Your eyes see what, like 10 or 15 images a second; let’s say that’s 10Hz. Your ears can hear 15,000 Hz. Surely there must be something interesting in this incongruity.

KYTN is one of Europe’s leading festivals of sound and image. It’s staged annually at Dundee Contemporary Arts, but this year it’s also touring. It’s all about exploring the many different ways we navigate the borders, disparities and similarities between what we hear and what we see. It involves some of the great experimental artists, musicians and filmmakers of our time, and some of the not too distant future also. It features film developed as its projected, visual harmonics, jerry rigged 16mm projectors, movement without motion, absurd concrete poetry, your chance to inhabit 3 distinct points in time all at once and much more besides...

Yeah, for sure. In the last decade or so there have been a whole bunch of blockbuster events and exhibitions around this theme, but we think KYTN is a little different. Visual Music across the USA, Sons et Lumières at the Pompidou, even Optronica with our pals at the BFI: all great events which have tended to exhaustively explore synaesthesia, the idea of experiencing one sense through another: hearing colour, seeing sounds.

KYTN hopes to look at the sound-image relationship from a slightly different angle. So we’re interested in discontinuities between what you see and what you hear; in contrasts that can be

set up; how one sense can be used to explore another, or how by excluding sight, lets say, we can hear in a way more in tune with seeing. And we’re interested not in how vision can stand in for audition, but in how sound and image can be though of together. There’s a great essay by the critic Christoph Cox, along these lines.
Anyway, I shouldn’t get too hung up on the ideas: the point is that the programme for KYTN presents really engaging, well thought out, riddles and experiences that go beyond conventional cinema or music and let us imagine different ways of enjoying art, of paying attention.

KYTN is an annual festival curated and produced by Arika and Dundee Contemporary Arts. Our tour is a kind of ‘best of’ the past 5 years, and is generously supported by the Contemporary Music Network. You can find out about the KYTN festival in Dundee this year here: If you want to see what happened at the KYTN 2008 festival at DCA check HERE. It’s a totally different programme, maybe you should come?

Photo of Bruce McClure piece
Photo of Andrew Lampert Performance