Dínamo - Festival de música exploratoria - Barcelos
Saturday the 26th, July.
Mattin / Taku Unami / Jean-Luc Guionnet
Published in I HATE MUSIC
Dinamo festival's second night and after a performance by Anette Krebs,
the festival organisation ask us to leave the auditorium. After some
minutes they tell us that we can enter the room "one at a time" leaving
an interval between each. I enter second, the auditorium is almost
dark, only illuminated by a little lamp on the stage right at Taku
Unami's feet. Mattin (who waits after the door) tells me "to
participate in this concert, you have to walk in cirles around Taku".
go down stairs and I see a static body sitting on the right side of the
stage. I begun to realize my part and after little time more audience
is entering: a girl begins to sing a song at the back of the stage,
another one laughs intermittently from the stairs, somebody clap his
hands, I see an extended arm with a hand making the sign of the horns.
Taku, with his right arm on a sling begins to play his guitar very
fast, like a heavy metal guitarist. When he's resting, a girl has to
give him a massage on the back, somebody begins to knock on a door
while a fake vomit sound is heard from the amphitheater. Jean-Luc
Guionnet begins to play from the backstage with his saxophone and
somebody calls him shouting, a man on stage with his fist raised,
someone is taking pictures of the chair that Mattin should be
occupying; there his laptop is amplified and quietened. After a while
of circular adherence to this orders we hear somebody saying "What are
you doing?" without reply. Later on the question was asked again and it
was answered: "Music!!!".
After a while some people neglected
their orders, they sat down on the stools and observed the spectacle.
The event organizer says, turning his back to the stage, "This concert
will only finish when everyone agrees, otherwise it will go on". I feel
satisfied with the concert and left the stage, I see Mattin observing
from the center of the stall seats. After some time the people that
continues to participate decides to manifest saying "I agree". When it
was unanimous the concert was considered ended.
What was it that we participated on that period of time?
routine was broken, a ritual constructed through the use of a new one
created for the occasion. While the first is part of the social
archetypes that we have to live: everyone waiting for the concert to
begin, remaining attentive to what is happening or interacting with the
adequate context to that space and when it's our turn, clapping our
hands to the interpreters. The second is configured as a revulsive, we
observe that there is an order, a command that we can obey or not, but
only accepting it we become part of the show. I was curious to see
that, mostly, we fulfilled our objective in the most precise manner
that we knew; it's possible that we wanted to become part of it, after
all it was funny and interesting; the people seem to enjoy themselves.
We were part of a different idea of culture and spectacle. A
reinterpretation of W. Benjamin by Mattin: "A culture naked from
practical utilization and destroyer of law. A culture that can't be
defined in terms of intellectual property, because it's intrinsically
collective. A culture that is constantly tearing apart any
individualistic notion. A culture that tears egos apart, egos that can
never recompose themselves to be alone again"(1). And I think that it's
interesting to think about our individualistic notion in that moments.
There's an identity (in this case Mattin) that gives us some
instructions, that command we can understand as "dictatorial", because
we couldn't decide our action... After a while we can think in our
individual freedoms while we realize our function, our freedoms at the
time of improvising over that function... It's possible that an analogy
with the freedoms of an improviser exists here. What degree of freedom
and directness have the action of the improvisers? Today, certain
currents among improvisation had had time to to create an orthodoxy, a
series of formal constraints, that don't separate much the role of the
spectator walking in circles from the music that loses that great field
of action on the caricature of style.
I don't pretend to
understand this spectacle as definitive "total art", quite the contrary
(quoting Mattin again) I want to understand it as a "unconstituted
praxis". I think that the limits of the instructions that Mattin gave
us weren't absolute and totally defined, moreover certain internal
rules were the ones that compelled us to be careful with our function.
The reflection of what happened there makes our comprehension fragile,
tends to debate and doubt; that's the wonderful thing for me. The
unanimous "agree", keeps the freedom that allows us to finish the game
when we want to.
"The cultural industry has the tendency to
transform itself in a set of protocols and because of that in
irrefutable prophet of what exists. Among the reefs of the fake
individualizing news and the manifest truth the cultural industry moves
aptly repeating the phenomenon as is, opposing its opacity to knowledge
and erecting as an ideal the own phenomenon in its omnipresent
Max Horkheimer & Theodor Adorno
Dialectic of Enlightenment
(1) Mattin - Anti-CCopyright: hacia una cultura desnuda (http://www.mattin.org/essays/Anti-CCopyright.html
, in spanish)
Thanks to Roberto Mallo for the traslation