Art Performance Apparatus
Michael Montanaro : original concept, creative direction
Peter Van Haaften : creative direction, composition, sound
Tatev Yesayan : visual design, fabrication
September 2017 – Sight and Sound, Montreal, Canada
September 2018 – Ars Electronica, Linds, Austria
June 2019 – Electra, Montreal, Canada
Spiel is an in situ performance for prepared mouth.
While absorbed in conversation you notice a stranger approaching. With a curious instrument affixed to their face the visitor leans in, and listens. The mouth opens, patterns of rhythm and sound emanate from within: voices recognizable as your own. Spun out of focus, words reveal their ingrained subtleties as the collector of conversation captures the sentence but not the sentiment. Vocal exchanges are recalled and reflected. Voices are transformed by physical formant inflections, while acoustic hallucinations seem to reference what might have been said. An étude on hearing lips and seeing voices, the performer’s mechanically augmented vocal tract reshapes and filters conversational spectra into new modes of mis-communication.
Spiel physically unravels the tenuous synesthetic relationship between what is seen, heard and understood.