SELF/WORK is an embodied electronic music performance that entertains notions of labor, power, and authority in matters of physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Set in a dystopian retreat center, it is engaged with doctor and charlatan, placebo and medicine, and phenomena of healing that are better explained by metaphysics than by hard science.
The piece is built around the use of an unpredictable hybrid instrument-controller based on Michel Waisvisz’s cracklebox circuit. The circuit’s signals are used in different ways throughout the performance — they are alternately made audible, processed, and used as control signals for events programmed in Max/MSP.
In live performance, performers cast as ‘healer’ and ‘patient’ archetypes relate their bodies to copper ‘cracklepads’ which correspond to copper touch-points on the cracklebox. By touching two or more points at once, performers engage the electrical conductivity of their bodies to unfold a whirlwind sound design that invites a high degree of performative whimsy.
the original “finished” work premiered on March 8, 2018
March 8, 2018 Excerpt from Signal Flow MFA Thesis Concert @ Littlefield Concert Hill, Mills College, Oakland, CA
— but it is clear that the work continues.
here’s a stage diagram for a future iteration:
— and some solo iterations:
June 7, 2018 Excerpt 1 from Performance at Black Iris Gallery, Richmond, VA
June 7, 2018 Excerpt 2 from Performance at Black Iris Gallery, Richmond, VA
May 31, 2018 Excerpt from House Show in Little Rock, AR
before all of that, Jen Gerry and I first experimented with the self/work-cracklepads interaction system in the very first iteration of The Re-Integration Station:
December 3-5 2017 performance-installation @ Slide Space 123, Mills College, Oakland, CA