50 Mouches/49 Flies

49 Flies/50 Mouches

This is a new piece that I am currently developing. It has two starting points.

First, it situates itself in the continuity of performance and studio work that I started in 2009. It was called ‘Animation Exercises, it was performed publicly a few times and the film ‘Triptych” resulted from it. This new work is based on the same setup of my performance software and allows for the same style of improvisation that results in a non-linear approach to animation. The performance is based on a structure of short overlapping cycles in which images are being recorded for a short period of time and then erased to be replaced by new drawings, and so on. The drawings are made more to fit in the combinatory process that goes on than to add to the linear development of some kind of a storyline, as is usually the case in animation. Three loops of different length are superposed and each of them is altered by changes in speed, size, direction of animated motions, and order of the images. All this is processed in real time in parallel to the live creation of the images. The result is a very singular experience of time, both static and vertiginous.

The visual improvisation is accompanied by a soundtrack made from recordings of flies imprisoned between the panes of a double window, which was handed to me by the sound editor Claude Beaugrand. From an hour and a half of recording, I will make a 30 minutes long soundtrack. It has been quite a while that I felt that there was an imbalance in my solo performances with recorded music. People have been pointing this out to me a few times. I was always worried that it would look as if the musician could not come and that I was forced to use recorded music. I thought that making a non-musical soundtrack would resolve this misunderstanding. So I had discussions about this with Claude Beaugrand and he offered me those recordings. The special character of those sounds opens up two possibilities: I can either use this soundtrack for solo performances, or invite a musician to improvise with the sound of the flies.

This soundtrack also brings a thematic element that was absent in the “Animation Exercises” which were visually more open ended. In this case, a reference to the shape of flies or insects is obligatory, and dramatically this brings also a sense of confinement, claustrophobia and panic. I suppose that somehow it will have Kafkaesque undertones of metamorphosis and imprisonment.

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