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Graphic Impulse

Comfort Station, Chicago, IL, November 30, 2017, Curated by Parlour Tapes+

In November of 2017, we were invited by Chicago-based label, Parlour Tapes+, to participate in their month-long curatorial residency at Comfort Station, an intimate venue in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood.  We used the evening as a participatory audio/visual experiment we call Graphic Impulse. The premise was complicated, the concept was convoluted, the technology was dated, but the results were surprisingly hilarious and informative. For the experiment, we provided 9 members of the small audience with laser pointers. On a large scale projection were 9 moving white squares. In a game of graphic duck, duck, goose participants attempted to claim a square and maintain control through twists and turns of the moving graphic.  Competition was strong, reactions were slow, and laughter was common as the participants struggled to hold onto their slippery squares.  After this portion of the program, having filmed the laser-fueled shenanigans, we projected the graphic battle at half-speed and used it as a live graphic score for guitar and electronics.  The results were surprisingly emotionally charged, creating a sort of instant ephemeral nostalgia for the audience. Outside of the emotional pull created through the combination of images and graphics, we also learned that a delay in our response time to visual prompts is measurable and quite similar from person to person. In a sense, this collective gap in action and reaction to images might provide uncharted space for graphics to inhabit.

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