Postsexual/Detasseled is the working title for the first performance piece to utilize my Raspberry Pi and mobile device controller system. It is a work of speculative fiction, and consists of three "movements":
Investigation of a fictitious interview in which a woman recalls some detail of technology which was novel in her childhood
The technology itself is also fictitious, vague in its presentation, and possibly non-material in nature. I am fascinated by the prospect of imagining and outlining incomprehensible technologies.
I interact with the recorded interview as though it were an invisible reel-to-reel tape machine. I am able to scrub forward and backwards through it by rotating my mobile device clockwise or counter-clockwise, with as much or as little of my body as I wish.
As of 08/15/15, text of the interview is as follows:
Oh yeah, we used to keep them as pets. They'd say "Hello", each in their own way, one kernel at a time. You just learned the language. Kids are good at that. I was particularly good at it. And one day, I heard my name. But, not my name like you know it… not with ears, or sound, or mouths, or… well, you know what I mean! I heard Teequee (she was my favorite) call out to me, quietly, like they do. She said she had something to tell me.
What follows is rendering of a transcription of what Teequee said, by means of my vocalizing through a granular synthesizer which I can control through my mobile device.
Recitation of a text in which I speculate upon the last perfect day on Earth
As of 08/15/15, the text is as follows:
I've run the numbers. The scenarios have been narrowed. We are left with an answer, but also a challenge. The answer: the Amercans shall prevail! The challenge? There's no way to know what an "American" will be. We could end up a crop of mildly sentient, asexual corn. We could spend Earth's last, perfect day quiet and skyward. We could turn slowly toward some bright, distant star and transmit the last of our collected knowing in one last tassel-wisp of a gasp—the whisper of fruit-that-wasn't—falling, flailing… failing upon the sweet impotence of the soil. This final generation, whomever or whatever they may be, will leave this place happily. That much I do know.
the mystery and misery of
we haven't gone to seed
This text may optionally be read more than once, but with different accents, tenses, and perspectives (1st, 2nd, 3rd persons).
Taps and Transmission
A pre-recorded rendition of Taps is time-stretched and scrubbed by physical rotation of the mobile device. After some improvisation, I proceed to play the the melody through in a more-or-less recognizable form a number of times while I sing. The audience is invited to sing along if they know the words:
Dims the sight
And a star
Gems the sky
From afar, drawing night
Falls the night.
The audience is asked navigate from their own mobile devices to a website and to "prepare for transmission by tapping the 'Transmit' button." By pointing their devices toward the zenith, they activate an ambient soundscape and cornscape by Mike Cacciatore and Austin Windels, respectively. The rest is sung a capella:
Day is done
Gone the sun
From the lake
From the hills
From the sky;
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.
Then good night,
Til the light
Of the dawn
God is near, do not fear,
Friend, good night.