Art Forum on Mon, 3 Apr 2000 05:09:29 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Nerve Theory: Our world version 2.0

"Our world Version 2.0"
Nerve Theory: Tom Sherman and Bernhard Loibner
Performance@ The Void in NYC - April 1, 2000

Walking into Nerve Theory's version of The Void on Saturday night produced a 
definitive transformation from the commerce crowded streets of Soho.  The 
only lights available were from three channels of otherworldly video 
exposures that stared up from almost every seat in the room and two large 
projection screens at either end of the space.

>From the very first moments there was an underlying heaviness in the room 
that something was wrong, very wrong like the disorientation involved when 
you can't tell if you are waking up or going to sleep.  Sherman's video and 
voice transmissions seemed to be relaying a dis-junctive and ulterior media 
format where the t.v. reveals its true self as a hardcore instrument of 
survival for a species who have outrun their bodies.  Sherman knows there is 
nothing out there... "the information bomb has been dropped", the real-time 
desert is before him but he can't unplug for fear he still might miss 

Loibner's audio mix was adrift like a muted alarm or SOS from lost a vessel 
on some other planet; a befuddled need for location and orientation.  He 
transmitted a continuous current that oftentimes re-sided just above noise 
and manytimes "degenerated" into music.  Loibner delivered a smart 
navigation of soundscapes that dangerously teeter between lost and found.

The performance ended with Loibner's audio "destroying" Sherman's 
increasingly frantic techno-sex-monologue amidst images of nature and 
commerce.  Each video screen went dark, an awkward silence filled the space. 
  Had Nerve Theory unplugged?  If so why?  People sat up and looked around.  
Something had happened.  One couple whose eyes were shut in trans-like state 
for the duration of the show both began to laugh.  Was this was a victorious 
psychic-gesture of beings having succeeded in locating themselves outside 
the incessant streams of real-time texts or rather just an admission that we 
have seen the future and nothing is very much fun anymore?

Either way Nerve Theory succeeded in changing our perceptions for awhile and 
accomplished the difficult feat of re-processing our media saturated 
environment and converting it into a format that allows distance and 
criticism. Another world in crisis from accelerated time and reduction of 
space... our world version 2.0.

-SM 2000


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