Photographed by Marijn Degenaar
Trauma Bar 30-10-2019
ALVA NOTO & ANNE-JAMES-CHATON - ALPHABET LIVE
From the press-release:
ALPHABET explores the intersection of analog with digital forms of expression and information. The performance, inspired by the Etymologies of Isidore of Seville twisting the scientific rigor to privilege phonetic acquaintances, revisits the strategies of representation invented by humanity to give meaning to the world in the digital age.
The Etymologies are the first appearance in the history of a tree-based organization of knowledge - the digital tree is the principle of modern computing. The sage of Seville did not hesitate to use phonetic approximations to stretch the definition of words - such a process is also present in the contemporary way of composing “sound poetry”. On this basis, Anne-James collected words which in the French language can be pronounced in one breath. This database of words constituted the monosyllabic base to develop the album - like the ’beat’ unit used in electronic music the artists generated other codes.
The signal is the physical form of a sign, which indicates the existence of something. Everything is encoded by a series of sounds, which are in turn encrypted by digital units. ALPHABET plays with these relations: multiplying the possible combinations of signals, signifiers and signified. From the combinations of the two artists’ languages, new code and language emerge, manifesting novel representations of the world, from the simple to the complex.
During the live performance, the body of the performers on stage is crossed by multiple visual projections including signs, graphs, sound waves, and text. The performance is simultaneously a “live incarnation” of digital codes and a “digital translation” of human language leaving the audience the possibility to attribute to it new meanings.