“The Reach Of Resonance” @ Mexico City MUTEK Festival 2013!
October 15, 2013
In October 2013, four screenings of “The Reach Of Resonance” were presented at the MUTEK Festival of Digital Creativity and Electronic Music in Mexico City. In addition to concerts by artists such as Amon Tobin, Kid Koala, Fourtet, Matmos, and others, the festival brings together artists, architects, policy makers, and urban developers from around the world to discuss innovative new ways that public space can be used for art and creative events to revive economic and cultural life in 21st-century cities, and contribute to urban renewal in city planning and community. Director Steve Elkins was a guest of the festival to speak with audiences about the relationship of The Reach Of Resonance’s subject matter to these topics. www.mutek.org
Amon Tobin’s use of projection mapping on the stage sculpture he performed in at the MUTEK Festival was absolutely incredible. Take a look: https://vimeo.com/25039183
The last time “Reach Of Resonance” director Steve Elkins had crossed paths with Matmos (who were performing at the festival) was in New York City in 2006, while meeting up with harpist Zeena Parkins, whom he had interviewed for his film just after she and Matmos had returned from touring as part of Bjork’s orchestra for the Vespertine tour (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWiSZk0z60U). Matmos have been known for making music from of sources as diverse as the amplified neural activity of crayfish, rat cages played with violin bows (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1s_0Nz2Ykc), surgical procedures crafted into melodic pieces of experimental techno, and even laser-triggering snails.
Just prior to a screening of “The Reach Of Resonance,” director Steve Elkins was in Zócalo when a police officer was engulfed in flames after being hit by a Molotov cocktail thrown by protesters marking the anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City, when government soldiers were ordered to open fire on students holding an anti-government protest ten days before the 1968 Summer Olympics. In addition to these protests, about 30,000 striking Oaxaca teachers and union colleagues from other states paralyzed the capital for days at a time, blocking access to the airport, stopping lawmakers from entering the Congress, laying siege to television broadcast studios and public buildings and turning the main square into an occupied tent city.
Four screenings of “The Reach Of Resonance” were presented at Cine Tonalá as part of the MUTEK Festival. It was one of the nicest cinemas we have ever attended. It has a vinyl library, a bar, a bookstore with rare art and literature, and an outstanding restaurant. Local independent bands sometimes perform live soundtracks to classic and silent films. The discussions Steve Elkins had with the audience each night were very exciting.
Below, Steve Elkins (left) and Robin Fox (right) sit in front of three fantastic Alejandro Jodorowsky posters at Cine Tonalá (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_k8oaeHsnc). Elkins last saw Robin Fox four years ago when he was building a chamber orchestra of bicycle powered musical instruments with Jon Rose in an abandoned train factory in Australia. Robin was in town as one of the headlining performers of the MUTEK Festival. He has been up to his usual fascinating stuff, like using lasers and cathode ray oscillators to make the underlying geometry of music visible to listeners as they hear it, and writing music for the hearing impaired. He recently built a giant outdoor theremin that’s played by anyone passing by on the street: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFjr7reLovI
Mexico City’s Cocolab had an installation at the MUTEK Festival:
Among Cocolab’s many fascinating projects is “Disarm” by Pedro Reyes, who has taken guns seized by police in Ciudad Juárez and turned them into musical instruments. This followed a previous project of Reyes that began in 2007, when he was invited to Culiacán, a major drug trafficking center that is also one of Mexico’s most violent cities, where residents were asked to donate weapons that were then melted and made into shovels to plant trees. He received 1,527 guns which were steamrolled and transformed into as many shovels. The idea was rooted in the function of alchemy, that physical change in the environment would be accompanied by a psychological change in the children using former instruments of death to cultivate life.
More screenings of “The Reach Of Resonance” in Mexico are currently in the works, in cities including Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Los Cabos. Here are some other photos from the MUTEK Festival.