Presenting an edited version of Los Angeles-based sound artist Sentinel’s ‘.mimic’ (2015) performance, recorded live on June 2 in a warehouse of LA’s Skid Row. The area is known for holding one of the largest homeless populations in the United States, and the piece –originally performed as an installation on two separate screens –comprises an audio-visual patch created using a NURBS (non-uniform rational basis spline), a common mathematical model for generating and representing curves and surfaces in computer graphics.
The outcome is (perhaps) a photo of city lights and (maybe) a motorcycle being morphed, manipulated and mutilated along with a soundscape that follows the movements of the hand –presumably Sentinel’s – that controls it. See below.
The artist was invited to Vilnius as part of Newman: Composium, along with Lithuanian producers Denature and J. G. Biberkopf, to perform at Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) on May 30, in the lead up to Lithuania’s first Newman Festival that ran July 3 to 6 (review to come soon). The festival and the composium is mostly concerned with the Anthropocene era, taking its name from the Greek word ἄνθρωπος (the Romanised ‘anthropo’ meaning man, and ‘cena’ meaning new) and exploring the effects between of humans on their environment and vice versa, within a world that is being increasingly controlled and disrupted by technology.
Hence, here is ‘.mimic’ where Sentinel leads the piece’s sounds and images through a filter that warps and moderates scenes and mechanics according to a whim that ends in something unrecognisable and potentially monstrous. It retracts, contracts and fractures according to a spatio-temporal motion created by a gloved human hand holding a computer mouse, on a screen that’s installed out of sight and in a darkened room.
As Sentinel explains it, these algorithms describe “the infinite non-uniform vastness of form found in nature”. It’s presentation in a kind of tutorial template used to showcase the live element of the patch allows “a glimpse into the ‘IRL’ moment. We give context to the NURBS’ organic movement and get a chance to meet the pilot”. **
Watch the video above.
Sentinel is a Los Angeles-based producer. He performed ‘.mimic’ at Vilnius’ CAC on May 30, and recorded it at LA’s Skid Row on June 2, 2015.
Header image: Sentinel, ‘.mimic’ (2015). Video still. Courtesy the artist.