Ember (2017)

Ember is a multimedia performance encompassing live action and electroacoustic improvisation by EL Putnam and David Stalling. Fibre optics create an affective weaving of visual and sonic engagement with video projection, exploring the materiality of light, shadow, and sound with the body through an interplay of digital and embodied gestures. Ember took place on the shortest day of the year — the Winter Solstice — cultivating a simulation of fire, both aural and visual, that plays at the threshold of light and darkness that the day encompasses. Over the course of two hours, our bodies inhabit the image space as two slit-scan cameras selectively capture our gestures, projecting them live onto us. Our shadows interrupt the projection plane as refracted representations provide illumination. We maintain a steadfast presence in this flickering of lights and sounds, keeping our actions slow and methodical in order to encourage concentrated meditation.

Ember is our first duo performance together, bringing together our interests in combining live performance with digital and electronic media through the creation of multi-sensory events that are influenced by early pioneers of video, sound, and performance art, though re-interpreted using digital processes. We customise our tools of light and sound in order to exploit them live, allowing our bodies and gestures to merge with the materiality of the digital while extending the potentials of performance.

Read Dr. Kate Antosik-Parsons response to the performance in Circa Art Mazagine. Also check out Roisin Jenkinson’s response and my rejoinder on in:Action. I also analyse the work in a Performance Research.

A co-production with the Complex, presented at the Ground Floor Gallery at the Complex in Dublin. Technical Support: Joe Timoney, David Stalling, and Stephen Bourke. Photographs: Paul McGrane. The performance-to-video version of the work has been screened in Cybertarts Gallery Boston (USA), the Galway Arts Center (IRL), and Holland Area Arts Council (USA).

Square grid with pink, green hues, and yellow with overlay of abstracted hands