THIS ORDER GOES WRONG | a music and media performance | 45 min.
29.10.19 | 20:00 | Kleines Studio | Universität Mozarteum
Based on the accounts of people who’ve experienced anxiety and panic attacks, with additional texts by Seneca and Cicero.
violin: Lora Kmieliauskaitė | composer: Dominykas Digimas | video director: Kristijonas Dirsė | projectionist: Kornelijus Jaroševičius | dramatist: Rimantas Ribačiauskas |
costume design: Morta Nakaitė | sensor design: Marius Čivilis | vocals consultant: Rupert Enticknap | movement consultant: Živilė Virkutytė
Sponsored by the Menų spaustuvė (Arts Printing House) young artists’ programme Atvira erdvė’18 (Open Space ‘18)
Responsibilities, expectations, deadlines, bottlenecks, screens… We’ve become used to anxiety. We’ve come to expect it as an inevitable part of contemporary life. However, ancient Greek and Roman philosophers were aware of it and wrote about it. The concept later disappeared from medical dictionaries for several centuries, hiding under different names, but Freud brought it back into usage in the second half of the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, as psychiatrist Finn Skårderud writes in his book Turmoil – a journey into the contemporary self, “Steam engines existed in Freud’s era, and he borrowed his models from these machines – energy and pressure. We live in an era of information technology, and we borrow contemporary metaphors interactively and intersubjectively from computer networks.”
These are precisely the metaphors that the creators of This Order Goes Wrong have borrowed. In this performance, anxiety is not simply a theme: it is the basis for experiments with music and digital technologies. How do involuntary body movements (or tics) – which often accompany panic and anxiety attacks – affect an instrument as well as the live performance of a musical composition? What happens to the sound of an instrument when a performer experiences anxiety on stage and allows the feeling to grow and take over the body? To allow the audience to observe these experiments, the performance uses a synthesis live and electronic music, visual art, and sensors attached to the body of violinist Lora Kmieliauskaitė. The precise interaction of the various elements in this live performance is measurable in milliseconds.
Underlying this attempt at experimentation are the experiences of the creators, some of whom have experienced anxiety disorders, who wish to unveil this state sensorially and energetically, transposing it from the level of subjective experience to a communal performative act for all. This Order Goes Wrong is a meditation on anxiety which demonstrates that what one person suffers individually is also interhuman and universal. Perhaps even controllable and conquerable.
“In this work, the interplay of various media lead to structured chaos, which gradually moves away from the starting point and renders the initial order unrecognizable.”
– Composer Dominykas Digimas
“The visual expression of anxiety resists two elements: the phenomenon of the image stream (flux d’images) as well as the sight of a panic attack by others. These two ideas formally converge – based on the principle of the praxinoscope – when several non-chronological frames are viewed at the same time. The gaze of a person experiencing anxiety jumps from one random object to another, hopelessly trying to find a logic or sense of what links them together… Time becomes indeterminate, from the viewpoint of both tempo and direction.”
“The texts that are heard and seen in this work are fragments of testimonies and revelations by people who have experienced anxiety and written about it. Some are contemporary, others from long ago. Some consist only of verbs, pronouns and prepositions: they don’t necessarily lead anywhere or have an endpoint, just like our thoughts when experiencing acute anxiety…”
– Dramatist Rimantas Ribačiauskas
Project financed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and the Vilnius City Municipality