Antoine Schmitt, 2002.
Audio and visual performance
Images, sound, algorithms
“The nanomachine is a audio-visual performance in which I improvise building nanoensembles in public, using a self-custom made software.
A nanoensemble is an ensemble of minimal objects, each with its own shape, sound and autonomous behavior, which trigger or influences the one of its neighbours, thus yielding a complex semi-autonomous rythmic machine, at the same time fully understandable and completely disorientating because of its complexity. The audio signature is one of an ambiguous rythmic sample loop mix, a kind of extreme generalization of Pendulum Music from Steve Reich, the visual aspect is strongly abstract, luminous and soft. Such nanoensembles can be seen in action here.
In the nanomachine, I improvise slowly constructing and deconstructing such nanoensembles, one after the other, using a custom self-made software tool called the nanomachine, which gives its name to the performance. The construction is very delicate as the machines often become unstable. My computer screen and mouse is projected to the public, and the sound of the machine goes to the sound system. Like in a jazz improvisation, the whole building process is thus completely open and readable.
The setup (the delicate realtime improvisation, the full readability by the public, the ambiguity of the machine, the enveloping sounds and images) makes for an strong and rich experience for all public.
Also, the nanomachine is a new expression, in the VJ/DJ field, of my plastic research, in which realtime autonomous programmed systems are emphasized as a first class matter, and in which traditional media such as image and sound are considered manifestations of underlying processes and forces. With the nanomachine, it is not the sound that follow the image nor the image that follow the sound: both stem from the same machine, or rather from the multiple objects that compose the ensemble. The fact that, in the nanomachine, the causality (from object to image and sound, from object to its neighbours, from object to ensemble) is slightly broken and always shifting, explicitely emphasize this approach. The senses as well as the reasoning of the public are constantly challenged, its focus balances between reality and abstraction. Frank Stella said : “What you see is what you see”, and here, it is what you feel, and nothing more, that questions.
The nanomachine is a public live struggle with a minimal Gesamtkunstwerk in the making..” Antoine Schmitt