HILARY HARP & SUZIE SILVER
In the “Performance” section we present
excerpts of eight out of ten sections of Fruit Machine, a live-video
variety show created and performed by Hilary Harp & Suzie Silver.
Fruit Machine occupies a unique place at the juncture between technically
sophisticated interactive media and a humble and carnivalesque aesthetics
reminiscent of a folk ritual or a school play. Combining sculptural
controllers and costumes with live and pre-recorded sound and
video, the performance creates a bridge between the physical world
and the unbounded universe of the screen. Camp codes of high artifice
and excess, and camp’s self-conscious celebration of exotica are all
at work here.
Description of Fruit Machine
Fruit Machine is a campy hour-long media performance that uses a dynamic interplay between live and screen-based events to probe the relationship between bodies and fantasies. Inspired by a long tradition of camp aesthetics, especially Jack Smith’s homemade participatory glamour and Leigh Bowery’s extravagant perversity, Fruit Machine brings together camp and digital performance. Using Arduino microcontrollers, Bluetooth and Max/MSP/Jitter, physical props and costumes actively influence screen-based and sonic events. The overall performance is more mutant musical or concert than play. As much emphasis is placed on sound as image, with props and costumes functioning as audio-visual instruments. Fruit Machine includes ten short acts: five live sections and five pre-recorded “music videos.” It is designed to be an intimate, improvisatory performance, and it is structured to allow for revision, expansion, and excerpting.
Machine" was a name given to a Canadian device designed during
the Cold War to ferret out homosexuals from the civil service and the
military. The subjects were made to view pornography, and the device
measured the pupils of the eyes, perspiration, and pulse for a supposed
erotic response. The word “fruit” in our title refers to both
a quirky, eccentric or queer individual and to the fecund sex organs
of plants. “Machine” references the rather technical engineering
of the lurid and antic images. Camp codes of high artifice and
excess, and camp’s self-conscious celebration of exotica are all at
work here. Fruit Machine occupies a unique place at the juncture
between technically sophisticated interactive media and a humble and
carnivalesque aesthetics reminiscent of a folk ritual or a school play.
Hilary Harp and Suzie Silver - AV Lodge
AV Lodge is the ongoing media performance
project of Hilary Harp and Suzie Silver.
Collaborating since 2003, Harp and Silver
have created a range of projects including objects, installations, videos
and performances. Drawn to exotica, science fiction and pre-digital
special effects, they create d.i.y. spectacles by combining technical
sophistication with humble materials. They have exhibited their objects
and installations throughout the U.S. including the Munson Proctor Williams
Art Institute, Penn State University, and the Pittsburgh Center for
the Arts, the Arizona State University Museum, Bucheon Gallery, San
Francisco; and the Pittsburgh Glass Center. Their videos, have screened
all over the world, including the 2004 Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Stuttgart,
Germany; ENTERmultimediale 2, Prague, Czech Republic; Biennale Internazionale
di Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy; Angle: The First International Short Film
and Video Festival, Xiamen, China; and Arcipelago, 13th International
Festival of Short Films and New Images, Rome, Italy. Their videos
are distributed by the Video Data Bank. They have performed their
live media variety show Fruit Machine in a number of venues nationally
including Transformer Gallery, Washington DC; Around the Coyote Festival,
Chicago, IL; the Rodey Theater at the University of New Mexico; and
the VAF Performance Space at San Diego State University.
Description of Excerpts
All props, costumes, videos, sounds,
interactive media created and performed by Hilary Harp and Suzie Silver
except where otherwise indicated.