The New Anxiety
The 300+ year technologies built to capture, understand and connect the world - from maps through geostationary satellites to contemporary algorithms and big data collection - have been exposed as weapons-grade systems that pluralise reality and destabilise the present. How does living in this new anxious world feel, and how deep do these systems take root?
B Covington Sam-Sumana Ally Theatre: Excerpt from SYZYGY I [new work - a VIRTUALLYREALITY commission]
Michael Beil Key Jack performed by Silvia Lucas
Thami Majela SPACTRAL
Pilvi Takala Real Snow White
online workshop/performance: Maximilian Marcoll's Personal Data
We now turn our gaze towards antagonising these systems whose shadows loom over us. We shall take things to pieces and put them back together, find structural fault-lines, antagonise borderlines, plan how to blow the system apart.
We begin with knockoffs, mangled media and consumerism recontextualised. In 2009, Finnish performance artist and filmmaker Pilvi Takala - whilst dressed as Snow White - was refused entry at the front gates from entering Paris’ Disneyland Park. ‘Real Snow White’ is a documentation of this public antagonisation, where idolising families and Disney disciplinarians absurdly rub shoulders.
still from Pilvi Takala's 'Real Snow White'
From duplicate identities to digital reconstructions, a new recording of Michael Beil’s ‘Key Jack’ sees the return of pianist Silvia Lucas, miming on a plank of wood as cheap piano sounds and projected doppelgängers loop around her. Visually a negative of sorts, Thami Majela’s ‘SPACTRAL’ sees three dancers - a fourth displayed holographically as a theme-park- like Pepper’s Ghost - contort like purgatorial spirits as a Shakespearean itself contorts through the isiZulu language.
still from Thami Majela's 'SPACTRAL'
How do we antagonise these power structures when our bodies are so intrinsically knotted within their networks? Maximilian Marcoll offers one solution: in ‘Personal Data’, you (the audience) are welcomed to come together to securely proclaim your private details in a smokescreen of addresses, phone numbers and IBANs.
Untangle these knottings and the strings lead to some of the most powerful seats in the world. Brand new from “system sonics investigator” B Covington Sam Sumana (N-Prolenta), VIRTUALLYREALITY present ‘Ally Theatre: Excerpt from SYZYGY I’. This deep-diving video essay posits pro-Zionist media programmer Haim Saban and his seminal Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series as epistemological calibrators of the broader American project, particularly the Democratic Party, circa 2020-2050.
Michael Beil’s work focuses on the combination of electronic music, instrumental music and video. His compositions are based on concepts concerning the situation on stage in a concert in connection with the development process of musical works. Michael Beil also engages exclusively with musical readymades by transforming or deconstructing familiar musical works or by techniques of displacing well known musical material or material that is idiomatic for a certain instrument in an unusual connotation.
B Covington Sam-Sumana (N-Prolenta) is an investigator of system sonics, transience, narratology, and metabolism. Known firstly for their musical composition, their interrogations have spawned installation works, video, text, and visual art.
Silvia Lucas is a Spanish pianist and electronic performer based in Manchester (UK). As a contemporary performer, Silvia has premiered a large number of works, most of them dedicated to her. She performs extensively along the UK, Europe and North America. Most recently she has received a PhD from the RNCM focusing on the performance of works for piano and electronics. As well as a performer, Silvia is the artistic director of the newly created concert series noisescenes.
A dancer, choreographer, actor and teacher, Sylvester Thamsanqa (Thami) Majela is a graduate from the Performing Arts, Research and Training Studios (P.A.R.T.S). A contemporary school by a world known choreographer and dancer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker trainied in Classical Training, Contemporary dance and improvisation skills.
Maximilian Marcoll, composer, sound artist and performer, was born in Lübeck, Germany in 1981. He studied percussion, instrumental and electronic composition in Lübeck and Essen. In his work he focuses on the political potential of music and sound.
Pilvi Takala is an artist living and working between Berlin and Helsinki. Her video works are based on performative interventions in which she researches specific communities in order to process social structures and question the normative rules and truths of our behaviour in different contexts. Her works show that it is often possible to learn about the implicit rules of a social situation only by its disruption.