Pierce Warnecke & Frank Bretschneider


Human society is, and probably always has been, a chaotic place full of contradictory messages of beauty, absurdity, deception and distress. Within this shared world, we all experience from time to time small epiphanies: realizations of how unjust, comical or wonderous an idea, a research, a conversation, an image, an object or even a word can be. These flashes, which pull us back from our routine, seem to momentarily lift a veil on how an aspect of society functions (or doesn’t) from a larger perspective, allowing us to briefly reflect on our shared condition with humour, elation, depth, or despair before the weight of responsibilities and deadlines pushes us back into the everyday grind.

In NO_CONTENT, a new collaboration by Frank Bretschneider and Pierce Warnecke, these small subjective moments are gathered and explored through a real time system of cross-media micro-sampling (sound, video, text, print, film, radio) from a broad spectrum of real and virtual social spaces (newspapers, advertising, supermarkets, hospitals, cemeteries, subways, social media, clubs) from which the artists will extract ideas pertaining to science, society, entertainment, sports, weather and more. These snippets of the mundane, exceptional, droll or detestable are extracted, looped, disorganised and layered until, like semantic satiation, their trance-like repetition forces a loss of meaning, rendering a purely abstract shape or sound. In this way, the experiments attempt to explore and perhaps break the semiotic connections between meaning, medium, sign and symbol, transforming the real into the surreal, ethereal or hyperreal.

The performance is divided into sections which start from an everyday information experience: newspaper headlines, social media scrolls, a visit to the supermarket, television advertisements, radio interval signals, national anthems, sports games, vhs logos, etc...Micro samples will be taken as the basis for each composition and will be chopped, looped, layered, stretched, and distorted, pulling the audience from a common routine experience towards a hypnotic and abstract construction that reveals a dark, strange or funny aspect of something normally considered banal.

Each of these sections focuses on a specific technology from the modern and industrial eras that has facilitated the circulation of ideas. This gives the performance an aspect of archival exploration of mass media in the information age, hinting at the potency of technologies both old and new to circulate all types of ideas, images and words through society, from important to incorrect, fake to funny, temporary to timeless.

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