On the 15 December 2012, we did an audiovisual performance for Dance Your Eyes Festival 2012 in Gedung Indonesia Menggugat, Bandung Indonesia. Three members of lifepatch that was doing the performance are: manticore (visual), antirender (sound) and me (sound – using squaresolid as a nickname). Yeah, squaresolid was actually my blog on animal documentation and also my troll name in internet forums, but the organizer insisted we use nicknames for the performance and so we did. I have small objection to that but I threw it away on the end. Besides, the name is started to sticks on my personality anyway :D
As lifepatch is still a very young organization and we are on the early stages of rebuilding the infrastructure of our lab, I literally have nothing to work with for the audio instruments for the performance. I didn’t really have time to build a new instruments as we have tons of work in preparing the installation, performance and workshop for the festival. It was chaotic preparations. Trust me it was.
As I was thinking of what to do for the performance, Manticore lend me an audio mixer that I can use for the performance. A mixer, that’s it, that’s all I have. It suddenly remind me of one of my favorite artist, Toshimaru Nakamura, a Japanese artist that is using a no-input board technique for his performance. The technique is quite simple which is connecting the output and fx of the mixer to the input, then manipulating the resultant audio feedback. I did it once when I was in Slovenia but I was only playing it very short. This technique needed some jumper wires like what you see in modular synthesizer but it’s a totally different concept. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and this is a perfect chance for me to explore it, do experiment it, and make it.
So I brought the mixer back at lifepatch house, and I start soldering my own audio jumper cables. Then when no one is at home, I start to explore this instruments myself, accompanied by the children that sometimes visit the home because of the weird noises I was making :P. Results was mindblowing. There were like thousands of sound composition and sometime glitches that this instrument produced. With this I was ready for the performance, and have more time to worry about other preparations. It’s not that I thought that the performance was less important, but I think more of the concept of the performance itself. Not only I was experimenting and exploring, I also had loads of fun with the sound it generates.
Then antirender have come to this ideas that we should make a costume for the performance. Hell yeah! Why not!? I love costumes! Problem is, the time. So he did a really big work on our costumes as he literally work on it alone. He’s got the real talent in designs anyway. Some ideas works, some don’t. But I really like the outcome of his design. He made a silver robe with steam punk style gas mask for our performance with very small budget to work with. It wasn’t really comfortable to wear it, but hell I’m not gonna wear it for like hours, so I didn’t really care about it. :D
Then it’s showtime. I asked manticore to combine his visual with my pd patch squaregem and so he did. His geeky fluxus with my squaregem as the visual, I thought it would spark things up. We didn’t do mapping like everyone does. We could have, but we didn’t because we don’t want to. We like it raw. As we entered the stage everything was a bit blurry. No it’s not because I was nervous which I actually didn’t, but it’s the goggle that made small interference of my sight. It worked out anyway, I can still saw what I need to see. I was comfortable in this costume and I still remember how I feel when I was performing. I didn’t want to get off from the stage. It wasn’t the crowd, the stage or the show, it was the sound and the projections that was made me feel comfortable.
15 or 20 minutes we were at the stage. It was quite short, but we think it was enough. The crowd wasn’t really expecting for noise anyway. It’s time for us to have fun, enjoying time with our friends and the performances from bottlesmoker, slylab, jakeexperiment and others. The next day after, we get into our costume once more just to take picture of us together. Hell, it’s not every time we can hang out and perform together like we used to, so nobody complains for little bit of narcissism for old time sake :P
Now, looking back at all this, should we make a group for fun and give it a name? We’ll see. For now I’m just happy that we did this performance with great effort. Great friends too :).
PS: I wrote down links and details of the performance in lifepatch site’s here.