The MSP collective defines itself as a unified non-hierarchical alliance accompanied by openness to outside information. MSP generates concerted and concentrated (immediate) output manifestations, each labeled MSP. Thus far, the group’s collaborative oeuvre consists of eight distinct manifestations in the form of extended performance and installation situations (MSP I – MSP VIII). The concept underlying MSP’s essence is understood as procedural, and its evolution is therefore incomplete.
Consequently, MSP may be interpreted as a complex but simple (minimalist), adaptive system, capable of continuous transformation on account of its inner structure and the influence of the surrounding environment. At first, the environment is everything that MSP is not. Certain elements within the environment are then brought into relief according to their utility as defined by MSP. In adapting just a few specific fragments of its surroundings, MSP acts like a filter, extracting and amplifying elements of interest. Because all artwork and indeed all humans act as filtration systems as regards all experience, MSP is especially interested in how this filtration process takes place and how it can be manipulated. Additional elements MSP considers involve contemporary art treatises (especially within media and music) in confluence with MSP’s own personal discourse. The work itself confronts and questions accepted positions of art reception within the establishment. MSP challenges the predetermined constructs whose fulfillment is expected to occur via art and societal contexts.
The receptive apparatus described above results in fluctuating appearances (visual as well as aural). These contrast the aesthetic consistency espoused by the artists’ taste. The decisions made employ first a minimalist approach – an attention to just the fundamental features of sites and materials. This restricted foundation is primarily an adaptive method accompanied by distinct interventional operations. MSP labors with given sites and material. The principle of strict limitation and restriction is an essential strategy for the group’s conceptual coherence. This simplicity also facilitates the artist-to-audience relationship; the spectators can follow what’s happening.
As stated above, Light, Sound and Space, are the three major elements concerning MSP. They are all entities which demand separate consideration (explicated below), even if they are highly interwoven within the group’s inherent concepts.
Every performance and installation is considered a unique piece of artwork, created especially for a specific environment and for only one performance. The site, its salient properties, and the context in which the site exists (both globally and locally) all contribute pragmatically in performance design. The performance environment establishes a conceptual starting point and determines the piece’s intention. The site’s shape, its size and its physical feeling further delineate where in fact the group performs. From these parameters, MSP determines the setup configuration (arrangement ideas concerning performer/spectator, audio/light equipment, etc.). The site may be anything inside and/or outside as long as it provides an appropriate fundament for the pertinent elements as well as some room for modification.
MSP explores strategies regarding performer and spectator relationships – tactics investigating integrations and disintegrations, connections and disconnections within and consistent with the given site.
In the first performance, the group broke with the conventions of a traditional concert setting and the official function of these enclosed performance spaces. With each of the succeeding pieces, more and more extreme separations between spectators and performers as well as separations between the performers themselves developed. The subversion of audience expectations is a primary goal of the group. If, for instance, the audience is located in the same space as the performer, mounted constructions of technical equipment (e.g. sound and light objects) may distinguish the two parties.
The group is interested in mechanisms that reintroduce produced matter (e.g. sound) back into production-process (feedback). The sonic feed-material exists therefore already in the site before any MSP manifestation. The group exclusively activates, amplifies and modifies this information.
The regenerating raw audio feedback, shaped by the performance space itself, is the basis for the music experience. However, the resultant music passes through a series of real-time computer and mixer transformations, audio processing and deconstruction before its amplification for audience reception. Extreme volume in contrast to silence, the use of the entire frequency spectrum, rising abstract rhythmic patterns, drones, clusters and vibrating sub-basses are methods of analyzing, extracting information about the site’s shape, size, and substance and the objects within it. The resounding sonic information is additionally used to trigger and control the light design that fills the entire or applicable areas of the space.
The concert configuration depends on the group’s aforementioned concern with site specificity and aesthetic preference. As a result of MSP’s choices regarding these issues, the audience is confronted with extremely dynamic, contrasting light and darkness situations, spanning from 60w light bulbs to dazzling, hot 6kw light-batteries. The lights can be targeted at the audience and/or performers, or they may illuminate and shadow different architectural aspects or objects situated within the site. MSP’s light configurations follow rules that are in no way comparable with arrangements found in concert situations wherein light design is employed as a directive to audiences or as stage ornamentation. In opposition, the group is contextualizing temporary installation-setups in which it finds ways to confront themselves as well as the spectator with the presence of high-energy light-waves.
To date, MSP has experimented and labored with professional stage lights, heavy-duty working lights, pyrotechnics, found-light-objects, light ready-mades (site-specific pre-installed elements that MSP modifies), lights of motor vehicles, and strobe lights.