by Aedyn Roze | photo by Bianca Lecompte
PARA_VISIONS 1: FOG WORKS kicked off the opening night of this year’s EM15 with a sensory explosion. The sole performing artist of this event, Tim Hecker, held the first of two sonic performances in the wonderful space at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal on May 27th, performing almost back-to-back, hour long sets, at 8:30 and 11pm.
PARA_VISIONS could not have been a better event name as Hecker’s work certainly went far “beyond” regular aural and visual expectation. As the crowd gathers into the room – the space already dark with soft, ambient streams of spotlights, spread variously around from a 30 foot ceiling – the fog grows increasingly thick and the spotlights start to fade less and less as Hecker’s performance starts.
The sounds begin and so does the pure, audio engulfment. The volume of the sounds and the strength of the vibration from which it trembled from the speakers through the floors – and what felt like was shaking and piercing your very existence – was the most astounding feeling the art of sound can ever bring to you.
Most of the room (myself included) chose to sit on the carpeted floor where the vibration was at its strongest. Entranced by the thick fog and captivated by the intensity and industrial ambience of Hecker’s audio, it almost seemed as if the audience is part of an A.I. entity being freed from bondage. It’s quite bewildering because as the volume of the sound starts to seep in through your ears and through your body, you could try to look at everyone around you and it would appear as if they were just a sea of blurred bodies, and this fog and whirring, pulsating sound surrounding you is all you really can feel. Hecker’s work becomes this intensely saturated soundscape that will put you, irrevocably, in a zone of heightened meditation.
If machines could talk, Hecker would have provided their resonating voices and rapturous existence – all which could be felt from that night’s PARA_VISIONS performance.