Every year, Sydney host’s Vivid Festival a celebration of light and sound, allowing visual and vocal artists to produce innovative themes and ideas. #Portals was a one-off collaborative event uniting visual artist Rachael Archibald and vocal artist and producer KUCKA to give a live installation experience, combining music and visuals in an reasonably small disco dance floor. The show was centred on the themes virtual reality, shared consciousness and escapism. Exploring how technology is now essentially a tool for human interaction that has introduced new avenues of environments, personas and pleasure for its users
Upon arrival DJ Lizard was producing some futuristic beats to set the right tone for what was to prevail throughout the course of the night. Over the course of Lizards set the crowd definitely took up floor space, was evident that the support /intrigue for the Perth based artist and her new conquest. As the show began the audience was immediately drenched in textural soundscapes delivered in surround sound with strong, digital manipulated visuals. The soundscapes produced by KUCKA was a mixture of distorted glitchy beats layered with monotone robotic vocals, every minor detail within the sounds were perfectly matched with the tempo of the audio as well as the bold jerks of the strobes. This created a more intimate interaction with the audience.
In terms of the visuals, Rachael Archibald has always had a certain dreamy, mystical way of producing work in regards of the particular colour palate and textures she uses. #Portals incorporates these ideas with a more aggressive approach. This was seen through the distorting and melting of the visuals to project the theme of virtual reality with the audience. To certain degrees KUCKA used dissected samples of nature sounds, waves crashing on shores and the trickling of water further more juxtaposed the idea of man VS nature especially in contrast to the metallic, futuristic textures of Archibald’s work. Using the utilities of surround sound causing the floor to vibrate with each dramatic boom of sound had the audience completely immersed.
The installation was definitely a surreal experience, especially for those who before attending had little knowledge to what was to unfold. By using the utilities of surround sound and lighting, both the artists were able to immerse the audience with thick sounds and vigorous visuals. #Portals pushed the ideas of how an installation should be experienced, moving away from the idea of showcasing in a gallery and setting it in a more intimate and comfortable environment. The experimental nature of Kucka and Archibald was certainly conveyed through the twenty minutes of time.