fuse* MUTEK, Montreal QC, August 24
Published Aug 25, 2019According to fuse*'s website, every time their live media opera Dökk begins, a sentimental composition is algorhythmically generated by a stream of tweets filtered through the trending topics of that precise moment, affecting both soundscape and the warmth of the surrounding visual environment as the show goes on, modulating six "ghost" tracks corresponding to the human emotions and altering the prominence of the colour red on screen.
Equipped with 18 motion capture devices, a dancer explores these environments between two screens — a semi-transparent, double frontal projection screen allowing for three-dimensional holographic elements at the front of the stage and a rear projection at the back — the gestures of the choreography guiding projections through a pair of Kinect units on the stage floor. It's a living, breathing world where environment is a direct extension of the body, on both universal and individual scales, conveying human emotion in stunning, cosmically expressionistic visual and auditory crescendos.
It's not perfect — there's a somewhat tedious wirework section that has the physics of a child launching a toy car from the floor to a kitchen table — but it can certainly be forgiven. This is a work that's at its best when establishing the boundaries within which it operates, and as the environment shifts in real time with global input, there are plenty of moments where those seem practically infinite.