Esmeralda Conde Ruiz at FOLDA 2021
Esmeralda Conde Ruiz presents “Cabin Fever Prototype” at the 2021 edition of Festival of Live Digital Art.
Cabin Fever PROTOTYPE is a new 24-hour audiovisual artwork in development by Esmeralda Conde Ruiz that uses Zoom as an instrument and a canvas for live digital performance. First conceived in early 2020 lockdown in London, UK, the work explores vulnerability and pandemic dreaming. You are invited to drift in and out of the Cabin Fever PROTOTYPE broadcast, even leave it playing as you sleep and begin to dream yourself.
The work is composed for an ensemble of voices, domestic sounds and Zoom. Every hour in this durational PROTOTYPE performance singers softly share a real pandemic dream collected from around the world, punctuating long dreamlike silences in between. We hear a new language each hour as Conde Ruiz leads us on a journey through 24 of the world’s time zones visiting dreamers as they sleep.
In this work, the software itself becomes an active part of the ensemble as Conde Ruiz explores the sonic potential of the virtual space, creatively playing with the latency and parameters of the technology. Singers’ voices hover at the edge of distortion, as familiar noises from our homes join in the performance. The unexpected is embraced –whose voice will Zoom choose to highlight, whose will be suppressed or fractured?
For this performance, Conde Ruiz has collaborated with Counterpoint, the creative studio of Samuel Diggins and Tero Parviainan to replace the familiar Zoom grid with a generative digital mosaic of ever-changing color. The colors seen will each represent a different group of singers in a different location around the world. Although we hear the singers’ voices, we never see them. We are kept suspended in a dream state, together but still apart.
To create the final work, due to premiere in Spring 2022, Esmeralda and team are inviting 2,500 singers from over 100 countries to participate in the 24-hour live online performance. The piece will travel around the globe in real-time, shifting time zones every hour as each group of singers shares one pandemic dream before the next group takes over, performing from another place entirely. As the baton is passed internationally between singers, the languages and sounds will change and singers will manually cover their cameras to create a mosaic of colour. Cabin Fever connects across cultures and borders and asks what the world’s collective subconscious shares whilst dreaming during the pandemic.