A floor has been laid out. Moving green dots on the map mark a crowd gathering.
An hour before I’d been at work, planning to stay on for the evening’s film. But I’d picked up on Ziki Questi’s twitter feed that SaveMe Oh was going to stage a performance that evening, at The Josef K Galleria dell’Arte. For sure, I know of SaveMe’s reputation. But then you can’t always predict the ones that sink their teeth in your leg, I well know.
I’d been to one of her performances before, but not with a graphic card that could take the display in its stride, or a pair of quality speakers to pump the bass. I invested in a couple of decent speakers for my computer because I listen to so much music while sat in front of it. For the price of a couple of gig tickets it’s been well worth it. But apparently I’m the kind of girl who puts on headphones when I go to a concert, and I’d hate to disappoint a friend. And I like nothing better than a bit of visual humour laced with sarcasm too.
I’ve talked many times on my blog about what is digital art. While you can argue about the overlap, the core has to be what it can do that other forms can’t. And this is digital art. Re-embodied, not dis-embodied we are sharing an experience with others; it is temporary, ephemeral, immersive, visceral. We have gathered from around the World in one chosen place. It is immersive and visceral because of its own persuasive power and our sense of being. Campfire stories do it, cinema does it, games do it.
It is not because the technology shuts everything else out. Immersivity is a state of mind, not a state of technology.
Throughout are voices, typed in local chat. I’m concentrating on the images and only turn to conversation towards the end. This is a sociability, an engagement, a playfulness that is part of the performance, something the artist can only facilitate, not create. And she is encouraging it.*
This is the profound difference between the artist as gatekeeper, the maintainer of good taste and high art, and the artist that breaks down the doors and lets everyone in, to make of it what they will. Vive la révolution.
* You can read more of it for yourself on her blog, though it does lose a little of its meaning outside of the heat of the moment.