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TOTEM – BL!NDMAN
Categories: News, Projects

[Totem, Blindman @ de Singel.]

A new audiovisual project will be presented with the BL!NDMAN from Brussels. Totem is a collaboration between Blindman, Matthew Wright and Olga Mink. The show will be premiered in De Singel in Antwerpen and Kaaitheatre in Brussels.

With Totem BL!NDMAN present a program in which the main instrumentarium exists of turntables. An intense collaboration between Eric Sleichim and Matthew Wright (UK), contemporary composer and virtuoso turntablist, results in a concert in which the unique instrumentarium of the BL!NDMAN-musicians is put in a new context. With their 8 turntables the musicians create an estranging world that brings the instrument, mainly present in club-music, in a contemporary music(al) context. Dutch artist Olga Mink develops a video-environment for this program.

Totem is no ordinary concert; it is also a spatial installation. And it also has integrated video. What is the function of the video images?

The idea wasn’t simply ‘let’s add something else’. Our opting to include video was inspired by the club associations of the turntable: the idea of the VJ in combination with DJ. I went in search of a video artist with a foot in both worlds and found one in Olga Mink, from the Netherlands. Olga is a young artist who also works as a VJ. And she has very conceptual ideas and often thinks like a visual artist in her work. We asked her to set to work on the material on which we were working on an auditory level. And to my surprise, that turned out to be very difficult for her. She is very concerned about how she can enter into the proper deep dialogue between her images and what is happening in sound: it is not enough simply to come up with some pretty pictures to accompany the music. The video too seeks old-fashioned contact with the material. In the music, it is a direct contact with the vinyl; you send the needle running tactilely through the groove. In the video, it is contact with the projectors; they will be manipulated in real-time. By moving them, you can literally ‘sound out’ the room with images, for instance, and make it metamorphose