pulp.noir iscapes
Videoclips [created from live improvised sounds, words und visuals]

The performers improvise on the basis of a screenplay and create trip-like video clips. Effectively, those clips are recordings of digital worlds (composed of sound and music, speech and vocals, writing and image) that – just like surfing on the Internet – start with a simple keyword and grow into a cloud of associations by creating multiple links between related content.

Video clips [created from live improvised sounds words and visuals]
Five musicians, lyricists and video artists create video clips in an audiovisual performance in which every medium is linked up with and has the same weight as the other. It's a concert and a recording session at the same time where the video clips function as the final results, seen on a screen and heard through the loudspeakers in real time. While playing, the focus is as much on playing for the audience as on the recording, and one could say there is always a medium between the performers and the audience. The impression of something being produced rather than performed is strengthened by the five soloists following the principle of "nobody solos, everybody solos". Together they build an audio/video construction. Therefore, it can be seen as a collective improvisation (if this stylistic notion is not exclusively applied to New Orleans Jazz or Free Jazz) and refers to the idea of something infinite, a work in progress, whose temporary results only stay until the next performance begins. The recordings, however, are archived and can be accessed online on www.iscapes.ch.

Digital reality and surreality

iscapes are, effectively, recordings of digital worlds consisting of live improvised sounds, words and visuals. Therefore, it's not about real virtual worlds, but digital reality is clearly mirrored in the formal composition whose process resembles surfing on the Internet. Starting with a keyword (e.g. the topic of the corresponding recording) a whole chain of associations, or a net of closely related subjects, is built by simply linking up related content. The space-time continuum is bridged easily. Seriousness and entertainment or science and fiction are combined in absurd ways and metamorphoses. Meanwhile, the links are rarely logically or causally connected, which allows them to drift away to places that nobody has ever intended to go to. The multiple jumps, constant changes and inconsistencies that used to be characteristic of dreams became daily life, now standing for the almost dreamlike and unreal worlds shown in many surrealistic paintings (e.g by René Magritte or Salvador Dalì). Logic and limits do no longer exist for the sake of a floating state in constant dissolve: strange, confusing, mysterious, bizarre.

Electronica, Spoken Voice und Video collages

In the early days, the internet was almost solely based on text. Since then, sounds and images have been successfully integrated. The iscapes follow exactly this development, tying up the different media to a complex audiovisual stream of consciousness. Sounds, tones and beats melt on an acoustic level and become fast drifting electronic soundscapes. Possible matching musical styles are ambient, noise, minimal, dub, trip hop or drum'n'bass. Music is always mixed with spoken voice, suitable for the specific situation on screen and dubbed live at all times throughout the performance. Example: At one point during the performance, the show "Who wants to be a millionaire" is shown and the rather boring questions notelessly transform to a police interrogation (because the viewer has already zapped to a detective series). The visuals, finally, don't have their own soundtrack. They are based on video loops taken from the Internet and are mixed during the performance in order to create entire collages. There are no such things as ready-made film sequences and there is no traceable realism. Due to the principle of collages, the use of writing as well as the effects of parody, the work follows the one of comics in style.

Chaos, fake and other common notions

Each video clip has a length of approximately 10 minutes, carries one specific notion and works as a thread throughout the various short episodes. Just like a user retrieving data from a Google search, the audience has a certain mental concept that grows into many different, sometimes contradictory, search results. As the iscapes rest on familiar notions (e.g. chaos, fake, speed), the single parts of the puzzle are well retraceable. That's one reason why the links between those parts are more important than the parts themselves. Surprising and confusing combinations that evoke black humour and bizarre moods are central to the concept and staged as two different kinds: the first kind describes two contrasting motives combined in one stereo panorama. Example: On the left side of the picture, a chess player makes a move and, as a result, on the right side, a soldier – not a chess figure – falls in a battle. Both elements work next to each other (aspect of space), while, in the second kind, they work after one another (aspect of time). The latter works "mono"; a single motive transforms into another, e.g. a smoking cigarette transforms into a smoking revolver.

Screenplay and improvisation

The higher principle of the project is improvisation. The performers orient themselves towards a composed structure, but they take elements out of a pool of various sounds, words and images (internalised during the rehearsals in order to complete them in improvisation during the performance). The compositional planning, however, leads to an interesting bow of suspense, whereas the improvisation itself favours anarchic impulses and free flow of things. The players don't follow a ready score but a screenplay that only describes the scenes, without formulating them in more detail. Mostly, there are several scenes shown at the same time, distantly reminiscent of a flow chart. The screen is then split, just like several opened windows in a web browser. Course and content of the scenes are certain. What isn't determined is how and by whom the scenes are played. It's always up to the performers what, where and how they want to log on the mutual net. This enables a focused interaction, in which every event is a stepping-stone for another and every spontaneous action leads to another unexpected reaction.

visuals, effects ............................... Julia Maria Morf
synths, keys ................................... Christian Rösli
beats, loops ................................... Marius Peyer
voices, vocals ................................. James Bailey
electronics, mix ............................... Thomas Winkler
noises, samples ................................ Fabian Gutscher
screenplays .................................... Thomas Fischer