2022 Tag

AFFECT FLOW

AFFECT FLOW (2022)
Premiere performance at Orpheum Annex, Vancouver, with Vancouver New Music.
Photography by Garnet Hertz.

2022

AFFECT FLOW is a music performance work of approximately 50 minutes that initiates listeners into a state of “non-naturalist emotion”: emotional manufacture as a technology for survival or pleasure. It consists of ASMRtronica, guided meditation, live biofedback created by hardware synthesisers, and song.

In the first part of the work I perform in a strategically manipulative, first-person address, suspending the listener into a dream state inspired by Tara Rodgers’ feminist description of sonic waves, using aesthetics borrowed from ASMR roleplay in my electroacoustic music. 

In the last half I introduce seven biofeedback performers, who I refer to as surrogates, inviting the audience to participate with us in guided visualization/hypnosis. Each surrogate is equipped with a BioSynth: a hardware musical instrument of my own design controlled by physiological markers of emotion: cardiac activity, respiration, and skin conductance. The mapping of the BioSynths is explained plainly so listeners can listen to how mood shifts in the room during the performance. It is through the assemblage of bodies that affect emerges as an ecological relation rather than a state of individual subjecthood. A light illuminates in front of biofeedback performers when their signals are amplified, allowing for solos, duets, trios, and full ensemble moments. 

Expanding the field of biofeedback music beyond quantification and sonification, I use folk hypnosis, verbal suggestion, clinical psychology methods, roleplay, song, and textural sounds that approximate haptic experience to create biofeedback work inspired by feminist thought. 

Credits

Affect Flow (2022)
Premiered November 2022 at Vancouver New Music.
Music composition and performance by Erin Gee.

Dramaturgy and text by Jena McLean. Poetry by Andrew C. Wenaus.

BioSynth affective hardware synthesizers are an open-source project by Erin Gee. Programming for this iteration by Etienne Montenegro with sonification programming by Erin Gee. PCB design by Grégory Perrin.

Click here for the BioSynth GitHub.

AFFECT FLOW (2022) Premiere at Vancouver New Music, Vancouver.