Cheng’s work explores mutation, the history of human consciousness and our capacity as a species to relate to change. Drawing on principles of video game design, improvisation and cognitive science, Cheng develops live simulations – virtual ecosystems of infinite duration, populated with agents who are programmed with behavioural drives but left to self-evolve without authorial intent, following the unforgiving causality found in nature.
Photo: Andrea Rossetti
The Robin Who Wondered If He Was a Nightingale
Various members of orchestra perform impressive improvisations based on your identity and the natural environment. The flutes combine their sounds with the rhythm of the percussion. The special acoustics of the forest played an important role. Every time an attempt is made to deliver the highest quality of improvisation and to achieve more than perfectly played notes. This creates a magical and unforgettable experience. Musicians: Nightingale, Cuckoo, Moorhen, Pigeon, Curlew, Black-billed Cuckoo, House Sparrow, Little Owl, Woodcock, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.
Randomly selected, acoustically usable finds (electronic junk, relays, plastic toys,compressed air valves, pneumatically operated components) are combined with cables and tubes. Via a device controlled by computer, they are turned into interactive instruments. An improvised ensemble evolves, from which – per mouse-over and mouse-click -short miniature compositions of dense rhythmic clicks, hisses, whirs, hums and crackles can be elicited. A tapestry of sound bursts forth from the floral-like web of cables and tubes. The installation can be used by the projected mouse-cursor: rolling over the improvised instruments causes small sound events. Activating the installation by rolling over its parts enables the user to play spontaneous improvisations. Clicking these objects starts short programs of loop-like compositions. Small “techno-compositions en miniature”, rhythmic patterns of analog (or real) sounds; a physical low-tech simulation of electronic, digital music, perhaps an ironic comment on interactivity.
Deva: Alpha was a series of five live performances blending dance, performance art, music, and concept fashion. The goal of the project was to explore a hypothetical fashion language, one unencumbered by the historical functions and cultural signifiers of fashion as we know it. The peformances were highly improvisational, with a distinct theme for each one, along with distinct live musicians and choreography. Deva: Alpha took place over three days, and was performed in San Francisco.
Carolina Eyck and Ennio Morricone
Improvisation on 4 Sequences
So now, I have the time to release some of these quadraphonic performances. It’s not entirely feasible to release a quad performance on vinyl — I did it, with help —the first quad vinyl release in at least 30 years, complete with enclosed hardware decoder. As a collector’s item, that’s fine, but I want to make the quad files available in a more practical way. This Geneva recording is my first release solely on my Atmospheric label. The piece is titled “Improvisation on Four Sequences” and those four sixteen-stage sequences have been the “raw material” of most of my Buchla concerts since the early 70’s. We’re making this performance available in several formats, including quadraphonic, 5.1, stereo and ambisonic.; all at 44.1 and 88.2.
Heiner Goebbels and Alfred Harth
At last I am free
The Duo Goebbels/Harth (1975–1988), combining German composer, music-theatre director and keyboardist Heiner Goebbels and German composer, multi-media artist and saxophonist Alfred 23 Harth became famous for its adaptation of and departure from European composers, especially Hanns Eisler, implemented in a provocatively fresh manner into structured free improvisations and deploying content from areas beyond music. The duo was nicknamed the “Eisler brothers” by music critic W.Liefland. They later also experimented with different genres and sound collages, including electronic devices. The duo played in many international festivals and concerts in cities as diverse as Tel Aviv, Zagreb, West and East Berlin and South America.
YCAM InterLab + Yoko Ando
While the antonym of “individual” is “collective” in general, Gilles Deleuze (1925-95), a French philosopher, came up with the notion of “dividual” since the preposition “in” disaffirms the following word. Notions of “individual” and “dividual” have been, and continue to be, discussed in various contexts such as the economy, civil society, personal identity and more.
Through her time at The Forsythe Company, Yoko Ando came to define improvisation as “being individual but with the possibility of being collective at the same time”. While each agent performs independently, he/she is synchronized with other dancers simultaneously. RAM project began by finding shapes for the ideas in Yoko’s dancer’s mind. The piece expands on the idea of “dividual” and explores new dance, new notions of the body and the new relationships between the human body and technology by pursuing deeper interaction between dancers and the notion of system.
Temporary Encampment (Five Blue Solids)
The precarious installations of Nina Canell (born 1979 in Växjö, Sweden, lives and works in Berlin, Germany) could be read as essays on changeability and uncertainty. Hinged upon a fabric of electromagnetics, her communities of objects quietly interact with each other through modest arrangements, balancing careful ambitions to sustain certain frequencies, movements or altitudes. Electrical debris, wires and neon gas establish temporary, almost performative sculptural unions with natural findings such as water, wood or stones, yielding open-ended moments of synchronicity. An improvisational methodology and a flexibility of form highlight Canell’s quest for sculpture, which exists somewhere in between the material and the immaterial, forming and questioning the conductive relations between solid objects and mental events.
Stressato – Samurai Serpents
Samurai Serpents” resembles Jean-Pierre Gauthier’s drawing machines (such as Marqueurs d’incertitude). Like many of the artist’s creations, the work emphasizes graphic quality and the movement of a line in space. On a large panel covered by an “action painting” (that is reminiscent of the textured and dark surfaces of a Borduas, Soulages or Kline), which looks like a (drawing?) table, cables are activated by an approaching viewer and begin to wiggle all over the place, twisting and intertwining in a surprising way – as though they were actually reacting to a threat. In moving about in this way, these silver lines on a black ground continuously change the “painting’s” composition and transform it into an animated image. Like a musical improvisation, the line’s disorganized movements create sounds that vary each time.
ilanio and iimuahii
ILANIO REUBIN AND ELENA SLIVNYAK
SUPREME BEINGS FASHION SHOW
The Supreme Beings Fashion Show will reveal the avant-garde concepts of two local fashion designers, Ilanio Reubin of Ilanio and Elena Slivnyak of IIMUAHII, at the spacious SOMArts Cultural Center on Thursday, March 1st. The two runway shows will showcase 8 imaginative looks from each designer, as well as two short improvisational performances by Butoh (contemporary Japanese) dancers which we find very fitting for the two creatives.Though different in aesthetic, both designers hail from similar backgrounds and aim for analogous goals. Ilanio (San Francisco Art Institute) and Elena (Academy of Art) both found the retail and fashion corporate worlds too constrictive and mass-produced, and thus ventured into their own imaginative ones.
Ilanio works to create “visually stunning fashion concepts that explicitly disregard wearability, saleability, and practicality; that embrace advanced definitions of sexuality and gender; and that defy the commercially-mandated boundary between the fashion and art worlds.” For Elena of IIMUAHIII, her avant-garde aesthetic is manifested in an intricately-crafted sportswear line.Although we’re dreaming of being in Paris (but really, when are we not?), we’re excited to watch Ilanio and IIMUAHII strut and represent San Francisco’s undeniable talent in their nontraditional fashion show and hope to see you all there as well!
The project investigates how kinetic design and industrial robotics can embody the complexity of movement found in contemporary dance. Using structured improvisational techniques, a combination of pre-choreographed and improvised performances have been designed to form a gestural dialog between a dancer and two robotic performers. The result is an emerging set of movements that construct an unpredictable and evolving choreography.