NoiseFold plays at REDCAT Theater

The current status of the world is alarming: between inundation of digital data and environmental crises in the so-called first world, disease and catastrophe unrelenting in the second and third. As the unemployment rate in the U.S. intractably high, one could infer there are too many people for America to employ; the same Americans, especially without new society skills, perceive too much in-flow to keep track of – between RSS feeds, emailing, Google-ing, texting, and tweeting. Too much resource excavation for the planet to recover from. Too many fighting over too little. Its overwhelming.

Originally hailing from New Mexico, electronic sound and video artists David Stout and Cory Metcalf acknowledge such contemporary societal issues in their work. (Recently Stout moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth DFW metroplex and is professor and research artist at University of North Texas, and Metcalf resides in Denver, CO). Stout and Metcalf of NoiseFold reconvened in Los Angeles last weekend, November 5, 2010, to play REDCAT Theater.

NoiseFold conjoins technology and art, resulting in an intergalactic-like experience. The electronic sound, which resonates from a labyrinth of computer monitors and cords, jars nerves””screeching, humming, droning. This is what it sounds like when machines make music.

The premise of NoiseFold is that the computer programs that Stout and Metcalf build, are autonomous, which they call “simulation projects.” While Stout and Metcalf guide the process, the AI is ultimately in charge.

Noise is accompanied by visuals, digital interpretations of sound, which are amorphous like clouds in the sky rapidly transforming as the atmosphere changes. NoiseFolds ever-changing, digital imagery proves captivating, born anew from moment to moment. Like sorcerers conjuring a message from the digital age, the artists hover their hands over laptops in call and response.

I get lost in the noise, looking to the digital imagery (projected on large screens) for signs of change. As a comment on contemporary society, getting “lost in the noise” is apt. I find it ironic that NoiseFold increases awareness of todays overwhelming societal “noise” by creating more of it. As if to say, fasten your seatbelts the digital age is loud, or its easy to find peace when you unplug.

But you wouldnt want to. Yet.

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