Artist Brody Condon will be exhibiting and presenting a performance of his recent work Without Sun (2008) on July 18, 2009 at Machine Project in Los Angeles. Without Sun (2008) is 15-minute single channel videotape comprised of a series of performances found on the Internet. The tape displays several young people on psychedelic drugs, recounting and documenting, to the best of their ability, their experience for the camera.
The title, Without Sun is inspired by Chris Marker’s classic experimental documentary, Sans Soleil (1983), a film which examines the fallibility of human memory. For Condon, Marker’s piece invokes questions of “faulty and mediated” memory, as well as the theme of travel as a “travelogue [and] destabilization.” From here, Condon explains, the “relevance to kids taking inner journeys and recording themselves then posting the vid[eo] online to preserve the moment seemed clear.”
A transcript of Without Sun can be found on Condon’s website. It reads like a list of utterances without meaning. For instance, phrases such as, “it’s trying to spiral me all in it with it man. Oh. Uh uh. Ahhhh. What the fuck?” Or, “But there is something. Weird. This is weird. You can’t even begin. Everything feels nuts. Like touching stuff….” In another sequence, a young boy in his room explains to the camera, “I don’t even. I’m not controlling my hands. (laugh) this is going to be the best video ever I can already tell. Because. I mean. Ayyy. I forgot there was even …” The incomprehensibility of the phrases are just what you might expect from someone on such a psychedelic journey.
However, reading them as a transcription shifts the focus--when one reads one expects trajectory ...!--more-->
Our sister institution, the New Museum, will jump start a new residency for performance, RE:NEW RE:PLAY, tonight. The month long residencies allow invited artists to workshop works-in-progress at the New Museum's theater every Thursday at 7pm. Singer and composer Nick Hallett is the program's inaugural resident, and over the course of the next four weeks he will stage performances that connect the human voice to multimedia ritual in a series entitled "VOICE + LIGHT SYSTEMS". In collaboration with Brock Monroe, each performance will be set in an environment illuminated using interdisciplinary techniques taken from psychedelic lightshows and structuralist film. This evening Hallett will sing selections from Meredith Monk’s "Our Lady of Late", a cycle for solo voice and wineglass, written in 1972 and rendered as a concert piece by the composer a year later. (See the above video for a preview.) Hallett will be joined by Peter Sciscioli and Emily Eagen of The M6, who will sing duets from Monk's "Facing North Suite", as well as Miguel Frasconi, who will play glass percussion solos. Upcoming scheduled performances in Hallett's residency include Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Stimmung (May 14), a premiere of a new work from an opera-in-progress Whispering Exercises (May 21), and an "audiovisual travelogue, a tribute band" Auroville (May 28). Not to be missed!
In 1965, multimedia artist Stan VanDerBeek wrote that "language and cultural-semantics are as explosive as nuclear energy. It is imperative that we (the world's artists) invent a new...non-verbal international picture-language"1. He foresaw that future “image-making” technologies would be needed to develop a new “picture-language” to communicate to all people the threat of global annihilation. I believe that psychedelic light shows originating on the U.S. West Coast in the 1950s were part of the beginnings of this rapidly developing world language that is now more evident with newer digital media technologies. Along with other counterculture activities such as taking hallucinogenic drugs, light shows evolved as a means of connecting people and helping raise individual and collective consciousness outside the mass media spaces of TV, cinema, and radio. They were among the first primitive attempts by artists to appropriate many of the “new” analogue communications media technologies - photography, film, audio - and add the images, beat and lyrics of popular culture and music to create an immersive mediated environment embracing both the performers and the audience in a transformative sensorial experience.
ZEE: Kurt Hentschlaeger [STRP 2009, Eindhoven] from mediateletipos on Vimeo.
ZEE is a "mind-scape" in which artificial fog and stroboscopic light fully obscure the physical installation space, resulting in an almost complete disconnect from the without and offering an entry towards a surprise within.
Stroboscopic- and pulse light filtering through the thick fog augment an impression of a luminescent kinetic sphere wherein the environment acts as the seeding stimulant and you synthesize the impression.
Based on the research and findings with FEED, the performance, ZEE is expanding on composing with multiple interfering strobe lights amidst fog and the effects those have on a human perception and decoding apparatus: the brain.
A surround sound-scape synchronizes to interference phenomena - of what could be described as a psychedelic architecture of pure light.
-R-G-B- was posted earlier today but was an identical clone of a piece created by Rafael Rozendaal. We apologize for the mistake.
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator