September 23rd, 2000, Venetian Arsenal
After receiving the invitation to the Venice Biennale, the title of which was ‘LESS AESTHETICS MORE ETHICS’ (director Massimiliano Fuksas), I constructed the title ‘The Proliferating Truth of Sentiment.’
Feeling as a factor determining forms of expression and actuality, for good or for bad, in our time (September 11th, 2001, just one year later…). As an invitation to the concert, I built something like an ‘organization chart’ visualizing links and various intensity among Technology, Ethics, Art, and Sentiment.
With slight self-irony but exaggerating some difficulties no orchestra director would ever face, I exchanged emotion and experience with the audience, at least I hope so. Believing also that art is somehow a ‘magnificent compulsion.’
In the first movement ‘Dry’, dressed in a tailcoat like every one of the quartet, I am directing with my left hand, and with my right hand I am playing Lightning II (a wand-shaped infrared MIDI controller).
In the second movement ‘Wet’, I dip into the bathtub. The lights go out, only the baton’s infrared light keeps on pulsating. In apnea I only feel the low frequency. When the music phase is over, I emerge for a breath of air and then dip again underwater.
In the third movement ‘Experience’, I come out of the bathtub, and while the water is streaming from me, I improvise a short waltz in the first rows of the audience.