"to produce spontaneity, one must be authentic, but to be authentic one must practice spontaneity" -- les constellations dynamiques





Johnny Ranger's recent excursion to India culminates several years of conceptualizing and exploring the borderlines of VJing, video-art and videography. His work is sensual and tactile; he brings people and travels to life in the most intimate engagements. His images breath and smoke from the screen. Les Constellations Dynamiques, the Happening-style immersive performance at SAT, with the aid of a number of people including the production crew at MomentFactory, was a high point for me in the technology arts... and not only from 2005... and not only because Johnny is a good friend... rather he expressed the total gesamkuntswerk in a modus operandi of warmth, intimacy and love, three factors desperately missing in the world today... it felt like an ambient chill-out room taken to new levels (and which for me signals the recuperation of underground culture's immersive environments from the '90s). From the detailed installation art in the Cafe, including notebooks and sketchpads from Johnny, to the wall hangings and floor maps (constellations!) leading the audience into the white womb of the performance area, the cold warehouse space of SAT was transformed into an encounter, an orbital voyage for guided trips to the stars, darkness and constellations of human experience. Everyone filled in around a 3/4 theater-in-the-round immersed in seven screen projections and centered on a circular pit of sand. Chanti Wadge performed live dance in the sand and through the audience, playing with and balancing the video, which seamlessly blended from foreground to background, from ocular overflow to narrative guideline in an event that was close to two hours in duration. Live "electronic" music -- as in MIDI pad drums, percussion and sample triggers, improvisational moments of soundscapes, synthesizers and drones, microphone experimentalism, mouth vocollation music and subtle noise inflections -- from Michel F Cą•te and Alexander MacSween, in tandem, provided a riveting sonic tapestry to the night's celebration of the merger of technology and body. It induced in audience and performer -- so evident in the standing ovation and the energetic enthusiasm and absolute detail to the event -- a very different, and if it can be said, harmonious dream of what the globalized world might look like. It hangs in the balance. Its condition: if we grant the other the screen time and moments in which to express a world on the hinge, to negotiate what will be either complete divergence or coming convergence, we may open our hearts to a better place. If time can be neither be "made" nor "found" but reinjected into our lives, as they are, in this moment... maybe...

In any case, before seeing the event and having screened early footage only, not all of which was included in the performance and will instead be released on DVD, I wrote a piece for Johnny, some of which was quoted on the event programme/poster and all of which can be found on the website (the title of which I took from Kulavadhut Satpurananda in conversation in the film):

[ "to produce spontaneity, one must be authentic, but to be authentic one must practice spontaneity" ] .

*There are a few HTML errors (missing hyphens and accented letters) that we will correct shortly.

Enjoy.


posted. Mon - December 12, 2005 @ 12:00 PM           |