzzymotion - Pictures Without Legs 1995-2002 DVD features music videos, live drawing, sleeve designs and miniature anti-interviews in a Chinese restaurant.
Fuzzymotion — Pictures Without Legs 1995-2002. Director: Tina Frank. Aurstria/Japan, 2002. Length: 41 minutes.
Music: Christian Fennesz, Pita, Ilpo Väisänen, Masami Akita, Jim O'Rourke, Hecker, Oren Ambarchi & Martin Ng, Potuznik & Bauer, g.d. luxxe & random bauer, ddkern.
Part 1: end of skot / glambox / pitbudp / General Magic + Tina Frank: live at phonotaktik NYC 02 / aka / just water / reconnaissance / aus
Part 2: / Mego001 / Mego 035 / Mego 037 / kidpixdiashow / megoman / orange palm / palm silhouette / blurry tv / megoman / Mego 009 / Mego 011 / coverstripes / green star / trees / generate.process.output.translate / megoman / painting the fish / stachescience / procession / Mego 050 / Mego 040 / diamonds