Art Forum on Mon, 3 Apr 2000 17:55:02 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> 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 something. 

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

  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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