Saturday, February 26, 2011

BEDROOMLAB: Electric Church

Room nr9000.psd by son:da []
Electricity, primarily through amplification, signifies.
Electricity threatened music (let alone trad. art) as purity of human expression, and also of innate 'talent', as it first distanced the musician from the sound, and second, masked the inadequacies of technique. Amplification takes over from the human voice, or music as expression of human feeling, emotion or subjectivity (often through approximation of voice). What you hear is revealed as electrically driven movements of air; sound is materialized, and becomes other to the expressing body. Music is now evidently prosthetic, mediated through machinery, and this shakes the belief in the centeredness, intention and authenticity of musical creation.

Surplus sound is a key characteristic of electrified music, and as the 1960s go on, distortion and feedback, pushing the machinery beyond limits, offers another layer of noise that is both literal and noise in the sense of being unwanted, excess, waste. These noises are quickly used, and become techniques, but along the way, they operate as a way of maintaining a community. Sociologist Paul Gilroy, citing Hendrix refers to an "electric church" ("Soundscapes of the Black Atlantic", Gilroy). Hendrix insisted on the necessity of loudness to convey the possibility of revolutionary change through both shock and the use of "the correct frequency" (ibid.), the later allowing a more direct connection, facilitated by the noisiness. We can take "church" as meant in the most general sense, as a way of capturing an elective community that somehow bonds together, in this case in excessive performance.
[REF: Taken from the concert notes of WE HATE WHEN PEOPLE MAKE TRACKS LIKE THIS]

Fresh from the concert, we hosted BEDROOMLAB again at Carlos Celdran's LIVING ROOM.
The lecturers were: 
Magdalena Peseva [Prague]
Peševová Magdalena, born 1979 in Prague, lives and works there. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, has undergone a classic painting studios and new media. She completed scholarship at Ecole des Beaux Artes in France, currently in residence at Yogyakarta in Indonesia.
Magdalena is primarily devoted to monumental painting, drawing, interior and exterior painting, hanging paintings and illustrations, as well as painting conceptual, such as combination with performance. Formally, her work is inspired by street art, graffiti, comics, symbolism,surrealism. Conceptually, she pays attention at current Anglo-Sax and Hispanic music, feminism, postmodern inheritance and gender, political and religious issues.

Ondrej Skala [Prague]
Czech breakcore king, Ježíš táhne na Berlín (roughly translated as “JESUS MARCHES TO BERLIN”) is the music project of young Czech artist Ondřej Skala. He studied at Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. His music can be best described as “Breakcore-Ambient”, where pre-recorded distorted digital instruments meet live-processed human beatboxing. Acting and creating music, Ondřej also participated in the digital puppet show Pollygone appeare in 2007. At WASTED OVER PRAGUE in 2008 hed with his new band alongside live bassist and drummer BJ Tzarr. He has performed all over the world, from Berlin’s Club Transmediale, to Indonesia’s Breakcore_Labs.

David Kousemaker [Holland]
David Kousemaker (1971) is an artist/designer who works on the crossroads of art and technology.
Since 2005 he has collaborated with Tim Olden under the name Blendid ( to create playful and accessible works.
Interactivity is an important element in their oeuvre which ranges from physical sculptures to projects which center around a non-conventional use of audio or video. Work was presented at a number of international festivals including Digifest (Canada), STRP (Netherlands), Biënnale Venetia (Italy), Synthetic Times (China), File (Brazil) and Utopia Now (Australia).

Mark Salvatus
Mark Salvatus a multi disciplinary artist based in Manila. His work deals with the dystopian rammification of urbanization often times making work in the street disrupting the established codes of social communication. Language and signs play an integral part in his aesthetic projects as he inserts a reconstituted design into the fabric of existing space and common gesture. Salvatus recently finished residencies at ACAR Asia Cultural Artist Residency, Gwangju, KR, Daedong Culture Foundation, Shatana International Residency, Shatana, Irbid, JO, Triangle Arts Trust, Can Serrat International Art Centre in Barcelona, Spain, and exhibitions at Annexe Gallery, Central Market Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Nospace Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand.

(L-R) Tengal, Mark

 Mark Salvatus

Among the audience, Canadian artist KristinaGuison from artist initiative KAPISANAN, wrote this about her experiences:  

"One of the most inspiring artists was Mark Salvatus. Coming from an advertising and fine arts background, he infused to two fields and came up with something really exciting. He puts it as, part-participatory, part-sight specific and part-live installation. I love how he’s really focused on engaging the environment and the audience no matter which part of the world he is launching his works. The idea of of combining immersion in the community and art is so exciting and admirable.  His projects are always on-going, always ephemeral and always organic. There’s something very down-to-earth, approachable, playful and fresh about his projects. It’s not the type of art that aims to show off and intimidate."

David Kousemaker
David Kousemaker develops interesting interactive projects that evoke powerful emotional and social engagement from viewers. One such project, TouchMe, is "an interactive installation that allows its users to create and contribute a personal image to the otherwise impersonal public space."

Members of the public can interact with this piece by simply pressing a part of their body or objects against a frosted glass surface, leaving a kind of imprint for them and others to see. The interaction itself is entertaining, and an extra dimension is added as the results are kept as a permanent part of the installation.

TouchMe is intended for one of those typical modern public spaces that seem predominantly designed to withstand large flows of people without any impact. It is as if the users of these spaces are viewed only as pawns, which are to be efficiently routed through this domain on their way from point A to point B. All traces of these visitors will be erased when the next scheduled cleaning crew has removed the footprints from the granite wear-free floor."
[Taken from their site:]

TouchMe - China 2008 from Blendid on Vimeo.

 Kristina goes on: 

"Another artist who is also interested in engaging the audience is David Kousemaker. He was the current artist staying in The Living Room when we arrived. His projects, although just as interactive, has a more technological approach. He came up with these mind-blowing projects that are too complicated, intense and intricate to describe here. I’m not well-versed in technical terms anyway, so you have to look him up (or simply click on his name above) and watch his projects in motion."

Check out her full blog post here: 

Photos by Kam del Rosario and Tina Guison
Thanks again to Carlos Celdran and Ria Limjap of The Living Room.

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