It’s midnight, Beijing-time, and in the darkened living room of a small apartment near the city’s second ring road, two figures quietly attend to their bank of equipment. The performers, Taurin Barrera and gogoj, appear not entirely there, in a world of their own, working away in an environment with few sounds filling the room aside from the rustles of their movements. Projected on the wall beside them are gogoj’s wave form lightening strikes, reacting to some unheard input, building from simple shaped waves through to complex smears and many-dimensional structures as the feeds become ever more complex. The silence in the room contrasts starkly with the sounds and visuals each performer is producing within the walls of the equipment and immediately dispersed away online to a small audience which has gathered from around the world to experience False SIP, Shan Studio’s first Gigonline.
Last night in the aircraft hanger-like space of The Orange in Sanlitun, the NOTCH Festival of Nordic + Chinese culture held their Halloween Sleeping Concert. Described as having “hypnotic audio-visuals and specially designed air bed by Swedish architecture group Testbed,” it’s not often an event would promote dosing off as part of its raison d’etre. Fortunately falling asleep was impossible as the Orange has loose partitions at the end that provide little to no heat retention, and last night Beijing experienced the first snows of winter, so the cloakroom was probably deserted as people generally kept their coats on throughout the event.
The sleeping premise of the concert was already somehow self-defeating, and in the event the cold prevented the complete absorption into the mood of the evening. Nevertheless it had its moments, when a particularly focused set of sounds and visuals attracted your attention, holding you for a moment. A good night.