The Use of a Personal Computer is an audiovisual live performance in which the computer and its interfaces are explored, exploited and exhibited in an unusual fashion.
Originally criticising solely windows and Windows, the performance has developed into an ongoing project and a series of shows which consecutively add to the following while maturing thematically and stylistically. The 2017 pt. 2 performance took a large step by moving from direct display mirroring to a 3D environment that would be moved around of live with a game controller. Displaying screen captures of moments spent with(in) computer systems, the time has stopped here, as if the cybernetic loop was interrupted.
The first performance (The Use of a Personal Computer 2016) was a 4-hour VJ set at Ihana Baari in Helsinki, 1.4.2016, write-up of which includes the following: “By exhibiting systems often personally consumed or experienced and interacted with, the performance aimed to break the typical connectedness to these media artefacts, ridiculing them and the content we access within the systems. Through both the context of the act and the visual distortion and abuse of the interface, the familiar turns into disruptive and exciting, even entertaining. The typical use of software is turned into exhibitive media performance, ultimately displaying how visual and flat our interaction with computers is.” Full text.
Leonid Demin joined the project to produce a live soundtrack for the second performance (2016 pt.2), which was performed at a Viiksimaisteri exhibition “Koodeja” (26.11.2016). A stack of modular synthesizers mixed with the computer audio proved interesting, which has kept us motivated to work and perform together, diving into the depths of the processes of our machines, exploring the cybernetics between us and our equipment, both analog and digital, carnal and mental.
The Use of a Personal Computer 2017, pt.2 introduced a 3D-environment built with openFrameworks, restraining interaction as to the exhibited forms (although screen, windows and Windows are quite constraining also). 3D objects’ textures include screenshots and screencapturing of the computer interface, keeping in line with the previous performances, whilst the shapes are mostly boxes, iMacs and a 3D sculpture of myself. The 3D environment is explored live with a game controller and I have a graphical user interface with toggles as to what would be shown and what not, sliders for lights and some opacities.
Leonid Demin describes his work as follows: “Orchestra in a wooden box. Instrument built one piece at a time, modules of which the user has chosen according to their own taste. The amendability of the system is what makes the difference to other, non-modular synthesisers. The signal route can begin wherever and end almost anywhere. To me, it is sonic sculpting with electricity.”
Audio-only available on SoundCloud:
The Use of a Personal Computer 2017, pt.2
Performed at Ääniaalto ’17 Sound Festival organized by DADA at Vapaan Taiteen Tila, Helsinki 10–11.3.2017.
Viiksimaisteri (visual) & Leonid Demin (sound)
Source code available here.
- mmiisas – BREKKIE: ULKONÄKÖPAINEET (published 5.3.2017 on YouTube)
- pyrofiliac – Modular on the Roof – Improvising with Eurorack Modular Outdoors (published 20.9.2016 on YouTube)