Responses to last night's Floating Point Unit (FPU) New York event
ranged from, "Holy naked dude in a fish tank!" to "It's all about
polyspatial genetic revolution."
The New York-based electronic performance group was at Void (a
multimedia bar in SOHO) for the launching of Brat (www.brat.org), a
"non-profit public arts organization for digital media." Last night's
performance was part of Brat's current exhibit "In-corporeal: reflecting
the spirit of Antonin Artaud in real and virtual space."
Indeed, FPU struggles with the interplay between real and virtual space.
Their performance consisted mainly of a naked man standing/moving in a
shallow tank of water, to the sound of an unintelligible robotic voice.
An FPU member in a silver jacket video-taped the man's body, and two of
his silver colleagues – located on a platform above the "body" zone –
broadcast the video over the Internet via cu-see me. On a large
projection screen, the video "body" footage was collaged with other
video sources, such as a rotating 3D wireframe body, psychedelic color
fields, and previously taped body footage. The collage read something
Feet in dry ice smoke.
Perhaps the highlight of the evening was when dry ice was dumped into
the fish tank, generating a floor of thick fog and possibly freezing the
nuts off the guy in the tank. He was eventually replaced by a clear
plastic miniature who didn't seem to mind the cold.
The actual staging area was, for a time, interesting to watch, and the
videography certainly posed questions about the invasive nature of
technology on the human body. The video projection also held my
attention for a time, foregrounded the classic technological mediation
of the body in virtual space. But in the end, I found myself siding
with a friend who insisted that the event was more surface than