Update June 9, 2012:
We’ve just gotten the video footage of our performance at the ICMC (International Computer Music Conference). I had originally felt bad about this performance (even though I thought, and still think, the painting turned out great) but after watching it back, I think even the performance was good. I barely remember any specifics from the performance itself. Watching this back is like watching someone else–its nice.
Originally post below – from August 3, 2011:
August 2, 2011 – We performed at the ICMC held this year at Huddersfield University. We attend the Unconference where the use of gesture and visuals were discussed with some interesting people (These are some of those people: Freida Abtan, Adrian Freed, and David Wessel.).
We hung out with Scott Hewitt. One of the things we discussed was the tool Rod and I want to build that’ll allow me to live sample & synthesize sound via the gestures I already make while painting. He encouraged us to build the hardware, just hunker down, and figure out some of the programming so we’ll have a better understanding of what the thing will do.
The concert was really well attended. It was held at The Graduate, the university’s on-campus bar. Believe it or not, this crowd of academics got a little rowdy! I really liked seeing this one guy do some live coding, projected large on a screen, so you could see what he was doing. It was fun to watch.
Our performance went so-so. Rod and Anton think it went better than I think it went though. I just couldn’t get into it and kept repeating myself. The venue itself was really hot (Miami hot). After 15 minutes I was dripping sweat and black paint. Niiiiice and griiiiity.
The painting is now owned by P.A. Tremblay and can been seen in his office at the university.
You can listen to the performance here:
On March 30th, 2012 TSC performed as part of Reverb, an exhibition event at Bankley Gallery hosted by the MACFA students (of which I am one). Prior to the performance I had asked my peers on the course to record the performance. I let them know that they could film as much or as little of it as they wanted, and also let them know how I was planning on editing the footage together. This is the result (above).
The video itself is downloadable from vimeo (though there is an HD version on youtube, as they allow for a higher file size, but its read-only), and you can also download the sound file from the [free] downloads section of this site. Everything’s under a CC-BY license.
I find it really rewarding when other artists want to expand on the work I create. What contributes to that attitude is the notion that these performances are just me trying to put forward the best possible performance for the version of the work as it is at that time (and I’m speaking for myself there–“I” vs “we”–because I can best express my own thoughts, in my own words, when I’m not trying to democratize them or mediate them to try to encapsulate what Rod and Anton might also think.)
Expanding on that idea: Not in any kind of grandiose way, but I think some ideas are too big, or full of potential, to belong in just one person’s care. And I’m not saying that this performance is ‘a big idea’ or anything like that. These are just some of my thoughts on the free flow of ideas. I think its really arrogant for one person to presume they should be an idea’s sole keeper. There can be so many directions that a single idea might take, one person might not be able to actualize every strand even if they devoted their entire life to it. As far as I’m concerned, this is the only way to move forward when weighted against the disservice and harm that the alternative would suggest. We need evolve our idea of ownership so it doesn’t stunt humanity’s own evolution during this time of increasing technological and creative wonder.
Needless to say I got a very excited email from my friend Mauricio Pauly saying [really excitedly] that its rocked him out of a blockage he’s been having regarding a piece he’s been writing. Its beyond awesome that something I made is useful in that way.
(Skip ahead in the video to 5:14 to see the moment the still above was taken.)
(left) This is a picture of the painting as it was exhibited post-performance and for the duration of the exhibit. I had decided that I would make the decision how [and IF !] to represent my work in ‘object’ form only after I had performed (though I had planned for each eventuality.) Right after the performance on the night, I transferred the audio onto my ipod and mounted it along with headphones, so that it was available to the audience immediately. I think this seemingly improptu installation spoke to the improvised nature of the work. On this occasion I decided to leave the canvas stretched, as I had decided to give it away as a gift and it was still stretched during that transaction. I feel that at that point, ownership was transferred and I was able to “let it exist out in the world” absolved of any involvement in transforming it further. In my mind this was the perfect resolution since for me the performance, in all its transience, is the true form of the work, though there is an actual physical object that I’m left to contend with.
This is one of the flyers I designed for the event (above). The text is inspired by a drawing that Cristine Brache made once upon a time.
Takahashi’s Shellfish Concern performed at Trinity Church on March 15th 2012 for a Videoformers event. I used the new set up, which means I was controlling the light source using a wii-mote, in conjunction with my voice/breathing, in conjunction with Max/MSP. There are still lots of things to improve on with this set up. I’d like to get my left hand free again. I feel too restricted not being able to use it, even if its not the hand I draw/paint with. It wasn’t the best performance, and didn’t yield the best painting, but it reinforced my feelings about refining things and needing to push forward.
Note: if you are unable to play the sound files below due to the computer you are on, please click on their titles (in blue). Doing this will redirect you to the page from which they are linked, allowing you to play them there.
Construction01 (2:30): improvised on viola Dec. 3, 2011.
Between Ends and a Common Place (2:32): 36 drawings as audio, laid end to end.
5 Spheres (26:49)
Cave of Forgotten Dreams by Werner Herzog
Mortal Engine by Chunky Move
Graham Hancock interview on the Joe Rogan Experience
The Stoned Ape Theory by Terence McKenna
Bacteria’s Amazing Communication System by Bonnie Bassler
How Architecture Helped Music Evolve by David Byrne
Drawing circuits (Patterns+Pleasure: Ground)
Christine Sun Kim (deaf sound artist)
Using Arduino to dim a light bulb
Draft-sensing nose light
Supernatural by Graham Hancock
Art, Technology, Consciousness edited by Roy Ascott
Truth in Comedy by Halpern, Close, and Johnson
On November 24, 2011. We played an event hosted by the Liverpool-based improv group, Frakture.
They’ve written an excellent post about the whole night but here’s what they said about us:
“We are introduced Combine as a first of a new platform combining music, sound and art which will consist of three acts. The first act is Takahashi’s Shellfish Concern who have set up in the corner of the room, Angela Guyton beckons the audience nearer or they’ll miss out. She and the audience are gathered around a blank canvas and she begins to mark the canvas. This action is accompanied by a roaring crushing sound it’s apparent that the canvas and Angelas herself has been transformed into an instrument. Of course associations with action painting spring to mind and Harold Rosenberg’s ascertain that art lies within its creation rather than with the final product.
What also comes to mind is the almost synesthetic nature of creating art, how the sound of pen scrapping across paper, brush across canvas even your own breathing become somehow part of the process. Takahashi’s Shellfish Concern have created a piece which amplifies these private moments into the public realm providing us the audience the opportunity to consider the creative process and the production of art.”
This is one of my favorite paintings.
As with most paintings in their “post-performance” state, this work is available for purchase unstretched. That means if you buy it I’ll send it to you rolled up / it won’t be stretched on a wooden stretcher / it will be free flowing canvas.
There were the faint sounds of fireworks exploding in the background, and walls hundreds of years old are great places to see shadows moving.
TSC, was just Rod and I for this performance. On these occasions, when he and I improvise one on one, we tend to invite more space and silence. It is a different dynamic. (Unfortunately, Anton wasn’t at this performance as he was recording an album with his big band, Beats & Pieces.)