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The Arts
August 2-8, 2006

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Performances

Four North American and California premiere events


Aesthetics of Pure Data

Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics & C4I
California Theater, Mon 8pm Ticket Price: $25
Produced by forma, www.forma.org.uk
datamatics is co-commissioned by ZeroOne San Jose and the AV Festival Supported by Arts Council England and the Japan Foundation

The North American premiere of datamatics is the second audiovisual concert in Ryoji Ikeda's datamatics series, an art project that explores the potential to perceive the invisible multi-substance of data that permeates our world. Using pure data as a source for sound and visuals, datamatics combines abstract and mimetic presentations of matter, time and space in a powerful and breathtakingly accomplished work.

Ikeda's intense yet minimal graphic renderings of data progress through multiple dimensions, projecting dynamic, computer-generated imagery in pared down black and white with striking color accents. From 2D sequences of patterns derived from hard drive errors and studies of software code, the imagery transforms into dramatic, rotating views of the universe in 3D. The final scenes add a further dimension as four-dimensional mathematical processing opens up spectacular and seemingly infinite vistas. A powerful and hypnotic soundtrack reflects the imagery through a meticulous layering of sonic components to produce immense and apparently boundless acoustic spaces.

C4I is both a concert and a film that uses data as its material and theme to highlight the ways that data shapes our understanding of the world. It is comprised of filmed footage fused with digital graphics, accompanied by a soundtrack mixed live by the artist, to create a constantly evolving work that is updated with each performance. Video images of landscapes are progressively abstracted into a language of data. Facts, figures and diagrams are used in a montage with dazzling graphic impact.

In this highly atmospheric work, Ikeda strives for an aesthetic of pure data. Derived from the natural world, from global systems such as economics and from research mathematics, data forms a new material for the artist's explorations. C4I, in its meticulous composition and technical sophistication, reveals sublime views of reality in a work that is at once beautiful, poetic and political.

Commissioned by Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM), Japan, 2004. Supported by Arts Council England.

100,000 Years

Troika Ranch, I6 [R]evolutions
San Jose Repertory Theater, Sat & Sunday, 3 pm
Ticket Price: $25 Orchestra, $15 Balcony
Sponsored by Arts Council England and Essexdance

Troika Ranch is the collaborative vision of choreographer Dawn Stoppiello and composer/media artist Mark Coniglio who began their collaborative process while students at the California Institute of the Arts in the mid 1980s. Their multidisciplinary approach led them to begin defining themselves as "slash (/) artists," with the slash between their mediums (dance/theater/media) as the unifying component. In 1989 Coniglio, a self-taught computer programmer, designed a wireless sensory costume for Stoppiello, called MidiDancer. With this technology, they were able to further develop their slash theories and methodology. In 1990 they formalized their working relationship by founding Troika Ranch, a digital dance theater company that focuses on creation, education and innovation in theatrical performance.

According to the New York Times, in 16 [R]evolutions, "The primary effect is vivid abstract images, black through every shade of gray to white - broken stripes, horizontal and vertical; calligraphic ribbons; thin-lined sketches of structures that look like futuristic architectural renderings. The dancers, on a large stage, perform on and in front of these projected patterns, sometimes casting black or white shadows; the stripes and lines on their bodies are so crisp that they look like flowing costumes. As they move, their bodies create fluxes in the field, strange and fascinating humanoid shapes mirroring their movements."

16 [R]evolutions focuses on a single evolutionary path: how the animal drives of our pre-human ancestors have become sublimated to the point of abject confusion and disconnection. In stark contrast to this path, exquisite three-dimensional visuals warp and morph in direct response to the dancers movement, becoming more "animal" than the characters on stage.

16 [R]evolutions was created and developed through an international residency, facilitated by essexdance, the specialist dance development agency working with dance and digital media. Its presentation at ZeroOne San Jose is supported by Arts Council England East and the Office of Cultural Affairs in San Jose.

3 Data Bodies

The Builders Association/ dbox, Super Vision
California Theater Thu, Fri 8 pm, Sat 3 pm.
Ticket Price: $40 Thu/Fri; $32 Sat

"That's not politics—it's poetry. And it's the quintessence of Super Vision, a work of theatrical alchemy in which ideas are turned into art by making them more beautiful."—The Wall Street Journal, Terry Teachout, December 10, 2005

"All three [stories] are beautifully acted by a superb live cast of six; and they carry overwhelming weight, in a civilization that's shifting inexorably from the surface of Mother Earth into a digital universe we have barely begun to map."—The Scotsman, May 27, 2006

Super Vision explores the changing nature of our relationship to living in a post-private society where personal electronic information is constantly collected and distributed.

Super Vision is collaboration between the New York-based performance and media ensemble The Builders Association, a company that exploits the richness of contemporary technologies to extend the boundaries of theater, and dbox, a multidisciplinary studio whose work explores the intersection of visual arts and architecture through 3D digital media.

Super Vision illustrates a multi-faceted, multi-layered narrative using the language and technologies of surveillance itself. The data in which every character is immersed both surrounds the story and serves as a "trail" through it. Even before we are born, our personal electronic data begins to accumulate and to circulate. From our first sonogram, to birth certificates, academic records, dental records, credit card purchases, passports, and emails ­ as we grow, our "data body" grows with us, and becomes an integral part of our identity. In the age of information, we have come to accept, allow, and depend upon this new identity. How do we relate to the growing cloud of data that surrounds us and others?

In Super Vision, three stories collide on the edge of the datasphere. A solitary traveler is forced to reveal all of his personal information, until his identity becomes transparent, with no part of his life left outside the bounds of dataveillance. A young woman, addicted to the white noise of constant connection, maintains a long-distance relationship with her Grandmother. As she makes efforts to digitally archive her Grandmother's past, the grandmother slips into senility. The young woman is left to discover what remains of her Grandmother's life—and her own—outside the realm of data. A father covertly exploits his young son's personal data to meet the demands of the family's lifestyle. This ploy escalates beyond the father's control, until he is compelled to disappear. His wife and son are left with a starkly diminished data portrait.

Parallel Synchronicity

Mike Figgis, Time Code—The Live Mix
Parkside Hall, Fri, 8pm Ticket Price: $15
Presented by ZeroOne San Jose and Habitat
New Media Lab at the Canadian Film Centre

Time Code -- the Live Mix at ZeroOne San Jose will feature Mike Figgis's new interpretations of this seminal work he started in 2000. For this performance Figgis will be "playing" with the image and "re-mixing" the sound to create a new way to experience this story. Shot simultaneously on four cameras and presented in four frames, Time Code tracks the lives of a smitten lesbian lover as she obsesses over her partner's dalliances and the tense goings-on of a Hollywood film production company. Time Code is, as one of its critics point out, one of the "first films shot in real time in one take, to be truly interactive, and to present four different concurrent stories filmed simultaneously."

"I've been involved in European theater productions that had four simultaneous events going on in four separate spaces," says Figgis. "The audience would come on four separate nights and, in fact, the first film I ever made was a documentary about a multi-space performance art piece. I've also done theater productions that took place on a split stage, so to me, [Time Code] was a return to and a continuation of a certain kind of work that is very much concerned with an abstracted view of parallel action and synchronicity. These notions have always been an obsession for me."

Mike Figgis (Writer/Director/Composer) has roots in experimental theatre and music, which are just two primary influences that contribute to the creative vision in all of his feature films and documentaries. His works include 'mainstream' movies such as "INTERNAL AFFAIRS" with Richard Gere, to the critically-acclaimed "LEAVING LAS VEGAS" with Nicholas Cage and Elisabeth Shue. One of his latest documentaries includes "The Blues; Red White and Blues" for PBS, one episode in a series on "The Blues," which has been produced by Martin Scorsese. Most recently he has completed "In Space" -- a video installation for Designer Ron Arad completed during Spring 2005 in London, which was exhibited at Phillips de Pury NYC during May 2005.


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