PA2013 Interview #5

JEU PLAY305488-160827-7

Hannah McDougall talks with Johann Nortje & Brooke Mitchell, members of the Interrupt Collective about their collaboration with French sonic artists New Orchestra Practises, featured in The Container Series and the New Media New Music concert in The Performance Arcade 2013.

How did your collective form?

JN: Interrupt got together what would have been, 3 years ago now. We’ve been going about with the original 3 people, picking up stragglers as we go along.

What is involved in Jeu Play?

JN: It’s a collaboration between Interrupt and New Orchestra Practises, who are originally from France. The New Orchestra Practises make electronic music orchestras, and new interfaces. Our project is to build a container, which is itself, an orchestra. Inside the orchestra will be individual instruments that members of the public can come in and play on.

BM: So we are using hacked computer gaming controllers. They were actually virtual golfing controllers originally! Using the controllers and gesture, with new software, the public will be able to control the sound.

It’s highly interactive. What are the challenges with putting out an invitation like that to the audience?

JN: So there are a few levels involved. Usually, in the past, our installations have made intangible connections. With cameras we have been able to catch peoples’ movements and gestures. We have found that even though that is incredible technology, a lot of people actually find it hard to know what to do. So in this case we have taken a little step back, and everything has become a lot more tangible: people are going to be able to hold handles of joysticks. That is the basis of how to get people on board, but given that this is an orchestra, throughout the whole arcade we will be inviting people to join and participate, or people have the opportunity to just step in. Then there is the next level where we will actually be performing.

How are you performing?

JN: It’s a part of the New Music, New Media concert. We will be playing the container itself. So hopefully we are better than anyone else!

BM: We might not be!

JN: We might not be…

BM: There might be some virtuosos.

What are your ambitions for the arcade overall?

JN: On a bit of a theoretical level, we are just trying to figure it out. I mean, we’ve done so many installations over the last 3 years. Every one of them is a challenge in itself to see how we get people to interact and testing new technologies we don’t necessarily know about, so in a way it’s a bit of research. But really it’s probably just the ‘fun’ one.

BM: One of our main goals for this is to put up something that people will enjoy, and something that people don’t just have to watch- it’s something they can be a part of.

Jeu Play will be open from 10am-11pm daily, 14th  – 17th of February, as part of The Container Series, at The Performance Arcade on Wellington’s waterfront. Interrupt will be performing Friday 15th Feb in the New Media New Music concert, 7.00pm, ($10.00 admission, door sales only).

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