May 11, 2012


On March 30th, 2012 TSC performed as part of Reverb, an exhibition event at Bankley Gallery hosted by the MACFA students (of which I am one). Prior to the performance I had asked my peers on the course to record the performance. I let them know that they could film as much or as little of it as they wanted, and also let them know how I was planning on editing the footage together. This is the result (above).

The video itself is downloadable from vimeo (though there is an HD version on youtube, as they allow for a higher file size, but its read-only), and you can also download the sound file from the [free] downloads section of this site. Everything’s under a CC-BY license.

I find it really rewarding when other artists want to expand on the work I create. What contributes to that attitude is the notion that these performances are just me trying to put forward the best possible performance for the version of the work as it is at that time (and I’m speaking for myself there–”I” vs “we”–because I can best express my own thoughts, in my own words, when I’m not trying to democratize them or mediate them to try to encapsulate what Rod and Anton might also think.)

Expanding on that idea: Not in any kind of grandiose way, but I think some ideas are too big, or full of potential, to belong in just one person’s care. And I’m not saying that this performance is ‘a big idea’ or anything like that. These are just some of my thoughts on the free flow of ideas. I think its really arrogant for one person to presume they should be an idea’s sole keeper. There can be so many directions that a single idea might take, one person might not be able to actualize every strand even if they devoted their entire life to it. As far as I’m concerned, this is the only way to move forward when weighted against the disservice and harm that the alternative would suggest. We need evolve our idea of ownership so it doesn’t stunt humanity’s own evolution during this time of increasing technological and creative wonder.

Needless to say I got a very excited email from my friend Mauricio Pauly saying [really excitedly] that its rocked him out of a blockage he’s been having regarding a piece he’s been writing. Its beyond awesome that something I made is useful in that way.

Reverb Red

(Skip ahead in the video to 5:14 to see the moment the still above was taken.)


(left) This is a picture of the painting as it was exhibited post-performance and for the duration of the exhibit. I had decided that I would make the decision how [and IF !] to represent my work in ‘object’ form only after I had performed (though I had planned for each eventuality.) Right after the performance on the night, I transferred the audio onto my ipod and mounted it along with headphones, so that it was available to the audience immediately. I think this seemingly improptu installation spoke to the improvised nature of the work. On this occasion I decided to leave the canvas stretched, as I had decided to give it away as a gift and it was still stretched during that transaction. I feel that at that point, ownership was transferred and I was able to “let it exist out in the world” absolved of any involvement in transforming it further. In my mind this was the perfect resolution since for me the performance, in all its transience, is the true form of the work, though there is an actual physical object that I’m left to contend with.

Reverb flyer

This is one of the flyers I designed for the event (above). The text is inspired by a drawing that Cristine Brache made once upon a time.


Apr 13, 2012

Light potential

I’ve been tearing into canvases since I started using the projector to augment the experience (It just felt like the natural thing to do). However, just recent I’ve started placing the projector behind the canvas–so now it looks like I’m drawing with light as I break the fibers. After practice Anton drew my attention to the lines thrown across the room. Of course this happens! But it hadn’t occurred to me as I was doing it. Now that I know, I can use it and grow it. Pretty f—ing awesome.

Light potential by Takahashi (A sample from that session)

Apr 8, 2012

Shower Thoughts

Rod just saw the title and made me aware of how it sounded. Perhaps not as sexy a post given the title….

Move the drawings to three dimensional space.

Do it with movement and sound.
Possibly by diffusing the sound.
Eliminate the canvas/flat surface [any surface].
Eliminate the physical mark.
Use concat synthesis to create the sounds using gesture.
The natural gesture that would create them on the canvas surface I’m used to (as a starting point from which to build).

Keep breath to light.
Move in space.
Draw with sound to create the drawing.
I’ve built up the experience I wonder if I can do it without the visual output of actual marks.

Collect a library of sounds.
Build a corpus.

For home listening/viewing disconnected from the performance
Record the jit.window output
Record the sounds
Viewer wears headphones and closes eyes, then is placed in front of a projector (maybe just a computer screen is bright enough)
A version of the experience (just like the painting is–just a sample), if one can’t be at a performance, which is the ideal situation.
A translation.

Things I can do:
-Control brightness: the ramp up rate/decay rate
-All white
-Light off or all black
-All red
-Intensity of red based on pitch
-Red splash (currently with a set duration but doesn’t have to be)
-Synth pitch based on voice pitch
-Stutter/strobe (currently can’t control the alternating rate. Currently set at the constant 50 milliseconds)

Things I want to do:
-Illuminate specific area of a canvas (control the brightness & shape of those areas)
-Play back sounds using gestures in space–sounds that those gestures would produce on the canvas. Concat?
-Get my left hand free; not tied to a wiimote. Can do this if I move to gestures.

Extended mind thesis
Extended body

If you can do anything, why do this? -Rod
Anything is possible -me
Not everything is worth doing -my father

What’s worth doing?

I assume I can control [some aspects] of my development–conscious development.

I assume the norm for me is to exist in time and that it moves forward, as far as its perceivable to me. Its not useful in terms of my own development to assume I have no control or to not believe in time, or to believe the most useful things occur outside of time.

f(k) = A
Thinking of myself in terms of Kate Freeborough. (Is that formula kinda right?)
Kate is interested in play without agenda.
I have an agenda.
I do what I do to exercise mixing up information. I think I increase the probability of success by doing it in an unforgiving environment–in front of people, performing, in time (which is unforgiving because there are no ‘take backs’).
Doing it with other people (Anton and Rod) creates a dynamic, stimulating environment that I have to navigate in.  I have to read it and respond.

Its getting easier to hear.

I improvise in that environment.
I set my intention to be aware and to be as fluid as possible so I can learn what I don’t know. I want to be surprised.

Questions to ask Kate:
Do you believe you can do anything?
Do you believe anything is possible?
Is everything you do worth doing?
Do you set an intention before beginning to make?
Do you [always] play without agenda? or is there sometimes ‘game’ involved?
Can you expand on the difference between the two as far as you’re concerned?
Do you consider unpredictability in your closed systems?
If yes:
What’s the role of of unpredictability in your closed systems?

Mar 29, 2012

I am mostly bacteria

I am mostly bacteria. My body is in stability, an equilibrium of symbiotic small organisms. But I also have a single point of view, I. And it is a tool, or a muscle, that evolved from that organization of trillions of simpler life forms–presumably because it benefited me.  I am still trillions of bacteria. I think sometimes about how my I is not as big a part of me as I necessarily presume it is.

I wonder if that consciousness formed slowly or came into existence all at once.  What is the simplest form of life that has that singular awareness? Or is that singular awareness just a group of dummies that cross a critical mass threshold, and the whole crowd puts that self-awareness hat on for the time they are that group? Its funny to think about ooze that’s all of a sudden like “whoop! Here I am”

And then…
What am I doing when I am part of a group and we explore the transfer of information–and there’s an ephemeral abstraction to it?

Bonnie Bassler: Discovering bacteria’s amazing communication system
Joe Rogan: “There’s a study that proves that humans are 96% chimpanzee. If I gave you a sandwich that was 96% shit… and 4% ham… would you call that a ham sandwich? Shit sandwich, my friend.”

Mar 15, 2012


MP3 (8:55) of our TSC performance
VIDEO of the event with Takahashi as the first act

Takahashi’s Shellfish Concern performed at Trinity Church on March 15th 2012 for a Videoformers event. I used the new set up, which means I was controlling the light source using a wii-mote, in conjunction with my voice/breathing, in conjunction with Max/MSP.  There are still lots of things to improve on with this set up. I’d like to get my left hand free again. I feel too restricted not being able to use it, even if its not the hand I draw/paint with. It wasn’t the best performance, and didn’t yield the best painting, but it reinforced my feelings about refining things and needing to push forward.

On the video you’ll also be able to see other performances from Helmut Lemke and Kate Freeborough.




Takahashi's Shellfish Concern merges sonic and visual information into a single transmission during improvised performances. I think we're all exploring consciousness, and I want to realize with every thought and expression that I am that through which the universe speaks. TSC helps me in trying to do this. We are based in Manchester, England.

Angela Guyton
Rodrigo Constanzo
Anton Hunter