FIELD starts from the principle that sounds can be generated from the electromagnetic fields omnipresent in the environment.
In this performance, residual electric signals, imperceptible to the eyes and ears, are picked up by electromagnetic transducer microphones and become the materials of the work. Even though they are intangible, they are subject to manipulation.
On stage, Martin Messier interacts with two aluminum panels with multiple patches whose inputs and outputs are interconnected.
The sound and light composition emerges through a continuous movement of plugging and unplugging between the panels – the possibilities are endless. By his performative gestures, Martin improvises audiovisual configurations that are similar but never exactly the same.
Variations between the ambient electromagnetic flow and the connections made by the artist generate an effect of fluctuation from one performance to the next – a fluctuation that constitutes the constant of the work.
With FIELD, Messier gives material form to this otherwise inaudible, invisible flow. He becomes the operator through whom the work is activated and brought into the real world.
A veritable mimesis of electromagnetic current, the visual aspect can plunge the audience into a hypnotic state: the omnipresent imperceptible power that surrounds us is stripped of it mystery here and finally seems accessible to us.
FIELD speaks to the invisible forces around us: their ascendancy and their interdependence.
Although they interact at an absolutely indiscernible level, they underlie our gestures and movements and carry us in a way.
In this sense, the work and the artist arrive together at an exchange that determines the conditions of the visual and sound elements of the performance: blinding lightning and electricity conduction.
“The canadian’s Field was simply magnificent. He departs from a rather simple idea, i.e., generating sound from inaudible electromagnetic fields. However, he turns that simplicity into a powerful driver that forces him to make wise use of the stage space, playing with shadows, darkness and LED lights. The mise-en-scene was simply impressive. This is just another example demonstrating that less can be more.” — Secretthirteen.org, 06-06-17
“Messier’s stage presence is mesmerizing; he communicates abstractly but directly with his audience, without artifice. So comfortable and ‘present’ was Messier during the performance that I felt no barrier between myself and his creation, the challenge not being comprehension, but how to put such a singular experience into something as comparatively clumsy as words.” — Vanclassicalmusic.com, 11-09-15
« Avec Field, Martin Messier participe activement à la production des sonorités, faisant par là de son œuvre une performance à part entière. » — Antonin Gratien, Virtute.io, 28-02-18
“An impressive piece by an artist that has such a smart idea about sound, movements, and the relation to one another. Messier continues to push imagination into new existence by bringing physical items to life, reinventing their purpose.” — Alistar, Bestkeptmontreal.com, 2015
“To and fro on the stage, in movements that are worthy of concert maestros, plugging and unplugging cables between two panels with multiple connections—which offer him infinite creative possibilities—he presents a spontaneous and original process of creation, set to the sounds of a deconstructed, rhythmic electrical sound.” — Benoît Palop, Vice.com
“If Nikola Tesla were to play at MUTEK, this is the type of show he'd perform. (...) Messier walked around front to look at his wired beast, with admiration and awe, as the crowd did the same, wondering what it was they'd just seen.” — Daryl Keating, Exclaim.ca, 31-05-15
Concept, audiovisual composition, programming and performance Martin Messier
Interface Thomas Payette
Technical design Thomas Payette, Maxime Bouchard, Frédérique Folly