Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Third Performance Piece

This time around, we had to do a performance that involved our body. I felt like this would open a lot of possibilities for me and it did. It opened too many possibilities, actually. I had no idea what to do for a very long time. My sleep schedule was also very messed up the entire week up to the performance. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that I procrastinated and the idea came to me in a state of mild stress. If you haven't noticed already, I like being honest and transparent about my artistic processes. Maybe a little too honest? Naaahhhhh...

The above video is the projection that played during the performance. I don't have a video of the actual performance yet but I will soon. While that video played behind me, I got a slew cords including two NES controllers and a light gun and then wrapped them around myself. A sign taped to an NES nearby pleaded for the audience to "help me" as I became entangled in the warped, technological mess. Once the cords were all wrapped around me, I lay the ground and waited. One person got up to help me but, because the sign wasn't visible in the dark room, it wasn't until the video was halfway done.

After the performance, I got some input and then did the whole thing again (after untangling the cords). The second time I had someone else put the cords around me and instead of laying on the ground I went down on a table. The second time was less effective, I feel, but the inclusion of the table was a definite improvement. I also got a few good ideas for stuff to include the next time I do the performance. I really feel like I could do this for the live performance night and, when I do, the video will be slightly different. Instead of having a sign on an NES that says help me, I designed a text box that looks like the title screen of a game that will flash over the video.

I really like how this performance went, in spite of how much stress went behind it. The wrapping up of cords around me was a manifestation of that stress, in a way. I constantly feel like I could do so much if I didn't keep strangling myself with technology. It was originally about death, which is why the video features a guy ranting about death forward and backward in a vocoder. In practice, though, it ended up being more about stress and I like that better. I haven't died yet but I have felt stress.

Lastly, I'm glad the piece didn't creep people out too much. I mean, it probably did but not in a "I'm really concerned for this guy's sanity" sort of way. Maybe that's how you feel about it, ambiguous reader who's probably either in my class or a friend or family member. And that's OK. It's art and art is life and life is scary sometimes.


  1. I was creeped out by the music, mostly. I could handle the images, but the music was a mass of electric noise and discordant melody that I had never heard before, and it never stopped. I found myself paying far more attention to the video than to the part where you were wrapped up in cords . Did you alter the music, or play it as you found it?

    1. I got a MIDI file of the dungeon theme from the original Legend of Zelda and then added reverb, changed the melody and accompaniment synths to piano and strings, and then added a vocoder on top of it all. The song isn't mine but the orchestration is.