Syndrome 1.3: Control


Building on the core commissions and multi-media performances of the Syndrome programme, and preparing us for coming month’s explorations of interaction design Mercy and Hive present vital approaches and ideas around control and sensation in The Box at FACT.

This event brings together four arts practitioners who propose new ideas for the exertion and slippages of control in relation to arts performance – taking place acrossbrain waves, musculature, and virtual and divine space.


Joel Eaton FLEX 
Eton presents his Brain-Computer Music Interface (BCMI) which allows him to play live electronic music with his thoughts. For Syndrome the relation of thought and musical output will be problematised and played out before the audience, as Eton resets the parameters for his control device before the performance. The performance therefore is composed of a learning journey which the audience chart through the changing degrees of frustration, concentration and joy on the artists’ face, and the coming together of the intended musical composition.

Marco Donnarumma XTH SENSE
Donnarumma explores the dimensions of the human body in relation to real, virtual and cultural spaces. For Syndrome, he presents and demonstrates his unique biophysical technology, ‘Xth Sense’, which allows for the amplified sound of human muscle tissues to be played as an instrument. In this talk, Donnarumma will show how he used the Xth Sense to create a broad range of artworks, from multimedia action art pieces, to multi-channel immersive concerts and private installations where the audience is taken through forceful sensory stimulations.

With this presentation/performance and game-world walk-through, Lek takes the ‘Degrees of Freedom’ (the constraints enforced on a body in a virtual space), as his starting point to explore the primal experience of utopian visions through prototyping and simulation.

This work starts with a transcription-score of a man speaking in tongues on a recording from 1948. He is believed to be in a state of trance and his vocalizations haven’t been recognized as belonging to any known human language. As performance, the piece is played live by a violinist, along with a playback of the original recording. The piece operates at the intersection where complete control and complete lack of control coincide. To perform the piece a musician will have to summon all precision and all concentration. At the same time he/she will have to put these very same abilities in the hands of a power beyond any human control. A power we know nothing about.

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