Sunday, October 14, 2007

Remixological / Postcinematic / Performance / Machine

In METADATA, I write about wanting to turn my university seminars into mini club-like performances and my live A/V club performances into multi-media seminars that you don't necessarily have to prepare for but can experience as a direct line to the source material being manipulated in asynchronous realtime.

Although I am not evangelical about this, I do find that with the right group of students, colleagues, and/or alternative club-goers, you can actually make this kind of "workshop for the post-literature of potential" happen and at the same time stimulate the development an emerging digital poetics too (not everyone will want to write it out but most participants will at least want to talk about it and possibly integrate it into their online social networking scene).

In Bremen, we turned it into the "ZKM VJ Remix" where a field trip to ZKM became an excuse to travel, socialize, capture data, take notes, and learn how to use new equipment. Once we arrived back in Bremen, the entire crew put on a live A/V show in front of over 300 people in the old train station (we did all of this in less than 72 hours and most of the workshop participants had never performed this way before). Soon after the event had transpired and I was back in the USA, a more elaborate festival grew out of it and a very good VJ crew expanded into something beyond...

In San Fran, there was a more formal structure: a panel, a few simultaneous performances in a hip gallery, a great after-party.

In Karlskrona last month, it was a lecture, a workshop, and then ... well, I had to take off to catch a plane out of London (long day!). But the "remixological tendencies" caught on.

My colleague Talan Memmott reports the vibe kept flowing:
Most of the students got quite a bit from your talks and stimulated ideas for what ended up being called the Karlskrona Remixological Postcinematic Performance Machine.

Live remixing of about 150 videos, over 300 images, and some audio. A sort of new millenium city symphony (of sorts)... four separate applications played (like instruments), with a live conductor. Very happy with the hardwork of the students and the results of the project, which saw its debut yesterday at the League of Worlds conference.

A quick and dirty documentation video is available on YouTube.
As you watch the YouTube video, you'll notice that the performance takes place in what looks like a classroom and is part of the League of Worlds conference but in many ways is no different than the kind of performance you might find at club.transmediale or any number of less known but equally exciting electronic arts festivals like the Canariasmediafest I headlined a couple of years ago.

What I find most useful about this "workshop for the post-literature of potential" approach (this version of remixological events) is that it can become a kind of bonding experience for the participants who intersubjectively jam with each other while collaborating on everything that leads up to the all-out performance (the convergence of "process and reality" per se).

I'll be writing about it in my next book, the one that grows out of this remixologoical blogspace, and that will be taking up most of my time (along with my two feature-length "foreign films") in the many months ahead, although I will take a short break from these activities and lead one more seminar/club workshop in Brussels next Spring as part of the Cimatics Masterclass.

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