This installation by Cajska Carlsson↑ is an immersive 3d interpretation of Giacinto Scelsi’s↑ musical interpretation, using orchestra and voice, of the end of a Mayan city. This apparently corresponds to the legend of Peten in Guatamala, consciously destroyed by its own citizens for religious reasons. Myth and mysticism and tonal drama inform the music and the art.
I’ve listened to the piece↑ and, OK this isn’t normal, but my reaction included a bit of guilt. The denizens of this ancient city are said to have taken this extreme action because they saw it being destroyed by the encroachment of outside influences.
Much of history highlights the insensitive, uncultured, ignorant barbarians who didn’t understand and didn’t care to educate themselves and just wanted to change a way of life they didn’t like (having an army usually helped them win that argument).
This insensitive, uncultured, ignorant barbarian appreciated the drama and power of the piece but I’ll stick to electric blues. Luckily Scelsi wouldn’t have cared what I thought and my opinion would not have been able to impact his aesthetic. :)
I said the musical composition is “tonal” and it is, but it includes “brutal percussion outbursts” (you might remember them from Shutter Island↑). Cajska’s work is also “tonal” but there are very bright instants of colour and movement.
I spent hours last night geeking out on the Curiousity Rover landing on Mars↑. It was like living a science fiction novel and it was thrilling – in large part because I got to share the experience with people all over our globe on Twitter. We as a species can do some really cool things.
I’d like to think that we’ll behave ourselves out there and that maybe what we do and experience will teach us lessons about how we interact back here on earth. In the meantime I’m going to ride in the Uaxuctum Flyer and consider the art and the possibilities. Go visit this installation, I’m really glad I did.