DEAF04 - Affective Turbulance

V2_: DEAF04 - Affective Turbulance


The Evening of Yukiko - Alexandra Simic

2 Dec 2004 , impression

"I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star."
1891 - THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA' by Friedrich Nietzsche

A huge room with many pillars; it is really very big. Its architecture refers to the Bauhaus aesthetic - it fits with the DEAF exhibition very well. In the early evening the audience crowds towards the evening of Yukiko Shikata; at the entrance a volunteer hands out a reader, and the information that he unfortunately doesn't have any earplugs left and that it will become very loud. S***, why wasn't I there earlier?

The visitors start to spread into the room, everybody curious and excited about what will happen with the loudspeakers, which are linearly arranged on a small stage with 3 large screens. After some delay, the introduction to the event starts. Stephen Kovats, lively and always smiling, introduces Yukiko Shikata to the public; she's a petite and polite woman.

The evening starts very loud. The first act is the SINE WAVE ORCHESTRA, with the mentioned loudspeakers located at the pillars. First, the mood is confused - the public reacts to the high and low frequencies that are protruding from the 32 boxes; people apply their earplugs and stand motionless. After a few seconds, the first visitors start to investigate the sound garden and others follow them. A very interesting picture appears: people from the audience experiment with the sound by changing their position to the boxes, they see-saw or sit down next to a box to chill and listen. The sound changes, sometimes marginally, sometimes radically. Every now and then, it sounds like a heartbeat... Everyone becomes part of the performance, visitors observe each other. Some people's behavior reminds of a meditation, or of a fetus in a mother's womb - beautiful.

An enthusiastic applause concludes the performance of the SINE WAVE ORCHESTRA. The visitors, who have become the audience again, locate themselves individually in the room or at the bar. The silence, which is in-turned, is more intensive than it was before. SINE WAVE ORCHESTRA's audio still echoes in the room, effectively distinguishable from the sound of visitor's discussions about their experiences.

After finishing my first beer and enjoying the strange experience, the whole room becomes dark except for a little spotlight hanging over the stage. All visitors walk towards the stage and the voice of Yukiko Shikata starts to spread itself in an almost scary way trough the room. She starts reading a text that contains the main concept behind 'EnigmaAnagma'.

Animal Intelligence and Body become a Membrane ... Trans-ethics, Trans-creatures, Trans-sense creating an amalgam of Enigmatic Relations ...

J. von Üexkull raised the notion of the "Umwelt", in which each living creature inhabits their own world by sensing, reading and acting according to the signs they each require for survival. For each, their individual world appears differently. What appears for the human is simply one aspect of a world which is full of invisible, unperceivable information.

Throughout history the human being has defined itself as the only intelligent creature basing its existence on proportional relationships, abstract symbols and a directed will to change the world intentionally. But what is the true differentiating factor between the breadth of animals and the human? When the human moves into a deeper study of cognitive sciences or genome analysis, the difference between the two is neither the material or weight of the brain nor the number of Genomes, but simply the difference in the combination or relation of networks. This difference lies not in a material or object-base but in the dynamic process of information networks.

So why ponder the meaning of intelligence? In this context intelligence is the open system for flexibly incorporating, processing differences and information for possibly and perhaps necessary mutations. We humans relate to these other creatures - animals, plants and other natural phenomenon - as one of many nodes in a complete system, which is as full of enigmatic relations as scientific equations.

The existing notion of body, perception, language, space, time is rebooted in an enigmatic set of relations such that excess and existence blur on the horizon. Welcome to being a part of EnigmaAnagma !

EnigmaAnagma: *anaguma, Japanese for "badger". Reminds us of  "enigma", "anagram", "amalgam" with relation to "anagura" ("dark hole" in Japanese) and "angura" ("underground" in Japanese).
The spotlight is dimmed. Shyly, gropingly, sometimes also fleetingly, the three screens start to glow in indigo. A few chair cushions are available for those visitors who walk to the screens promptly and for those who have discovered them before. The screens are still in indigo when the music starts, strange but not really disturbing, people think it's intentional. But this assumption vanishes quickly when a nervous technician controls one of the cables that are connected to the screens.

A movie. On all screens, the same animated film is now playing. It is made by the Japanese comic artist Katsuki Tanaka. Some people don't like kitsch, but I do (as do 89% of the visitors). I really love the style of the animation objects: ladybirds that dissolve into fractal structures - cool! Moreover, there's a clip with two old people that could be the grandparents of the South Park gang, vibrating telephone poles and flowers, a naked woman who walks confidently in front a 'Bob Ross' background, an astronaut's view on the universe and, last but not least, (my favorite) a man who blots himself with a liter of paint and later transforms into a plastic figure. I never saw evolution theory visualized so impressively... Better have a look yourself at
I almost forgot to mention the music: Japanese pop folklore (except for the first track). Probably, it isn't Japanese pop folklore. However, in my ears it sounds like it - or was it the aftermath from the SINE WAVE ORCHESTRA?

It has to be some kind of folklore; because of it I almost fall asleep. Before this happens to other people as well, the visitors are awoken by a sudden, loud and short interruption. This rush flows until the end of the movies and starts with the sound performance by Taeji Sawai.

I'm not sure if you can call this kind of sound pure drum'n'bass, or simply rhythmical noise. In either case it is amazing. Taeji manipulates some kind of control box (I apologize for this ordinary expression. I have no idea what this box is really called - anyone who knows this, please contact me and don't bash me) with a lot of buttons and other stuff and plugs this into his PowerBook. His choreography is an interesting performance which was only outbid by the visitors' ruminant dance or buzzing.

During this performance, two white balls, lying on the stage, are illuminated to the music's beat. I'm told later that those balls have gravity sensation; they are an important part of the show by artist EYE. Just at this moment, EYE is climbing the stage and picks the white balls up. Everything is quiet. After the artist makes sure of his presence in the public, he gives Taeji a sign. Wow. EYE starts performing, with a ball in every hand, a breathtaking course of motions. A continuity of aggressive and slow movements affect the balls, which respond on changing gravity, with the sound of the earlier performance. Moreover the darkness strengthens the intensity, only the balls' glow tracks are visible, and here and there some shapes of EYE's rasta. The only thing that disturbs me are his everyday clothes: such a terrific performance is no excuse not to spend 5 minutes choosing more appropriate clothing.

EnigmaAnagma, the Evening of Yukiko Shikata, was a chaotic and marvelous evening.

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