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zoom and pan: recent multimedia work by christopher watts

February 16 – March 13, 2009

screenshot from jack of all trades
screenshot from Jack of All Trades, live electroonics


For many years, my work has been loosely gathered around the themes of slowing down and zooming in — simply taking the time, in a fast-paced world, to slow down and reflect for a moment. Much of my audio work has dealt with resynthesizing pre-existing music over radically different time scales — a process that I see as the rough equivalent of zooming in on a digital image. Eventually the image disappears, revealing new patterns of detail and subtlety.

In my recent multimedia work, I explore these themes in various ways, using both aural and visual media. reZolution (2006) slows down and zooms in to draw attention to one's own perception (meta-attention?).  don't worry. (2008) traces a different path, as a meditation on the all-too-human tendency to let the little things ruin the big things in life.

Two other works head off in different directions. FATTER (2006) uses language to focus on a more specific path. Jack of All Trades (2008-09) is a piece for performer and live interactive electronics — foregrounding process while asking the listener to think about the relationship between person and machine.


Jack of All Trades will premiere in the Gallery at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 9, 2009.

Composer and multimedia artist Christopher Watts is director of the Newell Center for Arts Technology at St. Lawrence University. Trained primarily in experimental electronic music, he holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His work spans a wide variety of media and styles, and has been heard and seen at conferences, festivals, museums, and on television and radio across the United States.