Brilliant Universe

An experimental audio-visual trilogy, manifested as an outdoor installation

Two artists separated by 5100 miles, weave a story of resilience, rebirth and mysterious beauty; drawn out in the high plains and canyons of Northern New Mexico, and the thorny & thick ranchlands of West Texas.

Margaret R. Thompson & Siddharth Pathak have never met in person, but the harsh winds of the pandemic swept them into one fold of creative exploration out of which was born “Brilliant Universe” - a collaborative exchange, a give and take and sharing of two worlds, to build a new one. Both the artists dive deeper into their personal histories to outline universal connections with the land, one through poetry & performance, and the other through sound & music.

The experimental work of video art walks hand in hand with the sonic essay taking viewers through a hero’s journey that tackles many subjects such as multi-species interconnection, nature, isolation, loneliness, challenges, suffering, pain, atonement, peace, and ascension, tying all of it together with the strength of eternal universal oneness.

Experimental Film, Costume Design & Performance - Margaret R. Thompson

Sound Art/Design, Musique Concrète & Composition - Siddhartha

Currents New Media 2022
CCA Santa Fe, NM

 

Interactive Sound Art & World Building

EarthSynth "Trash Soup"- is a contextual conceptual musical instrument/sound sculpture/sonic object. It is powered by two Teensy & Arduino synthesizers I've built from scratch. Out of which, one is controlled by proximity.

It is a message, a mirror; the outer casing/structure is built from recycled/up-cycled materials, made to resemble anemones, jellyfish and other creatures of the deep. It is angry about all the things we throw into the sea.

 

It hates us, and this first song by Trash Soup is called "Screw you from the deep".

This instrument is the outcome of the Experimental Instrument Design course I took with sonologist Rafaele M. Andrade and the Instrument Inventors Initiative.
 

"The Body Is A Cage" - 6:35

In April 2022, Gong Won and me carried out a collaborative performance research project at the Institut für Alles Mögliche, in Berlin. The construction of an interactive sonic environment, concept/story, and the sound design was done by me, and Gong Won (Su-young Park) a South Korean movement/performance artist brought the environment to life. The fully interactive sonic environment is accompanied by live sound/musical improvisation. What you see here is a composite demonstration video of the intended performance.

The sonic environment is a carefully planned network of exposed wires and copper tape - connected to several hubs on the floor, and extending to the walls, finally connected to my laptop. As the performer's bare body completes the circuits, the samples are triggered. Each triggered sound leads intuitively into the performer's next movement. The performer's body + the active floor & wall grid effectively turn the entire space into one giant, interactive MIDI controller. For this exploration, the body is our source of inspiration, and it begins with the poem "Starry Night" by Dong-Ju Yoon, followed by statements about the human body, and then finally culminating with a poem written by Gong won herself.

Made entirely from scrap and packaging materials, the MIDI Cage is a MIDI controller the performer can sit inside, and play. It is accompanied with "Halo's Edge" which is a performance mark with MIDI integration and instrumentation capabilities.

  
The performance mask is also made out of recycled materials, and can be used to trigger capacitive touch instruments. It also illuminates every space I walk into!

Winter Residency, Het Huis Utrecht

To research construct creation by thorough and extensive exploration of materials used. To document the passage of time, by recording physical changes in process outcomes. Study disintegration, dissolution, and blending, and to attribute relevant emotional content to the aforementioned processes.

 

At the core of it all is an investigation into the liminal space between the people we used to be, and the people we will become in the future.

For a day by day documentation of my experience, visit @ArtIsTheAntidote on Instagram.

Turn it up! This video has sound.

The components I have explored through my time at the residency are; A sculptural video installation, a 10 meter long work of art on paper created with my continuously upgrading painter robot, a completed exploration of 24 panels from an “energy & momentum diffusion” study, and movement responsive floor panels for performance and movement artists - their own bodies complete the circuits, and trigger sounds making way for a truly intuitive performance! 

In December 2021, I had the privilege to work on several of my concepts, with complete freedom to explore, in a large studio space at Het Huis Utrecht - The premier institution for Performance Art in the Netherlands. The project has come together beautifully, and will continue to grow & expand as I prepare for a studio/gallery exhibit to be hosted sometime in 2022.

Click/Tap on the images & videos to view in expanded mode.

"From outside of Time"

Film & Music (Ongoing, current body of work)

Four films, and four Musique Concrète scores; A story of momentary suspension and introspection on the nature of time. Hours of observational footage and field recordings translate into a narrative that provokes questions about our reason for being, and the smallness of our presence in a giant universe that remains seemingly still to the naked eye. 

Conceived through the Art Residency Program with World of Co, Sofia

Date: May & June 2021

"Blue Sky"

"French Window"

"The Edge of The Pond"

"The Tree Outside"

"Morphing Shadow"

In collaboration with Maryam Khaleghiyazdi

Winner! Professional Exploration category of the World Illustration Awards 2021, published in The Guardian on 10/12/2021


“Morphing Shadow” is an animation short about a girl who has moved away from her home country. Whenever she gets bored and/or lonely and needs her family, she morphs her shadow into a box that contains the memories of her family members. She takes her family members out of the box, communicates with them and returns them back to the box, finally morphing it back into her shadow. The presence of a snake symbolizes dual feelings, happiness, depression and other intrusive thoughts that plague the minds and lives of immigrants across the world. The music does justice to the feelings of hope, and resurgence of everyday courage, and the strength to retain individuality in the face of isolation and loneliness.

Morphing Shadow; conceived through the Art Residency Program with World of Co, Sofia

Date: December 2020

"House of Correction"

The terrifying mundaneness of routine, a desperation for human touch, mounting loneliness & crumbling mental peace, and the infeasibility of an escape plan; House of Correction is a 3 minute 50 second long interpretation of solitary confinement through the currently ongoing pandemic, that alludes to the many facets of suffering brought on by isolation.

House of Correction; conceived through the Art Residency Program with World of Co, Sofia

Date: June 2020

Oasis 1.4 "Symbiote"

Oasis version 1.4 is an Organism that is born out of me and circumstances. We are in a symbiotic relationship. My studio provides a nurturing environment for both of us.

 

The videos/films and audio art are being made for capturing the birthing essence of the project. The performance art exercise itself, is an act of harnessing the instinctive force of Oasis as an organism, and allowing that energy to flow through me while Oasis creates itself. I am the channel. The installation is its form, complete with a beating LED heart, with the power of 3.6 volts, and a mirror for a soul.

Oasis 1.4 OST - Symbiote

An audio interpretation of the birth of the organism 

7 minutes 7 seconds *Play on high definition headphones/sound systems for a better listening experience

Oasis: Story so far

Brought together through the Covid 19 pandemic, Oasis is an organic process driven, continuously evolving, transformative body of art. It is made of found objects, visual art, acts of performance, films, sculptural elements, and poetry. Every new version is formed out of the same objects, but aligned to a different context every time. It is a concept of our world.

Oasis; conceived through the Art Residency Program with World of Co, Sofia

Date: Currently ongoing long term body of work in Sofia, Bulgaria

Previous Versions