SEARCHING FOR NOURISHMENT IN THE LAND OF CYBER-TOAST

by Sasha Wentges

"You know what I really like about cyberspace? The rumours. Such as the recent so-called fact that the Vatican had been bought out by Microsoft...One world, one operating system!"
-Laurie Anderson, The Nerve Bible performance, 1996


In only two years, the Media Lounge has become one of the festival's (Festival International Nouveau Cinema, Nouveaux Medias) most awaited events. Walking into the Just for Laughs Museum for the Media Lounge's third installment, I prepare myself for an Intense Modulation of the Senses.In only two years, the Media Lounge has become one of the festival's (Festival International Nouveau Cinema, Nouveaux Medias) most awaited events. Walking into the Just for Laughs Museum for the Media Lounge's third installment, I prepare myself for an Intense Modulation of the Senses.">

The maniacal pulse/pulse/pulsing lights in the elevator, enough to set-off an epileptic seizure, were promptly disconnected after the first few days. Step off the elevator, you voyage into the media zone/shape shift by making a right into a cyber-cinematico, experimental, immersive, and (gulp!) apocalyptic vision of the future: Little pods to sit on; shadowy figures peering out of a scanner darkly; light radiating from a circle of computer screens hosting interactive CD-ROMS; a row of Internet accessible computers against a metallic fish-netted wall; and a bar equipped with either smart drinks (Guru) or dumb drinks (insert Beer joke here).

Media Lounge Lizard

Walking slowly, as to avoid stepping on any humans in this barren landscape, I head towards the light. The CD-ROMS are all in use. In this convivial environment, people stare into screens, head-phones on, firmly clasp their mice (eek)...I scan the room and spot a free computer. I'll check my e-mail. No messages ): I proceed to send greetings out to the global village, and co-ordinates as to my whereabouts, (in case I accidentally interface with a hard-driving, floppy homo-sapien type and lose my memory whilst ramming through the G-Force, already easy enough being an anglo in this cosmopolitan city). I wonder if anyone other than the techno-savvy know what is happening here, in this particular corner of the city. It appears so, as people pile in to see the shows. At a hefty price, you too can watch the latest DJ/VJ's hard at work, scratching away, repetitively, uncovering nothingness in endless cycles of ...repeating endless cycles of...repeating endless cycles of ...

Keeping an open mind, I try not to succumb to droneville and prepare for a calisthenics workout of the beat/beat/beat. Mythic modulations. I check the crowd: slacked-jaws, phat pants, and bleary vision, gathered in awe and reverence of the new 'techno' gods. I attempt to mix. " Hey! You're just a D.J.!", I shout, but am over-powered by the ballistic bass. We engage in the ritual. Blam. Inundated with images I blink/blink/blink and cannot process fast enough...
The Birds are Coming! http://cri.histart.umontreal.ca/phonotheque, Electonicat+Babiole; www.tutti-image.com/babiole; Soundpicture lll www.rsrecords.com and Sample Madness www.eboman.com ...I'll sift through it later in my dreams. Diving into the comfy couches, the monotonous sounds and images swirl all around me. Dizzy, I get up and stumble through the throng. Maybe if I had ingested the right drugs, I might groove more to this scene. Or perhaps I just donšt get it, sort of like my reaction to em, Abstract Art.

CONTINUED

Francois Girard - Director