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Re: [microsound] Re Positionality: tri.phonic triangulation of post-human glitch

> Is it possible for a performer to improvise while at the same time
> initiating processes prone to the generation of error, from within the
> sealed of space of the laptop?  If so how does the element of failure make
> itself known to the audience?  Are these performances actually based on
> failure or is the glitch in these cases merely the surface effect of an
> aesthetic based on error?  I'm thinking here of some of the beautiful,
> wonderfully crafted subtle and careful performances I've heard in the past
> few years.  It seems to me that in these performances there seems to be
> very little element of risk, let alone error or failure.
> I'm interested to hear from anyone who considers error and failure to be
> important structuring elements in their work.  How do you perform this
> live? Do you think that you communicate these processes to the audience
> successfully ?

These questions are actually the basis of the tri.phonic project, an
improvisational tripartite structure consisting of myself and Daniel Gardner
aka Frivolous as techno-turntablists and laptop performers, and VJ Johnny
Ranger providing improvised visuals. Our goal is to utilise each
piece--software or hardware--as a kind of instrument. But just what
"instrument" means in this context becomes highly subject to both the
confinements of the software (Live v. Max patches, for example) and the
hardware. We are currently attempting to develop our own software patches
that will allow the visual medium to be translated into sound, for the
laptops to be controlled by apparatus other than mice (very interested in
the ease that JunXion from Steim.nl allows), and basically for the machines
to reciprocally re-feed datastreams into each other.

But even such a Princeton U-style configuration, our choice of the
dominating element is the intuition of improvisation. Although we are
thinking of working with graphic scripts with time signatures, so as to push
towards a cohesive synchronicity, for festivals such as MEG and FCMM here in
Montreal, during our SAT 5-hour jam_sessions we simply reinterpret each
other's movements. Into this mix we bring in guests--last night was Andrew
Duke and we've hosted a number of others including Deadbeat, Mitch Akiyama,
vitaminsforyou, etc. In all this mix, and not to be forgotten, is
experimental turntable work, a melange of techniques blending cutting, eqing
and scratching with avant-garde techniques of line noise, platter
scratching, resonant tones, and so forth. We often resample both the laptops
and the turntables into each other via a Pioneer DJM600 mixer; the gesture
here is one of the intuitive sonic moment, and certainly we have capitalised
upon moments where we have achieved a sonic combination where none of us are
even entirely sure of who is playing what.

For me, this type of performance demonstrates that the "glitch" is simply a
name we've christened for the particular situation of the digital where
binary logic _should_ but doesn't dominate process. The glitch IS what it
means to live: there are nothing other than glitches; glitches are what
Lacan would call points of the real, or the event to-come, the unexpected
moment that can either be contextualized as positive or negative--and it is
this contextualization which is the mark of listening, of appreciation, of
the cultural markers and values we assign audio in a situation... but even
these markers give themselves over to something which is glitched from its
origin: the body, and the flesh. The frequencies of a Hecker insult all the
bioprogramming of a body unused to sustained 20 000 Hz. Last night I
triangulated 19500 Hz & watched people look up in pain. Daniel walked away
from his laptop, saying: "I can't take this..." .. A glitch in the
post-human-machinic combinatory?



tobias c. van Veen -----------
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