Live performance Pareidolia

Author’s note

After a collaboration on the animation short film “Miniyamba”, Luc Perez and Yann Coppier started in early 2013 to talk about a project that would describe a spiritual journey of some imaginary kind, and the concept evolved into a live performance duo under the name “Pareidolia” (literally “faulty image”). Pareidolia is the human tendency to read significance into random or vague stimuli, both visual and auditory. The most fantastic things appear in clouds while human voices come out of static noise. The transposed idea is of a true dialogue between images and sounds suggesting the exploration of a real-time voyage to some unknown countries, and describing landscapes and emotions through evolving shapes. Using machines without depending on them to create.

The idea came after discussing a form of auditive illusion, in which the listener would hear a constant stereo shift from the right to the left speaker, as if watching the landscape pass-by in a sonic train. This led Luc Perez to build a mechanical installation of a rolling canvas, on which he could paint real-time and describe a moving landscape with 3 to 4 colours of paint, water, chalk, sand etc. captured live by a camera and projected on a big screen. Two microphones (one on the canvas), a resistor capturing electric flux, an acoustic guitar, a MIDI pedalboard and a synth going through a custom-made effect unit for the sound. Everything is accessible without looking at the computer, as the artists are focused on their creation.

The setup is advanced and yet simple, as it allows the artists to work directly with emotions, in the moment. The audience can witness the creation as it happens, and share the intensity of the instant. Poetry is the main motive, and the human gets back to the centre of the stage – something primitive, to be played in the dark.