Conductcontacttransmit(CCT) is a collaborative semi-improvised electroacoustic performance by Bojana Šaljić Podešva (SI) and Maria Papadomanolaki (GR) developed between 2013-2014 during a series of short residencies produced by CONA Institute for contemporary arts processing in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The spine of the work is based on a collaboratively generated text-score that is used to manipulate and design sounds during the performance. More specifically, for over a year the two artists worked together remotely, exchanging existing texts and writings about their experiences of living in Ljubljana at different lenghts and timeframes, prompting the generation of new scores. Although coming from different creative backgrounds, the artists agreed to start their collaboration on a philosophical and conceptual level while focusing on the material aspect of language.
Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of the utterance as a polyphonic mechanism (Bakhtin, 1986, p. 78, 98) becomes important when exchanging their individual ideas towards a jointly composed piece. Relating to what Jenkins or de Certeau referred to in their writing’s as ‘poaching’ (de Certeau, 1984, pp.174-175; Jenkins, 2013, p. 26) the artists attempt to deconstruct, reconstruct, merge and re-appropriate popular or widely accepted narratives about the perception of the urban environment in an effort to introduce marginal, speculative and transient meanings. This process of excavation and distillation of writings led to the generation of keywords that the artists selected from the original texts and used to compose the final text-score used in the performance.
Instead of following the text-score word by word for the performance of the piece, the artists choose to use it as a libretto for structuring the piece and choosing the sounds. In its four consecutive movements titled ‘surface’, ‘under’, ‘vortex’ and ‘core’ the final form of conductcontacttransmit emerges from the synapses and conflicts between the text-score and the performers’ improvised mutual sonic exchanges. With text-score and sound equally prone to fragmentation and contingency, the performance attempts to offer a playful and thought-provoking interplay between these registers of perception. The text-score in the form of a projected video and its fast-moving words touch upon the sound found in visual stimuli and vice versa, on the interplay between antitheses. Ultimately, the performance aspires to offer a playful and thought-provoking interplay between text, sound, memory and imagination.
The suggested stage plan is for the performers to set-up their equipment and instruments in the middle of the room, off-stage, in-between the audience, all facing the projection screen and with the four speakers surrounding them.
Different iterations of the performance were presented at
ZVO.ČI.TI so.und.ing DUO, Kino Šiška, Ljubljana, SI, September 2014; Sonorities Festival 2015, SARU Sonic
Lab, Queen’s University, Belfast, April 2015; Surprise
and Serendipity, Apiary Studios, London, April 2015.