The Great Hall, Toronto ON, September 28 The Great Hall, Toronto ON, September 28
Photo: Shane Parent
Montreal A/V collective arrived at FORMS with triptych visions of future frontiers in tow. With three panels facing the audience like monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey, a pair of DJs tended to samplers and a laptop behind them, while a third party used software to project visual experiments on their surfaces from the balcony.
Their set was a pummelling 25 minutes of disorienting stimuli that smash cut from frantic video collages of war-torn visual chaos, explosive operatic crescendos and thick, grimy noise squalls to scattered words that appeared in flashes and fragments removed from sentences, as if the stuff of readymade futurist poems. In more ambient moments, sombre piano notes rang out while swarms of white dots drifted across the panels, or animation broke down to parallel RGB lines and basic geometric shapes.
While most of their performance felt like a lead-footed drive into a bleak, dystopic future, they departed with a more poetic gesture hinting at our overall modern smallness, projecting a receding starry field on the panels while superimposing a bold, rectangle at the centre — it was visceral, arresting stuff to listen to with your eyes wide open.