Presented by Arts House and Chamber Made
Wednesday 7 – Sunday 11 July, 2021
Wed – Sat, 7.30pm
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St
Whether biological or technological, no system is immune to failure. SYSTEM_ERROR contemplates the shared disquiet we feel towards the frailties and imperfections that make us human, while questioning the increasingly dependent and integrated relationship between human bodies, brains and technology.
At the work’s core is a vast, bespoke instrument designed by Alisdair Macindoe that sees electrically conductive tape function as a live circuit activated through touch. Part installation, part musical device, part kinetic art, this intricate creation allows for a performance in which machine and living body form a symbiotic relationship.
Animated by anxieties over ageing and death, and the ambivalent promise of artificially extending lives, this is a rich audio-visual-sensory experience about both the capacity and limits of the imagination to speculate about our own future. Ultimately SYSTEM_ERROR is a meditation on connection: sounds are generated by the closing of circuits composed of human bodies, making manifest the ways in which touch can carry meaning.
SYSTEM_ERROR is created and performed by Macindoe and Chamber Made’s Artistic Director Tamara Saulwick, and here the pair explore the frisson generated when experimental sound art meets physical expression. Contemplative, thought-provoking and possessed of an unexpected mechanical lyricism, SYSTEM_ERROR creates a small world that contains universes.
‘ … a sensory collage, something much deeper and more profound than is usually achieved in theatre … Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep is exemplary in its ability to speak to the audience on many levels and with different sensory experiences. It is the language of music realised. It’s a biography, the life story of the dragon lady, but it is also so much more.’
– WITNESS PERFORMANCE (on Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep by Chamber Made)
‘With his latest piece, A Pre-emptive Requiem for Mother Nature, Alisdair Macindoe cements his description as one of Australia’s most exciting young choreographers. The work will leave you wanting more.’
— DANCE INFORMA (on A Pre-emptive Requiem for Mother Nature by Alisdair Macindoe)
About Chamber Made
– Tamara Saulwick
‘For a long time I have had this wonderment at the space and time that computers and electronics present. As a child I used to create objects with expressive use, like musical instruments and electronic devices. I like being able to use objects and things outside my body to communicate with the outside world. The sound design for this project is a continuation of that compulsion.’
– Alisdair Macindoe
Creator / performer / sound & instrument designer – Alisdair Macindoe
Director – Lucy Guerin
Data visualisation artist and creative coder – Melanie Huang
Lighting designer – Amelia Lever-Davidson
Text consultant – Emilie Collyer
Audio Engineer – Nick Roux
Production Manager – Rebecca Etchell
Supported by – Arts House Listening Room residency and CultureLAB. The project has also been assisted by the Besen Family Foundation and the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Image: Pier Carthew