Floating Point Unit performs in New York

Posted by Rhizome | Fri Nov 15th 1996 1 a.m.

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
like this:

Buttcheeks.
Wireframe body.
Nipple.
Wireframe body.
Feet in dry ice smoke.
Wireframe body.

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
substance.
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