Thanks to the mainstream appeal of Black Mirror, it is now easier to speak about abstract and concrete idea through the lens of absurdity. If this lineage can be traced back to the early surreal and avant-garde works of René Clair, Antonin Artaud, Luis Buñuel, Jean Cocteau et al; it’s hard to fathom how the “absurdity” of experimentation hasn’t become a more established litmus for everyday life. Though in this political climate, one could say it finally has.
Claudio Marcotulli, a Miami-based Venezuelan filmmaker, instructor and performer whose surrealist interests are pursued through the viscous ether of symbolism, absurdity and ill-conceived characters, is living proof that surrealist experimentation is as much of an artistic revolution today as when it was first coined over a hundred years ago by Guillaume Apollinaire.
In his newest venture, Blasting Pixels, Marcotulli blends multi-channel projections of real-time feed and video loops with dance and musical performances to explore the concept of memory as it ties into personal timeline. Mining moving images from a 20-year-old collection of MiniDV tapes, these digitalized memories interact with existential narratives in the light of theatricality and against (and prompted by) the backdrop of the artist’s experience.
Assuming these memories carry the turmoil of growing up in post-oil boom Venezuela, his background in aeronautical engineering and his work in both commercial and independent film, this is bound to be a wild, sensory ride. Helping flesh out the theatrical component of Marcotulli’s experience are collaborators Carlos Dominguez (music), Juan Maristany (animation) and Roxana Barba and Liony Garcia as dancers.
How will memory reshape itself as it sprouts from obsolete media into a cacophonous ceremony of music and dance? Does the eventual outcome/resolution matter anyways? The appeal of surrealist experimentation is in experiencing the evolution and/or unraveling of the subject. It doesn’t matter to what conclusion these memories lead, just that they led there. And like a Black Mirror episode, it will hopefully cause reflection and discourse.
Blasting Pixels will take place on Thursday and Friday, February 7 and 8 at 8:00 P.M. at MDC Live Arts Lab in Miami Dada College’s Wolfson Campus, 300 NE 2 Ave, Miami. $10 each or $25 for a LALA PASS (admission to all three Live Arts Lab Alliance programs). Visit mdclivearts.org.