Lola and Yukao Meet
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audio-visual performance

voluspaVöluspá is a project of live audiovisual performance by the duo Lola and Yukao Meet.

In the Northern pagan religion Norse, we find Vølven. She was a sacred woman who could enter into a shamanic trance and look into the past and the future. Sometimes she had young women around her to to help her enter the trance by singing. She sat on a chair and had in her hand her special wand, while speaking out the images of the cosmological tale she saw in her trance.

In the poetic Edda, a very famous poem of one of these trances is found. It is called Völuspá and consists of 60 stanzas, which can roughly be divided into three parts. Here Vølven, on the request of Odin, one of the most well-known northern gods, describes 1) the myth of how the world was born 2) how the world is now with conflicts and challenges between the gods and how the world will succumb and then 3) a newborn world will arise again, as a circle of an ever appearing order born from chaos.

Our artistic intention is to transform Völuspá into a live digital audio-visual performance. The atmosphere is intense, dark, expressive and the performance is semi-narrative. We propose an hybrid performance which echoes the ancestral myth through our contemporary concerns. The fight of the giants and gods and its disastrous effects can be paralleled with the fights between politics and economy and the potential dystopian destiny of our planet. The titans can also be seen as a prefiguration of post-humans and highlight the blurry border between humanity, augmented perception and so-called artificial intelligence. The seeress plays a crucial role in the story, she is a medium between the human world and the divine cosmology, announcing future redemption. Is such an ending still possible today in our de-enchanted world?

The space of the performance is designed to have the audience sitting in a half circle so that it can be immersed into the octophonic composition and the stereo live cello performance. The members of the audience sit on the floor or stand close to the round area where the visual performance of augmented drawing takes place, and guides them through this cosmological tale, filled with drama, suspense and movements in space.

Völuspá has been partly produced through a residency at Chateau Ephemere from March to July 2018.

Version française

audio-visual performance — duration 30'
graphics: Porphyrograph / music: Usine / interaction: pure data  

 

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audio-visual performance

terrains vagues wandering is an audiovisual performance with live electric cello, speech and sound samples, performative drawing augmented with digital effects and the manipulation of a bonobo toy. The project is based on the collection of tweets sharing common hashtags. It illustrates the harmful effects of spread of ideas in society. On these information wastelands, the performance offers an audiovisual poetry made of despaired cello laments and performative drawings about the dystopian social pressure. The bonobo toy shares the graphics scene, sacrifices its fragile innocence of endangered species and mirrors our own vulnerability.

The narration is based on the collection of shared hashtags in tweets leading to #stateofemergency. The performance starts with flashes of social climbers combined with advertising or counseling speech samples. It then traverses conflicts and wars to end up in a surveillance society controlled by the state of emergency. The noisy information space from which the tweets were extracted is represented visually by mixed moiré images from the media. It is also evoked by the noisy loops of microsamples extracted from corporate speech or mainstream music collected from the hashtags.

audio-visual performance — duration 32'
sound/graphics: Porphyrograph / interaction: pure data
 
downloadable video trailer for terrains vagues wandering (mp4) (3'28)
downloadable portfolio for terrains vagues wandering (pdf) (en)

French version

Reference: Carney, Phil, and Vince A. Miller. Vague spaces. In Jansson, André, and Amanda Lagerkvist, eds. Strange spaces: Explorations into mediated obscurity, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. (2009): 33-56.

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audio-visual performance

generative nightsgenerative nights is an audio-visual performance about the exploration of a dark urban world in which humanity struggles with infinitely replicating micro-machines. Their growth and bursts are hypnotic and scaring. The visuals and sounds are rhythmically coupled by equipping the visual display with sensors. They capture the "light" on the surface and convert it into sounds according to their positions on the display. Just think of the graphics as a huge sequencer of one million interconnected cells with light sensors that capture the activity in some selected places of the image.

Based on cellular automata, the first part of generative nights is a unique experience of mechanical audio and graphical patterns. The steady rhythms and the pixellized visuals combine into pictures that evoke industrial halls, cities at night, or a biologist's lab bench. Humanity progressively takes control over the machine in the second part. The haunting vocals turn gigantic primitive totems into goddesses who take care of the city at night. Moved by the shamanic rhythms of the loops, luminous vestals and flying guardians, half yamakasi/half angels, haunt the buildings while the sleeping city traverses its dreams of fame and wrath. Alas! mankind freed from its mechanical slavery is caught back by its demons of power and vanity in the last part of the piece. Huge machines with long traces traverse the screen and seem planned to cause death. The drawing machine brings the performer's limbs into play but fails as Deus ex Machina. The hand of fate traps the melancholic solitary wanderer, while scaring shadows are cast over burning ruins. A flying horse carries the loner's soul towards better skies and the landscape disappears progressively under tumorous shapes. The chant for a better life is hopelessly covered by an uproar of uncontrolled mechanics.


Media: Lola: voice, sound effects, loops, generative sounds, Yukao: tablet and pen drawing, generative graphics, drawing machine

audio-visual performance — duration 36'
sound: Supercollider, Renoise & samples from freesound / graphics: Porphyrograph / interaction: pure data
 
downloadable live video for generative nights (mp4) (2'24)
downloadable live soundtrack for generative nights (wav) (2'39)
downloadable video trailer for generative nights (mp4) (2'35)
downloadable portfolio for generative nights (pdf) (en)
long notice for generative nights (html) (en)
présentation détaillée de generative nights (html) (fr)