Formed in Vienna and Berlin in the mid-1990's,
the farmersmanual collective represents media art at its most
anarchistic. While being best-known for their recordings, in recent
years the group have shifted their emphasis towards extensive
live performances, in which imaginative computer animation, synchronized
with 'chaos-particle-accelerating' music, and the overall ambience
of uncontrollable technology form a seamless whole.
This globe-trotting group with a fluctuating
line-up of four to five members hail from the same Mego label
roster as last year's Avanto visitors Fennesz, Pita and Hecker.
FM's Hiaz himself performed here as Skot. The "Megoan"
mixture of noise, psychedelia and the idiosyncratic use of tools
developed within academic electronic music has provided a veritable
new lease of life for experimental music world-wide, and apart
from inspiring a legion of copycats it has been at the forefront
of the new "glitch" scene.
Of all the Mego artists, farmersmanual have
been the most purposeful in distancing themselves from the traditional
composition-centered approach to electronic music in favour of
a more "generative" one. The concept of generative music
was first brought to the attention of the mass media in the mid-1990's,
when Brian Eno trademarked it and recorded an album using generative
music software. In contrast, farmersmanual cross-connect several
computers and programs, which process and filter each others'
partly random sound- and image-producing data, with the same ultimate
objective: minimizing the need for human interference in the process
of producing images and sound. Even when using digital machinery
of this calibre, it is still the artists' own preferences,
options and settings that count, i.e.
the choices they make either in advance or as they go. Farmersmanual's
modus operandi, though, can also allow for interactivity,
and feedback from the audience:
Our performance at Gloria will not be
open to remote interaction. Our presentations at Aula will discuss
a lot of these issues and demonstrate some, but the main issue
here is a human interface: a more intensive contact with us for
a smaller group of people. Our project is a work in progress and
at Aula we want to reveal the process behind it that drives us
and could possibly also drive other people. Honestly, it's also
a process of understanding our own contributions to a project
that has no clear definition/target. No decision, no corporation.
(Hiaz via e-mail, 19.9.2001).
Farmersmanual's always surprising 'preferences'
are light years ahead of the more generic generative computer
music as well as the undeveloped truisms of early interactive
media art. This smorgasbord of dadaist humour, explosive noise
and poetic chaos is unmissable! AN
November 8-11.11.2001 - Aula
13:00-18:00 - Live at Aula every day.
Friday 9.11.2001 - Gloria
21:00-3:00 - Avanto-Club: farmersmanual
farmersmanual and [The User] will participate
in the Avanto Academy series of workshops. For more information
about the programme of the workshops, see the Olento