its still a bit sharp, but there were beautiful things at 2020 and there was horror. the horror bit was coursing through my veins when after i finally stood up, walked to my equipment, took a breath and proverbially hit ‘play’… the screen, the image, well, it wasn’t right.
i’d soundchecked first, everything had been fine - i even had a dj mixer to tweak my somewhat untested levels on. my ‘cinematic’ visuals were cinematic, and the crazy section certainly was full-on with such a big screen and booming PA. so it was distressing to the core that when mid-event it became my turn, that ideal audiovisual environment turned to a nightmare, my clear, tuned pallette turning to grey fuzz. if you’ve ever seen ntsc on a pal tv, think that. and as you couldn’t really see any of it properly - and you certainly couldn’t read the text, which is central to the experience - all i could do was wince and crash through it all as quickly as possible. to compound things, this meant there was no time to massage the audio as i went along, and so the piece largely became a series of jolts between audio sections. it was so disappointing, on so many levels.
unbelievably, people still applauded and apparently there was still a really positive reaction - though i still haven’t quite got a handle on that. i wasn’t around to hear it first hand, as all my seething mind could do was trace the source of the failure… i had rebooted after the sound/vision check, which kinda breaks the golden rule and meant i was too afraid to try and really troubleshoot as the performance started, but it turned out to be some interference on the cable as it was routed around the stage, somebody must have tidied it up against a transformer or a lighting signal passing nearby with some voodoo frequency turned on when it wasn’t before.
the bottom line though, is that shit happens, there was nothing that could be done, and the work, the commission, still stands. its not cinderella territory here, this has been my ongoing project for two years, and it now exists as an audiovisual whole - a paradigm shift not just for it but my practice. the technology to realise my approach is now there, and my concept and visual production has matured to be able to really exploit the potential. suffice to say, its like having entered the golden kingdom having seen it glimmering over the horizon for so long.
and so a thousand props to the organisers of 2020, for the commission is what it took, and they built an outstanding event on a series of them. their piece was also stunning, a meditation on memory and feelings, and perhaps appreciated even more by myself as it fits perfectly with the narrative lab agenda. andrew and nik - respect!