Muliebrity (2020), 1 live glitch performance 10 hours: Modifyre Festival “Temple Burn” + “Pollinator” Produced by Saara Roppola @ Frequencies TV, Meanjin/Brisbane/on-line.
Pictures taken by Megan Keene. Instagram: @_megank_
I began articulating Muliebrity [i] during Pollinator ‘jams’. Pollinator is a melting-pot of interdisciplinary artists (contemporary dancers (many practicing Butoh), sound-artists, and mark-makers of every description) curated by Saara Roppola with an emphasis on participating in the non-verbal “theatre of the studio.” It is a bit of a ‘monster-mash.’ Participation is accompanied by deep, ambient and drone musicians who set the tone for often euphoric and sometimes macabre explorations of identity and the Other. I attended three sessions where I projected a backdrop/stage for ‘movers’ through Muliebrity [i].
In this Pollinator, over 10 hours different sound-artists performed while a number of dancers played in different outfits at Frequencies TV. Throughout the day I took videos and fed them into my prototype for Muliebrity [i]. The starting content was videos of bugs attracted to lights ripped from online. I was also provided glitch video content from Joseph Burgess who performed as Unregistered Master Builder.
An Experiment in Muliebrity [i].
I am the cyborg here.
I arrived with my first coded Muliebrity with three aims to explore. Firstly I wanted a frame-by-frame animation system that was modulated by audio-stream data. Secondly I wanted to take video over the period and reintroduce it into my system so the performers and projection evolved mimetically. Thirdly I wanted to experiment with a live-camera feed (webcam into game-space). I coded these in successfully, but used the live-camera feed sparingly as the space was too dark for it to be effective.
I worked from the Unity editor in this instance so at no time was there a final software build. The main barrier I faced was when inputting new content, as Unity must process every image individually. Additionally, new asset content must be declared so an additional wait time was incurred when setting them to be sprites. I anticipated this barrier and created a mock “signal lost” television graphic for when I was feeding the system more content.
Performers were excited to see the content change over the course of the day and interacted with the projection surface in attempts to create feedback of their own.
Due to Covid-19, the event is a stand-in for a performance that would have taken place in Yelabron state forest for the Modifyre festival. Modifyre is the burning man event for Queensland, where ceremoniously two figures are burned.
The evening concluded with me live glitching the footage of the Temple burn which happened earlier in the week, on-site, in line with Covid-19 regulations. The temple burn is a time of reflection and often ‘letting go’.