It looks like I'm at it again, creating another sound art installation despite my composer title. I wonder if my stints into the art world will turn permanent; at this rate, they may.
Chris Reeves of Museum Gallery–Gallery Museum asked me to contribute to their phrenological map makeover show where the layout of the gallery floor turned into a map of the brain. I was assigned the "moral" section of the brain, which includes the subsection "spirituality;" here's a description of the project.
“Easter Egg” (2011) explores the relationship between gamers and religious spirituality, blurring the lines between ritual and play. In this installation, three gamers play the violent video game “MadWorld.” Instead of controlling the main character onscreen using the traditional Wii Remote and Nunchuk attachment, the gamers’ execution of certain musical codes performed on percussive religious instruments control the attacks and movement. Through their ritualistic practice, the gamers conjure actions that will achieve a common crusade. Their practice of video games fills their spiritual void, thus replacing the spirituality that religions would normally provide.
After researching the top ten violent video games and different religious percussion instruments (all while grading orchestration homework simultaneously, not a good idea), buying sweatshirt hoodies, and asking a friend of mine to play three hours worth of MadWorld (it can strain your eyes), here's the result.
There were three performances at the gallery opening. At the beginning of the first performance, people were intently staring and listening to the performance for about fifteen minutes, and then they dispersed. (Maybe that's how long our attention spans last?) During the other two performances, gallery attendees chatted with each other and looked at other artwork throughout the piece.
Will this piece be performed again? I hope so.
All images are by me on Flickr, Creative Commons License v. 2.0