"!" [Hollywood Blues] July 2013 - Page 7

Lebeau’s piece reminds us of the urgent need to “change the conditions of looking” and brings to attention how Easton has taken pictures away and puts voices and the choral in their place in an attempt to mediate against “the frenzy of the visible”. Focused on positioning the work in relation to major world events such as 9/11, to the disaster movie genre, and to the concept of disaster more widely, Whittaker’s essay encourages us to be aware of the existence of “a sort of collective fictive plane that might unite an eclectic trope of ‘the real’ in Western cultural consciousness.” Sitting in that dark space, being so close to those performers, knowing their ‘emergency’ is our ‘emergency’, what “!” [Hollywood Blues] reveals is that the gaps in which crisis lurk are often closer than we think. Zebrowski’s piece (and indeed those of the other writers) points out, with some potency, that whilst ‘dark space’ often signals the cinematic, Easton has blatantly disregarded visual conventions and in so doing “signals a radical departure from contemporary treatments – in both the media and the arts – of major events”. The overall effect is, he writes, “utterly disorienting”, but it is at that point of disorientation and fracturing that “the crowd” (the audience) emerges – unable to comprehend, but able to feel. If that mobilisation of affects, as Zebrowski suggests, “gestures towards a mode of community-building constructed through a common experience of uncertainty…rather than a shared identity” it is therein surely that the real potential of “!” [Hollywood Blues] lies. The relentless #precarity of this spoken choral work “!” by @rowenaeaston - new “Master of Disaster” - is a #mustsee! http://bit.ly/11KrKwI @FinetunedLtd An exhilarating experience. It defies any genre, taking you on an all-consuming journey through a kind of spoken word mash-up sound performance. A relentless, funny and sophisticated work of art. Semiconductor 7