Toby Kaufmann-Buhler explores sensory perception and memory through his work with image, sound and space. This involves the integration of a number of different media including video, film, found/composed sound, text and installation work. To realize his projects, the artist has adopted an multidisciplinary method, often collaborating with musicians, composers, poets and visual artists. The artist's installation work utilizes custom-designed video projection systems.
Kaufmann-Buhler has had solo exhibitions at the James Watrous Gallery (Madison, Wisconsin), Window - re/production re/presentation (public art project space in Asheville, North Carolina), and Little Monroe Gallery (Madison, Wisconsin). In the USA, his work has been included in recent group exhibitions in Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, Asheville, Oakland, Cleveland, Columbus, East Lansing, and Madison; Kaufmann-Buhler’s video work has also been featured in national and international touring screening series and festivals in gallery and theatrical venues.
Integrating diverse media including video, sound, film and text, my work broadly considers the relationships between image, sound, and space, ranging from the everyday and mundane to the specific and personal. My work in video and sound involves a confluence of representation (videographic documentation, sound field recording) and the manipulation of these representations by various methods. The process I use with video involves manipulating the medium’s particularly rough, often rigid and sometimes surprisingly malleable visual attributes: its inherent noise, extreme color palette, and tightly controlled format, amongst others. Sound plays a critical role in my creative process and I generally integrate a diverse range of sound sources (including field recordings, noise, and musical instruments) that form an abstract sound-space within my work.
My current project, "Self-Surveillance," explores themes of memory, perception, and time, using me and my family as subject matter. Incorporating the artifacts of my family's recent and distant past (including published texts, family photographs and oral recordings), this project considers the convergence of history and memory, the accompanying feelings of nostalgia and loss, and the resulting confusion when memory and memorial artifacts deteriorate.
Surveillance is a construct that uses advances in the technology of the day to find ever more detailed information about a given population. I use surveillance in this work as a set of methods that recognize their own limits. In this approach, I build surveillance methods out of past technologies, foregrounding and emphasizing their limitations and dysfunction. In our current cultural moment, we are only just beginning to come to terms with mass surveillance as a practice that affects everyone; my project is to acquire these methods for a more personal purpose with a limited scope, while setting it in relief against the larger cultural backgrounds that my family has populated over many generations.
Toby Kaufmann-Buhler’s work can be found at http://oscillation.org/tkbuhler/
Follow the artist on Instagram @tkbuhler