Hydra ( Installation / Performance )
Nohista + Tasman Richardson

( Atari 2600 + voltage control + ableton live = immersive synesthesic noise performance)

Inspired by the New York school of abstract expressionism (Rothko, Kandinsky) and a desire to fuse contemporary technology with the passion and allegory of Greek myth, Hydra attempts to re-invest new media installation with humanity and emotion.

A large collection of vintage televisions displays a powerful and expressive signal generated from two Atari 2600s. The signal is randomly generated by the Ataris and is never exactly the same. We have developed a method for dimming and controlling the voltage with midi so that the signal can be played like an instrument. This results in a collaboration with the “ghost in the machine”. We control the rhythm and the timing, but the Ataris are always surprising us with a new signal of sound and image (see examples). We call this project Hydra, like the mythical beast because, like a hydra, We must cut off the power/head to control it, but it keeps growing a new head or new, erratic, expressive signal.

Live footage @ Nuit Blanche 2012 ( Ed video Gallery / Guelph/Canada) by Delphine Chevalier

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