A performance work for bodies and electronics

We are thrilled to announce the World Premiere season of SYSTEM_ERROR being presented by Arts House from 7 – 11 July 2021.

Whether biological or technological, no system is immune to failure. SYSTEM_ERROR contemplates the shared disquiet we feel towards the frailties and imperfections that make us human, while questioning the increasingly dependent and integrated relationship between human bodies, brains and technology.

At the work’s core is a vast, bespoke instrument designed by Alisdair Macindoe that sees electrically conductive tape function as a live circuit activated through touch. Part installation, part musical device, part kinetic art, this intricate creation allows for a performance in which machine and living body form a symbiotic relationship.

Animated by anxieties over ageing and death, and the ambivalent promise of artificially extending lives, this is a rich audio-visual-sensory experience about both the capacity and limits of the imagination to speculate about our own future. Ultimately SYSTEM_ERROR is a meditation on connection: sounds are generated by the closing of circuits composed of human bodies, making manifest the ways in which touch can carry meaning.

Chamber Made Artistic Director and performance-maker Tamara Saulwick comes together with contemporary dance-maker, composer and instrument designer Alisdair Macindoe to create and perform this new hybrid performance work, exploring the frisson generated when experimental sound art meets physical expression. Contemplative, thought-provoking and possessed of an unexpected mechanical lyricism, SYSTEM_ERROR creates a small world that contains universes.

They are joined by data visualisation artist Melanie Huang, director Lucy Guerin and writer Emilie Collyer to form a uniquely interdisciplinary team.

Supported by Arts House Listening Room residency and CultureLAB. The project has also been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.