A few weeks ago, M.I.A. performed in New York alongside a hologram of Janelle Monae, who was in LA. The show was very cool, but it lacked that “edge of your seat” excitement–largely because Monae’s performance had been pre-recorded. But DJ Spooky in conjunction with art-tech incubator CultureHub, is launching a series of multi-media performances, that will take on the real-time challenge. Using telepresence technology, it will allow artists in Korea and in the U.S. to perform live, at the same time.
“In the era of the Internet, geography doesn’t matter anymore,” says Paul Miller, a.k.a DJ Spooky. “We’ll have an orchestra playing live in Korea with a string quartet in NYC and me sampling. We’ll be responding to each other using a high-speed connection.”
In both New York and Seoul, a thin scrim will be hung near the back of the stage. Then via super hi-def, hi-speed live video, the action in Seoul will be projected onto the scrim in New York and vice versa. There are also small monitors, so that performers in each city can see what the others are doing.
The show is called Seoul Counterpoint and it fuses electronic and classical music, visual art, and dance. It grew out of a residency that Miller recently concluded at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. “They’ll be playing their style in Seoul and I’ll sample it and flip it around,” says Miller. “It’s a collage: how art and design and music really respond to one another in different contexts.” And, of course, in real time.
Seoul Counterpoint played this weekend in New York and will tour around the world for the next two years.