Sliders + Brain + Knobs + Buttons + Soul + Touchscreens + History = Art

In the land where every last quark of creative artistic energy is, or is soon to be culture-mined and commodified, to experience authentic human expression is a gift. And that, by the way, is why Burning Man still matters, but also why it was so awesome to see novaTRON last Friday night at Lo-Fi, in one of the dozens of shows that made up this year’s Decibel Festival.

The scene at Lo-Fi was neither pretentious nor cloying, with nothing to prove, but lots to give, not trying relive the past, but drawing heavily from it and recasting it through a contemporary lens; a happening that was comfortable in its own skin, confident about its relevance in the present moment.

novaTRON’s ax is that pile of plastic boxes and wires shown in the photo above, a relatively new species of musical instrument. And though it’s an instrument born of cutting-edge, silicon chip technology, and is “played” with a technique totally alien to traditional music, it’s as capable of producing art as any conventional musical instrument. Where it matters, it is really no different from a digeridoo, a structurally simple but sonically and culturally complex instrument made from eucalyptus branches hollowed out by termites–thanks to a few billion years of evolution.

The concentration of human energy that occurs in cities has always been a potent catalyst for the creation of new ideas and expression. It’s inspiring to witness evidence that this fruitful process is still operative, even in U.S. cities where isolationism has been creeping into urban communities for decades.

2 Responses to “Sliders + Brain + Knobs + Buttons + Soul + Touchscreens + History = Art”

  1. Cow

    $20 to get into one show; $120 for the weekend; $250 to go to Burning Man; none of these are non-profit.

    Good to hear that these people aren’t being “culture-mined and commodified” — or rather, that they’re getting exactly that, but it’s okay because they’re told they aren’t. Beautiful and unique snowflakes, just like everyone else.

    That said, this artist does look neat, and I do like people trying new things. I just get sick of the constant jerking off over the festivals surrounding them.

  2. J-man

    Having been there, i can only say that although some of the sensory and physical aspect of the show was captured in the writing of this piece, all art really can’t be judged without actually experiencing it. Especially something like this. Not sure why there is any mention of profit or non-profit. It was a bargain at twice the price. And although i am not sure exactly what the jerking off metaphor really means, i sense a bit of isolationism that reeks of bitterness, that i can’t even begin to imagine how it could be justified. Who cares how he looks?, he had my heart and soul at its fullest attention that night, where nothing else mattered… sarah sarah barracuda was but a mere pimple on giant cosmic bubble of beauty. Absolutely glorious.

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