Sitting.Breathing.Beating.[Not]Thinking for solo performer (2004)
composed and performed by adam overton
materials: performer, supercollider software, biometric sensors (eeg, ekg, brainwaves)
Performed every day at Noon, Sunday, 25 April thru Saturday, 1 May 2004 in front of The California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California
BEWARE, these excerpts are extremely loud. However, it is suggested that they be listened to maximum volume...
Some Brief Performance Notes:
Sitting.Breathing.Beating.[Not]Thinking involves seven afternoons of sitting meditation, sensors, and interactive sound software. While I sit quietly, my breaths, heartbeats and brainwaves manipulate digital sound in realtime, exposing the dynamic relationships between these continuously evolving, internal systems. Each afternoon's performance explores one of the seven different combinations of the three inputs, and uses the shapes of the signals as well as an in-depth analysis of them (e.g. breath rate, breath count, alpha and beta wave detection, heart rate, pulse count, to name a few) to generate an arsenal of time-varying controls. The projected sound is purely digital -- through a process termed 'data-bending', the software plays itself as if its datafiles were in fact soundfiles, resulting in somewhat static, noisy textures. The analog signals from my body then enter the digital realm of the computer as a "disturbance" by imprinting and imposing themselves on the sound.
This performance marks the culmination of my first year spent at Calarts researching, building tools for, and composing biometric performance. The tools that were developed to explore this realm include SuperCollider sound software, an EEG/ECG device, and a respiration harness and sensor. My heartfelt thanks goes out to my mentor David Rosenboom for his endless expertise and gracious aid in this process, and without whom this project would not have been possible. Additional thanks to Tom Leeser, Cecile Bouchier, Sara Roberts and Hilary Kapan of the Integrated Media Department, to James Tenney, Tom Erbe, and Bob Clendenen in the Music Department, to Mady Schutzman in the Critical Studies Department, to Bob Bellerue, Nate Harrison and Rebecca Ann Hobbs who helped with documentation efforts, and to all of my friends and fellow artists at Calarts.
Sitting.Breathing.Beating.[Not]Thinking was presented as part of the Calarts Integrated Media Spring 2004 exhibition, If Destroyed, Still True.
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