Bindu Point: Telecommunication with the Mythic Present
Martin Franklin (MA)
The “Bindu Point” project applies technology in the creation of a hyper-dimensional performance environment. Camera input to motion detection software feeds a generative parenting algorithm which outputs a layered stream of synthesized drones in response to the movement of the performer. Performer, musician and the system itself form an organic feedback loop, both triggering input and responding to the resulting audio and video output.
Performer as Ritual Technician
The format of “Bindu Point” attempts to address the use of technology as a mediator of experience, in that it exists within non-virtual space where the technology is augmenting human reality. The performer encounters the system in physical, human space, rather than entering their consciousness into virtual, machine space.
The motion detection hot spots set by the camera input, create the potential to activate a sonic environment. The presence of “Bindu Point” in the performance space allowing the manifestation of an invisible dimension which can be explored intuitively rather than by learned technical knowledge.
The resulting performances use trance-state improvisational movement to set in motion generative audio and chaos driven video feedback, creating a constantly evolving immersive environment of electronic drones and images.
Bindu Point was performed at the Out There Festival in July 2004, the Sonorities Festival at Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast 2005 and Generative Art 2005 in Milan, Italy. Video documentation from the first performance of Bindu Point has been screened at the ePerformance & Plugins Festival, Sydney, Australia and Inport 2005, Talinn, Estonia.
This performance piece comes out of research and development begun during my Computer Arts MA and a subsequently funded collaboration with Lee Adams by Arts Council England South East and South Hill Park.
The initial design of the system used the Big Eye application from STEIM, feeding midi information into another application created using Macromedia Director. The processing then uses a parenting system to splice the binary equivalents of each two note values together to create a child value that is mutated and sent to the output. The current system incorporates motion triggering, midi processing and audio into a single new application written using Max/MSP.
With the creation of this new instrument, the challenge lies in learning how to creatively pilot it. By augmenting the audio output with additional synthesiser voices and audio processing, I am able to manipulate the output and create a spontaneous, improvised audio response to the movement of the performer.
Lee’s recent performance, installation and video work has begun to explore the limits and boundaries of his physical control and endurance. His melancholic, often visceral performances range from the intimate to the epic and often examine the positioning and relationship between performer and audience, questioning notions of true/fictional and performed self, otherness, difference, gender, sex, love, pain, suffering, transcendence and the politics of the body in relation to culture and power.
In 2001 Lee began to devise a series of solo performances starting with The Bachelor Stripped Bare selected for the NRLA Platform at the New Territories Festival 2002, and described by Robert Ayers in Live Art Magazine as ‘… a wonderfully old-fashioned and self conscious Genetesque apparition … violently transgendering …’ this was followed by Cruising, commissioned by the LIFT Festival Club and broadcast on BBC2 television as part of the cultural history series Taboo – 50 Years of Censorship. Later in 1992 Lee developed and performed Valentine for The Centre of Attention and collaborated with Ernst Fischer and Helen Spackman on Fallout at the Riverside Studios.
In 2003 Lee performed at Tate Modern with Guillermo Gomez-Pena in Ex Centris: The Museum of Fetishized Identities, described by realtimearts.net as ‘A bit like partying your way through the Apocalypse’; with Oreet Ashery in Central Location for Wonderyears at the NGBK Gallery, Berlin and at Visions of Excess an ‘ … eighteen hour voyage into the heart of darkness …’ staged in the Demon lap dancing club and curated by Ron Athey and Vaginal Davis for the Fierce! Festival. In 2004 Lee performed at the ICA with the International Necronautical Society (INS) in Calling All Agents.
2004 also saw Lee produce a second collaboration with Ernst Fischer and Helen Spackman; Iconostasis, a multi-media performance for Act 02 at the 291 Gallery, London; Porca Miseria, commissioned by Duckie for Gay Shame at the Coronet. Later that year he performed a live art intervention for Insight Arts Trust at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
In May 2005 Lee co-produced the London performances of Ron Athey’s experimental opera The Judas Cradle, at 291 Gallery, part of a national tour commissioned by Fierce! and funded by The Arts Council of England. Most recently Lee was commissioned to create a new work ‘The Mark of Cain’ for Club Underworld in Athens.