CBM 8032 AV

CBM 8032 AV’ is the latest project from Robert Henke, an audiovisual artist who specialises in computer-generated sounds and images. The performance piece, which premiered in the UK at the Barbican Centre in January 2020, is an exploration of simple graphics and sounds using obsolete and limited technology from 40 years ago.

Five restored Commodore CBM 8032 computers, running custom software developed by Henke and his team, provide the sounds and images of the performance. The artistic value lies in their harsh simplicity. These machines are slow, geometric, and with low resolution displays, exclusively in monochromatic green. The sounds, meanwhile, consist of a palette of digital noises, deep sine waves, sparse clicks and glitchy beeps.

It is as much a technological exercise as an artistic research project, according to Henke, who is also notable as one of the co-creators of music software program Ableton Live. This inherent relationship, he says, is what makes the project so special and rewarding. 

Performances of ‘CBM 8032 AV’ continue throughout Europe in Spring 2020.