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Chorus

2018
site-specific outdoor projections and performance


Chorus was a project developed for the campus of Swarthmore College. It consists of a five-evening series of outdoor video projections and a live outdoor performance.

Chorus explores the expressive human gesture of the breath, and how a breath can take on poetic potential as it relates to voice, song, and speech. Chorus is also about taking the activity of intellectual discourse and turning it into sound – making a song out of it – and in particular a song with a multiplicity of voices.

The installation features video images of four Swarthmore student vocalists — Max Berry, Hannah Holt, Vanessa Meng, and Moses Rubin — singing notes for as long as their breath can sustain. These images are projected on the faces of buildings around the north campus quad. Each projected image spins rapidly, stabilizing only when that vocalist is singing; when their breath runs out, it spins again until they regain their breath and sing a new note.

Chorus evolves over the course of five nights, each night adding a new projection and growing from solo to duet to trio to quartet. The final night combines the four projections and a live performance. The four vocalists assemble on a temporary stage at the center of the quad and sing breath-length, individual notes, accompanying their video selves and each other. Four voices become eight in a loosely structured improvised vocal performance, with constantly shifting combinations of these single, breath-long notes. Click here for alternate video documentation with explanatory text.

Robin Mandelbatch1