Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Stills from “This Papaya Tastes Perfect”
“IT’S 2011. THE TWIN TOWERS OF REASON AND TASTE STILL SHINE DOWN UPON ALL POSITIONS. BUT SOMETHING ANCIENT LURKS.
Somewhere in the dark between Wall Street and Chinatown.
A crowd of futures traders gathers outside a bar to watch something. Something alive.
The exhibition premieres a new digitized performance that sets a sequence of encounters between physical human behavior and the virtual environment.
Both tall, muscular, dyed blonde. Drunken warriors from the same tribe.
They’ve forced an alien driver to stop his car in the middle of the street.
Motion Capture is a recording process that registers the physical movements of the performer absent the image of the performer. The recorded movements are then translated onto a digital body. In Hollywood, motion capture is used to give impossible non-human characters an anthropomorphic spirit.
Working with a choreographer, a performer, and a small team of motion capture technicians, Cheng has configured the motion capture process into a format for recording a visceral, incomplete memory.
The driver tries to reason but they can read the fear in his body.
They want the blood.
Placing the performer under a matrix of contradictory choreographies, a debased narrative, whiskey, and technical bondage, an ancient horrifying physicality is registered in the virtual environment as a sequence of legible movements punctuated by impossible gestures and gross deformations. In this space, motion becomes a new material.
The traders are too scared to intervene, but they also yearn for something raw.
The car is cast as an impromptu mediator, protracting the inevitable moment.
What happens next I have to play out for you. I don’t remember the details, but my body does.
TO CALIBRATE YOUR BODY TO THE COMPUTER AND THE COMPUTER TO YOUR BODY, STAND CRUCIFIED AND SPEAK IN YOUR EVERYDAY VOICE: “THIS PAPAYA TASTES PERFECT.”” – Ian Cheng/FORMALIST SIDEWALK POETRY CLUB