Technik: Anton Reininger
A CASSETTE OF THIS PROGRAM CAN BE ORDERED FROM THE "ORF TONBANDDIENST"
The process of crosstalking (XT) is the point of departure for the conjoint 40-minute performance of the artists' collectives alien productions (Martin Breindl, Norbert Math, Andrea Sodomka) and Machfeld (Sabine Maier and Michael Mastrototaro).
In telecommunication and telephony, crosstalk is often distinguishable as pieces of speech leaking from other people's connections – hence the name, and is caused by a simple physical process: a wire pair represents a resonant circuit, thus it can serve as sender as well as receiver of electrical fields. If an electrical signal, for instance a speech signal, is transmitted via a wire pair which, with multiple other pairs of conductors, is lead within one cable, this signal strays into other wire pairs.
alien productions and Machfeld use this – normally unwanted – effect for their (live) performance which is based exclusively on spoken word. They speak into microphones, and by doing so trigger technical devices like sythesizers, vocoders, stylus printers or granular synthesis programs or dot matrix printers, which in turn start "crosstalking". With the original signal gated out for the audience, as well as the artists themselves, only the sound events of the machines, processed in real time, are audible.
In its structure, XT is based on the four techniques of Xiangsheng, a traditional Chinese form of performance art which originally emerged from imitating the speech and behaviour of another person. The four techniques are: speaking, imitating, bantering, and singing.
The artists speak with eachother, they speak about eachother, and they crosstalk eachother; and, in the end, they will listen to the machines, and what they have to say.
For Kunstradio, alien productions and Machfeld conceived a radiophonic version of their performance which was broadcast for the first time ever on January 28, 2007 on Ö1 Kunstradio.