mnm x bgo.la, rgrt, 2020, interactive media,1080p, 16:9, 15'20''
The living and the dead cannot meet. Only certain thoughts about each other keep them connected. Those that have passed away become a memory, those that are left behind cannot completely let them go, the memory of the dead returns, appearing suddenly, at any time. The dead cannot totally leave the living either. The complex memories about the things that they left behind become intertwined finally turning into something that we refer to as a “ghost.” The two sides cannot meet any more and are connected through the contemplation of one another. The attempt to create this impossible connection can be seen in many parts of the sound version rgrt and the same-titled media work rgrt.
mnm is a sound artist who produces sound by inputting information values into an algorithm. When an information value is entered, the computer processes the value through algorithmic processing and from this derives the output or result. Slight differences in algorithms can induce an endless number of result values. After addressing death, fear and mourning in his former works, mnm now deals with a theme of suicide. The information values put into rgrt are the figures regarding suicide in South Korea. Human death is converted to numbers without emotions. The artist presents these dry numbers, and computer processing converts them into accidental sound values, in addition the artist inputs part of these result values, and again he repeats the whole process over and over. He seems to be attempting impossible conversations. The results of these conversations are not abstract. The sound of rgrt awakens different specific senses in every single individual who meets the sound. That is, the algorithm suggests a new area, one that is beyond the division of notion and sense.
rgrt is a performance about the impossible connection between two opposite concepts. The dead and those that remain, notions and senses, virtual and real, humans and computers: these can never unite. These trials are an attempt to try and cross the boundaries. The algorithm processing of rgrt generates transcendent areas where these divisions have no meaning. This online exhibition together with mnm and media artist Bruno Gola spatializes this transcendent area. In this work, eight spheres and one screen float in a gravity-free space. On the screen we can see mnm playing rgrt, the difference between the digital space and the physical space where he performs is not seen clear. The audience floats and flows somewhere between the real space and the digital space. The eight spheres floating in zero-gravity suggest fragments of the sounds that consist as a part of the whole sound version rgrt. Audiences can move between the spheres and create their own sound different from that of mnm’s sound. It is not clear who is playing in the space of rgrt. The trials of sound attempting to reach the other side continue and fill the space.
WARNING: This work may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy.
*mnm is a sound artist working on a generative art that results from a sound using an algorithm. In addition, he is interested in various ways of visualizing sounds such as installation art and media art beyond hearing. It is currently based in Berlin, and exhibited at the D Project Space in 2014, the Friendship Bureau in 2016, and the Zönoteka Gallery in Berlin in 2019.
*bgo.la is Bruno Gola, a Brazilian media artist working with code, sound and electronics. You can reach him at bgo.la
-Text by Yoonjung Choi
-Translated by Kyoungtae Lee
-Proofread by Lynne Margaret Brown