As Above So Below
The artists behind this project live in timezones that fluctuate between 15 and 17 hours apart. This time difference, more than physical distance, is what makes collaboration difficult.
We allow time total dominion over our lives, letting it tell us what to do when, and for how long. The power of time lies in its presumed uniformity: 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, linear, moving forward. We trust this to be the case, even though we have experienced time dragging or slipping through our fingers, seeming to loop or stutter or skip.
The heart of a clock is a crystal that vibrates 32, 768 times per second. An object worthy of worship, both for its status as a semi-precious stone, and for its piezoelectric properties that make not only timekeeping possible but are also at the heart of computing. So, the crystal is a part of what perpetuates the system of time that exacerbates our distance, and also part of what makes connection possible.
AsAboveSoBelow employs Digital Alchemy in an attempt to transform time. Digital Alchemy involves online ritual, performance, collaboration and magic. It employs piezoelectricity in the form of contact microphones, to establish an alternative system of time. A communal "contact clock", will tick irregularly based on vibrations fed to it from contact mics.
Throughout the online residency, piezo mics and speakers will be attached to household objects in the artists’ homes: a door frame; a bed spring; a cheese grater; a toilet brush. The vibrations recorded will move the contact clock forward, and make their presences felt in each other's spaces.
Live ritual performances will occur at scheduled contact times, regardless of the “real” times in our various locations the unpredictable symbol times happen to fall. Performances would involve synchronization of improvised sounds and movements, relying on intuition overcoming lags and glitches in the connection.
We would like to invite the audience to participate by contributing their own vibrations, recorded via custom contact mics that can be ordered here.