Electroacoustic Music & Immersive Digital Art Converge At the SAT

Akousma Presents ‘Cosmic Polarizations’ and ‘Las Pintas’

  • In ‘Las Pintas,’ some visuals maintained a cartoonish aesthetic. Courtesy Sebastien Roy

  • ‘Cosmic Polarizations’ and ‘Las Pintas,’ which ran as a performance between Oct. 15–19, will continue as an installation between Oct. 22–26, 29–30. Courtesy Sebastien Roy

  • On Oct. 15, artists performed their pieces behind laptops. Courtesy Sebastien Roy

The bar is set high from the first act.

The Société des arts technologiques, in collaboration with Akousma, presents works by three artists working with the immersive Satosphere dome, a 360-degree canvas and sound environment.

On Oct. 15, artists performed their pieces behind laptops offering super-aesthetic experiences with electroacoustic music and projected digital art.

As is the custom at the SAT, participants entered the dome and chose from an array of bean bag chairs to lie on as they passively engaged with the work. If you were craving a drink from the SAT’s restaurant Labo Culinaire, you may have been able to combine two luxuries.

Teresa Carrasco Garcia set the tone for the program with Cosmic Polarizations. Drawing from research in cosmology, the work carried audience members beyond the dome and our own stratosphere.

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Vast sweeps of azure, momentary and vaporous, manifested on a pitch black screen at the piece’s onset.

Synchronized to percussive ambient sounds with reverberation suggestive of circular cathedrals, Carrasco Garcia’s visuals, created with Max/MSP, a visual music and multimedia programming language, expanded the dome.

While the work is abstract, some images were identifiable, from large-scale measurements of artificial space—resembling astronomical charts—to isolated 3D models of electromagnetic radiation graphs, constantly changing.

Lines illustrating polarization flashed across the screen as unique entities, animated in tones of magenta and green.

Despite their intricacy, some of the visuals overpowered the soundscapes, appearing too quickly en masse.

There were moments of clarity, however: an evolving texture of seemingly biotic sounds, like choruses of aquatic mammals beneath the ocean and an outro of swaying inharmonic masses—solar winds to situate the audience somewhere between the earth and the stars.

As a counterpoint, Las Pintas seemed to work predominantly with biotic objects.

As is the custom at the SAT, participants entered the dome and chose from an array of bean bag chairs to lie on as they passively engaged with the work. Courtesy Sebastien Roy

A collaborative work between musician Jose Miguel Fernandez and visual artist Raphaël Foulon, the piece follows an overall kaleidoscopic form as the attack and decay of tactile sounds spans the length of the screen.

There were perspective shifts from micro to macro as melodies complemented expansive, polymorphic chains that encircled the audience.

Some visuals maintained a cartoonish aesthetic, playing with the viewers’ sense of material space through intense contrasts between boldly defined shapes. These were attenuated by intervals of gentle scintillations, where music and image saturated the audience through more uniform motives.

An overall mesmerizing experience, Las Pintas carried you through dreamlike visions without denying the presence of an architect.

One highlight of the performance was the images of shadowy hands converging on screen. Contributing to the theme of transformation, they were as much manipulated material as they were symbols of their creators.

Cosmic Polarizations and Las Pintas, which ran as a performance between Oct. 15–19, will continue as an installation between Oct. 22–26, 29–30.

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