Transforming the seemingly random collection of atoms surrounding us into a tapestry of colour, sound, memory and emotion, Dökk integrates live music and choreography with stunning projections that evoke galaxies and spiralling strands of genetic code—pulling together a universe from darkness into a human-digital consciousness predicated on art, science, complex algorithms and the unpredictable pulse of living bodies.
The spark for Dökk (the Icelandic word for darkness) comes from a desire to explore the emotional impact created by new digital technologies—masterminded by an Italian team of sound engineers, performers, musicians and technicians. An elaborate choreography of movement that combines a dancer, real-time heartbeat and social media data, and video, the work comes alive through frontal and rear holographic projections and motion capture systems that use 18 different points of the performer’s body. The intent is to animate the expressive possibilities inherent in emerging digital technologies, amplifying the emotional impact of the narration. Data from social media topics trending online are transformed via algorithm into the performance’s fabric, meaning, that as world events play out in real-time, they shift the audiovisual landscape of the piece as they unfold, connecting the audience to strands from thousands of invisible connections across the world. The music of Dökk is decidedly non-linear, originally constructed from generative musical therapy sessions with youth that emphasize joyfully spontaneous sounds and random audio events, creating a counter-balance to the many governing structures of the performance. While there’s an encyclopaedic amount of theory embedded in Dökk’s digital logic, the project simultaneously celebrates the unrepeatable, improvised motions of the human body.
Dökk has been touring worldwide for the past two years, transmitting its themes of digital synchronicity and empathy in locations as far-reaching as South Korea’s ACT Festival and Athens’ Digital Arts Festival. Swirling, expanding and mutating as a result of ever-changing conditions, the piece merges pure experimentation with dawning digital horizons, arriving at MUTEK this year to demonstrate its immersive and enveloping power.
For a more detailed exploration of the algorithms at the core of the project, seek out fuse*'s lengthy companion guide to Dökk, which breaks down the structure of every digital technique used to generate sounds and images