Audience: BMB con. perform in theaters, galleries, museums, concert halls, clubs, streets, trees and rivers. We expect, and we actively encourage, very different audiences for each performance situation.
BMB con.: The question that we get asked most is "what does the name mean?" It had a specific meaning once, of course, but because we keep thinking up new ones, it doesn't really matter any more. Suggestions are welcome.
Collaboration: BMB con. is a collaboration between Wikke 't Hooft, Roelf Toxopeus and Justin Bennett. The work we produce comes out of the conflict between, and the fusing of our individual ideas, actions, obsessions, and experiences. In addition, we occasionally collaborate with other individuals and groups.
Digital: Using digital technology is important to BMB con. in that the same basic ways of working, the same tools, and thus the same structural and gestural ideas, can be applied to different media.
Electricity: The use of electricity and electronics is at once a liberating and a restrictive practice. Liberating because of the possibilities of amplification, action-at-a-distance, communication etc. restrictive because of the reliance on and assumption of the availability of electricity. We are investigating alternative energy sources (e.g. solar).
Fire: Pyrotechnics (flames, gas jets, fireworks, smoke)are often an element of a BMB con. performance. Sonic as well as visual and destructive aspects are explored.
Generation: The electronic generation or synthesis of sound and image for the purpose of simulation is avoided in favour of using the technology to manipulate existing material taken from one 'reality', into another.
History: The story of BMB con. begins imperceptibly sometime during 1989. The exact date is not known. A series of performances and collaborations consolidated the development into a 'group'. The stichting (non-profit foundation) "Leaving the 20th century / BMB con." was formed in 1990 to make things official.
Improvisation: A BMB con. performance consists for a large part of improvisation: action, re-action and interaction. Because BMB con. build up an audio/visual system especially for each space, each performance is unique. Sometimes we use the same basic materials for performances, but the staging, the sound and the sequence of events will be different.
Journeys: BMB con. regularly make journeys to gather sonic and visual information. This is done usually in the form of open-air performances, with or without an audience. We are interested in organizing 'tours' to combine this "outside" work with performances in venues en route.
Kraak-Geluiden: (crackling sounds) can be made by making and breaking elecrical connections, or by putting material under stress.
Light: is always an integral part of the performance. Luminous media like video or projections are used parallel to the sound, by coupling them to the actions of the performers.
Museum actions: The Museum is an institution with colonial intentions towards our instrumentarium. The ongoing series of museum actions are an attempt to make these intentions clear.
Nature: Not seen as simply oppositional to Culture (e.g. in the form of musical instruments and conventions). The work of BMB con. includes an intense involvent with natural acoustic phenomena including animal sounds, flows of water, air, and sand.
Open-air: Working outside, though a favourite pastime of BMB con., is always problematic in terms of power, audience, North-European weather, etc. We are developing a portable "suitcase studio" to facilitate such work.
Programming: By using general purpose computers for sound and image processing, monitoring movements of the performers etc, we are only limited by our own programming skill and our imagination.
Quality: There is a dominant idea that somehow a piece recorded on CD is better (read; more natural) than on, e.g. a cassette. However, this cannot in any way be called objective technical quality. Each reproductive technology has its own individual qualities, utilities, ease of access, economic restraints.
Research: A pseudo-scientific approach to working with sound as advocated by certain (post)industrial groups usually results in deafness or, worse, a lapse into esotericism. BMB con. undertake completely non-scientific research into (electro)acoustics, sensors, boat stability, material stress characteristics, etc. as part of a performance.
Sensors: The desire to couple performer action and other physical movements to digital sound and image processing has led BMB con. to develop a set of sensors for measuring distance, movement, pressure, light, sound level.
Technology: Information technology, computers and the like, are never used by BMB con. as a scientific or rational justification for our work. We use acoustic and mechanical systems as often as hi-tech equipment and we try to take advantage of the unique qualities of each individual technology or medium, and the way that they can be integrated into a performance.
Underwater: Performances underwater, whether intentional or not, require BMB con. to make use of specially designed equipment including waterproof loudspeakers, amplifiers, and deep ocean passive listening devices.
Video: Performances often take place in low-light conditions with complex sound systems, which make them almost impossible to document. BMB con. prefer to make performances especially for video or live TV, controlling the lighting, camera movements, processing as part of the performance itself, as in the "situation No.7" series.
Work: The working process of BMB con. involves a great deal of Play. Play as in creative combinations of material, images, sounds, ideas and technology, and Play as in performing. The process of Play and improvisation takes place at every level of the 'work' in the designing of sound sources, in programming the computers, and in the public performance itself.
Xylophonics: The sounds of wood have been explored in a series of performances outside and inside. Traditional idiophonic uses of wood as sound source are avoided.
Ys: BMB con. have often used ice as a sound source because its problems of dealing with high temparatures make it a natural source of Kraak-Geluiden (see above).
Zoo: BMB con. have to this date never performed in a zoo.