Let the Music Make Them Dance (2019)

Mixed media installation presented at The Gallery, MARs Research Hub, Goldsmiths University of London (05/2019)

Materials: 2-channel video installation & sound; drawings / ink, paper; 3d printed plastic; wood; silk

The installation is conceived as a rhythmic field, composing elements of sound, movement textures, scribbled and doodled lines, and brainwave biofeedback.

The automatic drawing installation on the wall, maps out an 18 month-long daily dance research method called Liquidity (inspired by the Surrealists’ experiments in automatism). I try to induce an altered state of consciousness through this movement; then I document both my inner experience in the drawings and measure my brainwaves using an EEG monitor.

A moving image piece, presented on two facing screens, is a slow Sisyphean cycle of rising and falling, order and entropy, transmitting an uncanny dynamic across the room. On one screen a ‘salaryman’/jazz dancer seems to be floating underwater, to the tune of a remixed Muzak track from the 1970s: ‘Stimulus Progression’ was background music developed to increase productivity in the workplace or the shopping mall. On the smaller screen the same movement is performed by female bodies that become an hour-glass marking the passage of time through their continuous repetition.

A low noren curtain touches the viewer’s head upon entry, shifting the air in the room and setting the soft silk fabric in motion. It depicts fossil rubbings of the Ediacara biota, when the first multicellular organisms appeared, 650 million years ago. The oceans were populated by underwater gelatinous organisms, and a lack of predation: it is seen as an Edenic moment in the evolution of life on earth, and has been called the Ediacaran Garden. In the corner on a lecturn, is the book ‘Wondeful Life’ by the paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, an account of the transition to the Cambrian era when heads, mouths and eyes start to appear.

Visitors were invited to participate in a series of meditations in a comfortable relaxation space in the middle, where they could track and measure their brainwaves using Muse EEG headbands and compare results with other participants.