The piece “Ian W. Coel” is built around the video installation “MSTM Wall” (Short Time Memory Wall) by british media artist Ian W. Coel (*1952) from 1988. “STM Wall&rduo; is a video wall, equiped with cameras and set up in a public space, taking pictures of its surrounding in front and behind the wall and displaying these pictures on its video screens. Newer pictures are drawn on top of older ones, which are still visible. So, older pictures fade away and newer pictures are always bright and clear. In addition, the walls surface is reflecting - the observer can watch himself and his surrounding in motion, too.
Our piece is best performed in a space at ground level, with a window to a street. The setup consists of two performers on laptops and a mixing desk, if possible placed in front of the window. Both performers are facing the audience. A stereo microphone or two mono microphones are placed outside the room, focussing the street.
Some time before the performance, we make recordings of the performance space itsself and of the street in front of the performance space (with people crossing, cars passing etc.). The recordings will then be edited after a predefined structure to be included in the piece.
During the performance the recordings are set into relation with electronic manipulations of street- and performance-space-recordings and to live amplification of realtime street-sounds via the microphones. This way, every performance is unique and set up specifically for the particular situation. Still, the piece stays coherent because of the pre-structured editing process and the score which describes the overall disposition. As a result, there is an uncertainty about the source of sound, a tension between the realtime amplified ambience, the pre-recorded parts from the very same location, the electronic derivates and the action that happens on the street outside, which is always visible to the audience.