Jun 28, 2021

Opera Viva research colloquium with UAL

written by Louise Rouse
in category Web

I am performing in this colloquium, produced by PhD researchers from UAL:

UAL’s PhD Troupe will lift the curtain on artistic research in a medley of choral, comique and cabaret. A libretto for performance and PowerPoint.

A Midsummer Night at the Opera: bring your candelabra, danse macabre, your Sinartra and your trauma. Get your confirmation-requiem by curtain close. Featuring
Maya Amrami
Lynda Beckett
Claudette Davis-Bonnick
Naomi Dines
Gavin Edmonds
Jonathan Martin
Louise Rouse in collaboration with Agustín Spinettto
Jenny Maxwell
Megan Rowden
Miriam Sorrentino
Niloofar Taatizadeh

I will present a live interactive video performance via Zoom called AlterNation:


This work is site-specific in the sense that it happens in the homes and offices of its mostly UK- and Ireland-based audience, surrounded by your domestic paraphernalia and your psychological sense of your own location. The work is created to fit with these diffuse locations and individual understandings of place. AlterNation uses the artist’s spotlighted iPhone cam in the video-conferencing app, Zoom, to stream a live video of a walk through Kita Senju, Tokyo (the artist’s neighbourhood), late at night, while the time difference between Tokyo and Europe means that the audience will witness the work mid-afternoon. The work will ask the audience to arrange their computer screen so that this live video iss positioned next to a web page which displays a rectangular container for Google Street View which can be navigated by you during the walk. You can choose to select the artist’s location in the Google Street View container, or alternatively, by pressing buttons and manipulating the controls, you can choose a random location.

The result is two rectangles, side by side, one with live video at night, and one with the Google Street View (which always displays daytime photo spheres), framed by your personal space. Each participant had a perceptibly different viewpoint on the work, which you may be reminded of by the presence of others in the Zoom environment. This environment creates both communality and surveillance—participants are aware of the presence of others, and the videoed image of themselves on the call. This sensation is generally subordinated, however, to the two dominant screens showing similar camera angles of urban streets. The web page contains an audio file so that a narration and ambient sound accompany the visual experience.

This audio file was recorded and mixed by music producer and composer Agustín Spinetto, it features the artist’s narration of memory fragments associated with seaside England commingled with fragments of local Edo history of Kita Senju; ambient sounds of Tokyo cross-faded with London overground train announcements.

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