Thursday, 23 February 2012

If Only...! There and Back Again

Last month I organised If Only...! with Roger Hill. If Only...! is a night of varied performance run at the Bluecoat in Liverpool. Two of my projects were included in the night, both interactive installations in which the audience would become the performers.

The first project was Inari Dive, a collaborative project with Japanese artist, Inari Nishiki, exploring the experience of diving. The project was Inari's brainchild. My part of the collaboration focused on the soundtrack. Participants would be blindfold and given wireless headphones, cutting off their senses from the outside world. They would then navigate through a labyrinth of ropes while the soundtrack played through their headphones. The track explores ideas of depth in different ways, and uses a new way of transforming sounds into each other I have been developing using Pure Data. Here is a link to the track:

The second project was The Sensorium of Sensational Scents, an olfactory-visual installation that used a range of perfumes I made from a wide variety of unusual ingredients. While smelling the scents, the participants' reactions would be videoed and projected onto the wall of the room, turning the audience into performers. I'll be releasing my range of perfumes soon, and they'll be accompanied by a free download code for my album, Oh Oca O. You can see some pictures from both installations below. The pictures are by Dan Williams.

Inari Dive 2Sensorium of Sensational Scents 4Sensorium of Sensational Scents 3Sensorium of Sensational Scents 2Sensorium of Sensational Scents 1Inari Dive 8
Inari Dive 7Inari Dive 6Inari Dive 5Inari Dive 4Inari Dive 3Inari Dive 1

In creating the night, Roger and myself wanted to explore the notion of performance. What is it? And who are the performers? We wanted pieces in which there would not just be audience members watching performers on a stage, we wanted to include work where the audience themselves would become performers, such as the blindfold participants of Inari Dive, navigating their way through the labyrinth. We also wanted to explore the idea of art as experience, so included projects that worked on a wide variety of senses. Sight, sound, touch, smell, equilibrium were all explored, and we finished the night with taste, as provided by Squash Nutrition. Here's a short video with highlights of the night's events: