|ROCHUS AUST/1st GERMAN ELECTROPHONIC ORCHESTRA
51° - HORIZONTAL TERRITORIES
The way biographies are influenced by geographies fortunately is stronger than vice versa. In contrast, the impact of machinations upon landscapes, of religions upon regions, and of empires upon territories is always more devastating than the other way around.
Is this maybe because biographies leave behind multidimensional lines while geographies have always been traded as two-dimensional spaces? Why is it that power always initially focuses on “its territory” and is then surprised by the flexible line surrounding it or running through the middle of it? Who was the person who decided that natural resources are more important than human potential? Why do the natives always think of “their country” first and of the people walking on it second?
CITIZENS OF ALL LATITUDES - UNITE!
If these people were now to head out from one place on earth in the same direction and in the process of this were to resolutely stick to their own latitude, they would eventually arrive once again at the same place, only approaching it from the other side (if they walk towards the West, they come from the East and vice versa).
In the course of doing so, they would encounter neighbours similar to them to a degree they could never have imagined: Because climatically, magnetically and energetically, the same forces impact all people living along the same latitude. They are united by having the same relation to the sun and the moon, the centre of the earth and the ozone layer, irradiation, curvature and gravitation.
So why have they not come together a long time ago? Why have they not already figured out all the things they have in common? Why have they not yet asserted their horizontal territory?
Are they maybe afraid that, as time progresses, both the places and they themselves will no longer be the same as when they set off? That the trajectory and the torque will lead to events which will change them too much? Or is it simply that this idea has never occurred to anybody before?
In order to find out, Rochus Aust and the 1st GERMAN ELECTROPHONIC ORCHESTRA will embark on a journey around the globe in order to survey humanity or, to be precise: the people living along the same degree of latitude. Representing them all, the 51st degree of latitude has been selected and the journey will proceed towards the West in order to return to the same place again, approaching it from the East.
Systematically, and focusing on the people they encounter in this geographic corridor. A journey towards the horizon, which always remains horizon. A constant arrival, perpetually positioning the company they find. An expedition of awareness.
The re-surveyal of people is realised on three different material levels: The first, visual level is staged using known instruments associated with measurement technology such as coloured measuring rods, digital spirit levels and cross-line lasers. Specially developed electro-acoustic (musical) instruments, such as extended measuring trumpets, glowing in red and white and boasting a lateral recording function, strung cubits with amplified pick-ups (de facto bodiless electrical guitars) and theremin-scales provide the soundtrack on the second level, alongside “real” instruments. Body maps and documentary material as a mixture of positioning, recording medium and an entirely novel look and feel (readable and unreadable, analogue and digital) are created and staged for the third level. In this process, physical measurements, such as the height and weight of people are completely irrelevant their spatial positioning and motion in space, however, are paramount.
While the first material level plays with what is known and recognizable from afar, the second material level adds a time-based, new tonal quality to the process which, in the third material level, manifests itself physically. At the same time throughout this process, the outcomes of the surveyal will be made accessible to the audience, explained and, where appropriate, discussed with them.
In addition, the resulting mapping of the individual inhabitants of the 51st degree of latitude is also translated into notation material and used quasi as a score. This score is constantly being updated while the density of its playability is realised live by the artists present in the respective locations. With the mapping functioning as a performance plan, the individual locations and people merge to produce a confluent, flowing score. Moreover, during the journeys of measurement artists are recruited, who become part of the performance/staging for varying lengths of time and thus add distinctive local flavours.