In which I find a voice..

So a very exciting and productive day at rehearsals for Methods today, held at Dance4’s studios at the gorgeous College Street Centre in Nottingham. It was great to see Rishii and Yuyu working with each other, interpreting the various data feeds that drive the production at this stage. The project involves a number of collaborators and contributors – Rishii Chowdhury (tabla player), David Cotterrell (artist), Fareda Khan (freelance curator), Gurdeep Sian (cultural animateur), Khush Nubian (myself, an artist), Stella Couloutbanis (freelance arts consultant and curator) and Sean Clark (creative technologist) – working together to realise the vision of Ashok Mistry. Before today my involvement had been to assist Ashok during exploratory sessions with Rishii and Sean, hosted at Interact Labs at Phoenix, Leicester, and as a sounding board as he continues to develop and deepen the message and creative direction of the project. In recent weeks this has involved critiquing a text, written by Ashok, which would be relayed either as a vocal recording or as projected subtitles simultaneously with Rishii and Yuyu’s performances. Today, entirely spontaneously, I began ‘remixing’ Ashok’s text in Google Docs, capturing and interspersing the incidental words spoken by Rishii, Yuyu, Ashok, Sean and G as they ran through the sequence of the Twitter feed, or ‘swarm’, prompting Yuyu’s movement and Rishii’s tabla playing. I was really excited by the new text as it emerged, simply by my grabbing words as they were spoken around me and mashing them up with lines from the original text. This led to me reading the text out loud as Rishii drummed and Yuyu danced. You can read both versions below. Until today my own practice has been predominantly visual but I kind of feel like a whole world of words (and possibly performance) has opened up for me to explore.

Ashok’s text:

Hello world

#wow

lots of other worlds

I should say

#helloWorlds

each distinct

each talking to the other in real time

each with more virtual time that you can scroll through

Oh shit i’ve just #burntMyFood

or was it my fingers when i responded to that dude in the email

who is and isn’t MIchael Green

all in one failed wikileak

Just like the Facebook phone

Because they thought that you thought that people thought that Facebook was the Internet and you believe it

You’re whole digital existence monotone and monocular

Just like the time when you were told you had a lazy eye and had to walk around with an eye patch to wake the other one up

Nothing neutral about that then

do you ever wonder why you are infinitely scrolling through a chronologically illogical timeline

Not the timeline of past futures that didn’t happen

Just #shitHappening

I’m……

encouraged to hate spielberg for killing a dinosaur

or share a vine of this cat playing the tabla to #thisHashtag

No wonder 19 percent of people drop their phones in the toilet

Hope it was insured or at least wrapped up in a silicone condom case

I ain’t chatting shit

You ticked the box and…

just slipped

and #tumbled

#likeAToddler

faced down into the touch tabla, where skilled fingers attack points to make the beats mean something new

You helped make this

we’re all part of the system

in the algorithm

ye, you’re the bit that makes everything divide by three

keep tweeting and it won’t fade

Just remember #theresOnlySoMuchYouCanFitInACamalCaseHashTag

Cookies aren’t round

and please note that by plugging into this craziness, you agree to the use of cookies and other technologies as set out in our intrusion policy

it’s not open source

just free at the point of use

made of pure freemium

skip ad’s and watch out for the in-app purchases

You could download the torrent but watch the leaches

Follow the wire from the drums and into a box

what inputs

must outputs as something other(don’t I know it after my last supper)

#somethingWeirder

same ish data

different code

colours from the box read by eyes glazed with their meaning

Humanising data but dehumanising the human

Irony isnt lost when you go

High

low

loop

loop again and the drums change rhythm

bluetoothed and ready to party on to the final destination

touch the screen

taste the scream

that jolt of excitement when you first enter and see everyone there waving back at you

you’re part of the tribe

connected and visible

or is it…

that jolt of angst when you’re trolled by that guy who got caught with his pants down

your one of the vulnerable

disconnect and delete account

Which one are you

the back room bard

poetrying on google drive in the vein hope you can’t lose nothing

or…..

the Digital apostate who mourns all things analog

all things that could be understood in linear space

Oh shit i’ve just #lostFeelingInMyLegs

playing GTA all night with my BFF’s one of which is my BBF

I can’t walk now

but, I feel biverse

——Today’s live mash-up (words captured from today in bold):

clean data

follow the cues

we follow each other

can we reset it?

so there’s a swarm

same ish data

different code

let’s stop there

it’s gonna be random

it can be anywhere between 5 and 10 seconds and 15 seconds and 30 seconds

is that enough?

and then you’re moving back to something else

we were able to explore each of the levels

the Digital apostate who mourns all things analog

all things that could be understood in linear space

if you shout what you want

or when you’re done with something

this is what today is about

understanding the device

you can rest against one of these

High

low

loop

loop again and the drums change rhythm

How do you feel about the swarm?

it’s ok to hold it for a bit

that jolt of excitement when you first enter and see everyone there waving back at you

if you move as though you’re following it

I’m not sure if I can read it

Oh shit i’ve just #lostFeelingInMyLegs

create something direct from the data from the drums

it’s not as if she’s following the sound of the drums

she’s following another data

as it gets louder I get closer 2 u

Which one are you

I ain’t chatting shit

We’d have to have a really, really potent projector

maybe in the break

what we’re trying to do is quite subtle

you’re part of the tribe

connected and visible

Because they thought that you thought that people thought that Facebook was the Internet and you believe it

Ah that’s better

Now I’m getting lovely clean data

this is randomising

i’m just thinking

maybe we can try now

we just keep trying with the low

just the low position with the swarm

on the high you will

You helped make this

we’re all part of the system

she is working with the swarm now

in the algorithm

october 15th

sat

Nothing neutral about that then

#informant

12 to 25

lots of other worlds

more virtual time

because

Just #shitHappening

You’re whole digital existence monotone and monocular

you helped make this

shall we stop there?

we’re giving more time to explore

to make sense

with the swarm

you know when i started talking

it would have been good if you had kept saying words

just random words

it’ll be a recorded thing

this is now random

I can’t walk now

still focusing on the swarm

but, I feel biverse

when you’re not tied to it you’re free

people are meant to be watching something

so you’re kind of paying attention

you can read bits if you want

when you’re completely ignoring the swarm

you’re the bit that makes everything divide by three

disconnect and delete account

all in one failed wikileak

you should follow me now

when I am high

i feel less time

act

in the algorithm

my army

but the reset

I quite like it

I slow down and start watching everything around me

when we start and end

i just close the sketch

bluetoothed and ready to party on to the final destination

that hashtag broken into letters

You ticked the box and…

just slipped

and #tumbled

we’re gonna have touch points

No wonder 19 percent of people drop their phones in the toilet

Hope it was insured or at least wrapped up in a silicone condom case

you’ll see that same swarm

and then relay that to another computer

there’s a little device

the final output

the final residue

a futile production line of sorts

all the energy needed to push that data through

and there’s a beginning and an end

because you want there to be a beginning and an end

we could keep going forever

there’s different texts

do you also think there should be a moment where I shouldn’t be playing at all?

it shows that you’re following her

it’s like you’re waiting

is your reset a different one?

are you ready for a take?

once it stops

it stops

and please note that by plugging into this craziness, you agree to the use of cookies and other technologies as set out in our intrusion policy

it’s not open source

did you not just say

audience texts/tweets

and he plays the tweets

there is no master of the system

the system is the master

and all of this is wired up to the drum

let’s go to the reset

touch the screen

taste the scream

Nothing neutral about that then

you’re high but your resetting

which means you’ll lose the feeling

when i go to the blue, high part

i don’t know what to do without your drumming

when one is in reset

the other is in crescendo

look at the data that comes through

and then we can pick out the patterns that we want to identify

it’s all down to distance isn’t it

we could look at a different system to move you

You could download the torrent but watch the leaches

playing GTA all night with my BFF’s one of which is my BBF

it’s that accessibility thing isn’t it?

do you ever wonder why you are infinitely scrolling through a chronologically illogical timeline

Not the timeline of past futures that didn’t happen

what happens if nobody tweets?

You helped make this

we’re all part of the system

how long have you had the account for?

colours from the box read by eyes glazed with their meaning

Humanising data but dehumanising the human

i don’t think we should make it that explicit

you know the tags that they got Amazon employees to wear?

Irony isnt lost when you go

Just like the time when you were told you had a lazy eye and had to walk around with an eye patch to wake the other one up

telling people that their tweets are driving this is enough

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