Monday, May 28, 2007

Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival 07

Infused with the spirit of the D and decked out as everything from techno super heroes, to goth vampires, to punk goth kiddie techno post-ravers, to the plain ole jeans and a tee (T-shirt highlight: "the birth of the tofu robot" Imagine a gumbyesque square robot that looks like cheese. ), the highlight was definitely the dancers.

Although enjoyable the music still takes a back seat to the dancing grannie on wheels, and a certain crystal ball juggler named Justin who could make crystal balls glide on air. (I was told you can see more of this at the renaissance festival in Holly if you were an instafan as we were.)

On the main stage, Hardfloor, the German duo was a stand out. They lit up the crowd, which cruised right through Monolake into Model 500 f/Juan Atkins. Model 500 is reminiscent of Kraftwerk. They use an old skool 80's sound and infuse it with fresh off-beat mixes. The sound comes out feeling very Detroit, a techno, drum and base, mixed beats, rap, poetry, fun.

The wider and more interesting theme of the night from a digital artist's perspective was the profusion of camera paraphernalia. Everyone was wired, from HDV, to SD to digital still, to cell phone cameras, there wasn't a person there that didn't come armed with reproductive technology. Although this is a common trend worldwide it wasn't quite as abundant in Australia, (where we've just moved back from after nearly 4 years there)

Each and every person there is now an extra in another's film, available for playback and posting on youtube, where from our lonely paths we reach out for what has been erased by our capitalistic society - community.

The questions that follow are many. Is it invasive or fresh? Where does our desire to capture and be captured stem from? What will happen when this technology is seamless, when we can wear a 200 gig hard drive on our wrist-watch and film from our contact lenses? Will we sell our lives as a commodity to pay rent? Will reality become something we experience only when others have viewed and posted a comment? Will we only exist so long as we have 1 myspace friend and a youtube history?
If you don't share what you experience does it cease to exist? Is that why we frantically film and post and blog and pour our hearts out to the digital mind we call Web 2.0?

Are we losing ourselves to our toys, our technology, or are we coming together, rediscovering ourselves and our need to share the human experience?

The questions are intriguing.