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d-cONT

audio-visual performance

The “Game of Life” is a cellular automaton discovered in 1970 by John Conway which mimics the spatial evolution of living systems. But the “Game of Life” is opposite to life. It is a cold machine, deterministic, without emotions, without sensitivity, a shortsighted automaton. What can be the place for expression? How can we get out of the rut of futuristic generative art? What strange objects will arise from the post-modern marriage of John Conway and Henri-Georges Clouzot, from the entanglement of the dark cellular automata mechanics and the sensitive expression of the artists... Which decoherence will make us escape ordered states and deterministic cellular automata, and reach unstable and quantized states of the human soul?

audio-visual performance — duration 35'
sound: Supercollider / graphics: Porphyrograph
 
downloadable video trailer for d-cONT (mp4) (3'03)
downloadable portfolio for d-cONT (pdf) (en)


 

Through five scenes, "d-cONT" offers a particle-ar vision of the tension between the musical volutes of Lola Ajima's augmented cello, the sensitive graphics of Yukao Nagemi's drawing machine and the mechanical audio and visual algorithms of "Game of Life".

The first scene, "Memory" is an elegy to the "Game of Life". Light candles are arranged on a go game board and represent one of the cyclic patterns of the “Game of Life” named "En retard". These physical elements are backed up by mechanical expressed phonographic sounds and minimalistic and coarse cellular automata graphics. Actually, a first class funeral for the "Game of Life"! The following three scenes, "Forest", "The Petri Dish", and "Imprint" progressively introduce in the human in the loop through plants, biological and biometric traces. The scale of the "Game of Life" progressively decreases, and turns into dust, volutes or crackling. The music is initially polyphonic noise-based, becomes more instrumental and opens a dialogue with a graphics that has become more realistic and expressive. In the last scene, "Cell", life recovers its strength accompanied by viruses, bacteria, spoiling and sweaty traces. The graphics becomes fragmented and swarming. Expressive graphical compositions, evoking grotesque or mythical figures of the Middle-Ages, are performed in real time. They are combined with a dark and intense cello play enriched with particle effects.

Audio samples taken from d-cONT live performance. The samples are small parts of a longer piece.
Please listen with good loudspeakers or earphones to get all the details and a good, warm cello sound!

"Memory"

End of "Memory" and beginning of "Forest"

End of "Forest" and beginning of "The Petri Dish"

"The Petri Dish"

"Cells"

Game of Life patterns by David Buckingham
Romanesque symbolism in The Joining of Heaven & Earth

Vidéo credits: Credits: re-new 2013 Festival, Copenhagen & Lars Graugaard, Paul Prudence (video capture), Trinitatis Natkirke, Copenhagen & Anna Møller, Stuck Together Pieces (video capture)