[-empyre-] installations

Atau Tanaka atau.tanaka at ncl.ac.uk
Thu Oct 20 09:04:46 EST 2011

hello Johannes, Renato, everyone

It's been really interesting to follow the wrap up of the Istanbul discussion as I went into post-ISEA decompression then be invited to join this month's discussion. I quickly caught up w the previous weeks' discussion on butoh and biofeedback.

Quickly (since we're supposed to be decelerating) to catch Johannes while he's asking about intstallations and suspending time (btw haven't seen Pipilotti's Hayward Gallery show, but did see her marvelous exhibition at FACT Liverpool a couple of years back...)

I'm a musician, so seldom do installations. But when I do, try to bring something from the liveness of the stage to the installation (short of making the installation overtly performative). And as a musician who's used electromyogram (EMG) biosensors for 20 yrs now, would like to bring the visceral aspect of biofeedback performance to an installation without the hassle of wiring up every gallery visitor.

Here, sound, and the physicalisation of sound has helped me create enveloping environments that (might) suspend time for the visitor. 

I attempted to do this in an installation work called Bondage where a photo by Araki is sonified in interaction with infrared images (body heat) of visitors in front of the image exposed elements of the original photo. Corporeal presence and fantasy were rendered as sound, reproduced in a physical enough way (vibrating and felt, not just heard), with crappy enough interaction that people didn't need to try to understand cause and effect, to fill the space and perhaps create a momentarily intemporal connection between gallery visitor and the imaginary bonded kimono subject of Araki. I've just written a text about this on a volume on Intimacy in Digital Performance forthcoming on Palgrave (sorry for the shameless self promotion!)

Looking forward to the discussion this week -


Atau Tanaka

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