Two Performers, Web Server, Mobile Web Application, Sound, Video Projection, Embedded Hardware

[performance, duration: ~40 minutes]

A complex network of interrelated nodes feeding into the ever-shifting tectonics of an autonomous, black-boxed, digital system, pl:2 seeks to make complicit the performer and the observer in a topology of influence and shared agency while questioning the individual’s role, and, more importantly, responsibility, when interfacing with such systems. While the seemingly (and debatably) innocuous use of embedded, personal networked devices feeds the cultural fetishization of the self, we are rarely met, face- to-face, with the implications of our actions in such digital systems.

When audience members log on, through their personal mobile devices, to the locally hosted web server, they are met with an interactive interface. Through tapping, clicking, and dragging—all actions that have become a part of our digital lexicon and neocyborgian embodiment—users influence the larger audio/video installation, producing real-time sound and video events, reifying a sense of location, connection, and involvement, satiating the individual desire for (artificial?) social existence.

Two performers enter. Still at first, then restrained in movement. Responding as they receive tactile feedback through any one of an array of vibrational motors held against their bodies, moving according to rules and laws provided through auditory messages directly to their headphones. As mobile-device-users continue to tap/click/jab/drag, the performers move faster, further, louder—slower, smaller, softer.

Created in collaboration with performers Meghan Anderson, Haley Day, and Alexander Davis.

Premiered at The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Studio 2 in Troy, NY, on April 27, 2017.

Performed at the International Conference for Live Coding 2017 in Morelia, Mexico on December 6, 2017.