[PERFORMANCE: Review] Thrashing Without Looking
It is almost impossible for me to tell you what you will experience if you attend Aphids’ Thrashing Without Looking. In the artists’ own words, it is “an experiment in live cinema”, and it is entirely contingent on the input from its audience, or rather participants.
Upon entering the performance space, a couple of us are handed a typed sheet that looks like a cross between a set-list and a menu, and we’re ushered into a makeshift bar in front of a large screen. Our host, Tristan, explains that we’re going to direct the night’s action. What he really means is that we’re going to make selections from our set-list/menus, each of which correspond to pre-planned options the five artists will enact. All of it is being captured on camera, and the other audience members are standing in the centre of the space watching a select feed through video goggles. At the end, we discover that what we’ve made is one of the strangest music videos in history, mashing up as many of the clichОs and motifs of the genre as possible
But it’s in the doing, not the watching, that Thrashing Without Looking provides something really special. I got to sip champagne, chat up a stranger, eat chocolate cake, rock out to Rihanna in the dark, slow dance with my best friend, and create a confetti storm. I have no idea what you’ll choose, but if you’re anything like me you’ll wish it could have gone all night.