June 9 2017 /// Francesca Fini in SKIN / TONES (toni / di pelle)

A landscape that always tells a different story, our skin, is scanned with a digital microscope showing details that look like maps of unknown planets. An infinite variety of colors, textures and shapes, patterns and imperfections - sometimes beautifully frightening - are transformed into digital information producing live generative sounds and visuals, in the synergy of the random movement of my hand.
I’m naked in front of two neon lights, backing the audience so that only the outline of my body is visible. I pass a digital microscope all over my body, scanning the different textures of my skin (hair, lips, tongue and so forth).
The custom software created with Isadora, then calculates the average color of each segment of my skin, transforming the data flow into generative live sound and video (the different sounds and samplings blend and mix exactly according to the mix of red, green and blue, that is, the RGB code that is recorded in real-time by the microscope). The visuals projected in front of me are the result of the image coming from the microscope, processed into mesmerizing kaleidoscopic renderings, turning even the smallest imperfection into live art. Scars, wounds, benign melanomas, wrinkles and stretch marks become mandala, crystals, jewels.

I offer my back to the audience, absorbed as I am in observing and getting lost in the kaleidoscopic and hypnotic digital processing of my own skin. The audience has a voyeuristic role here; watching not my body, but the macroscopic and deformed processing of it, as in a sort of super-selfie transmitted through a filter (in this case not the filter of the Net, but that of the fourth wall produced by the accurate theatrical staging).

The performance plays ironically on the concept of biometrics, as the study of that system of variables that could allow reliable identification of individuals, through fingerprint, retina or iris recognition devices, conversely celebrating the chaos, the mistake, the unpredictability of individual identity.
The color of the skin, analyzed by the microscope lens and processed by the digital flow, becomes an endless and unpredictable variety of green, red and blue combinations, loosing any possible connection to the Cartesian, narrow and separative reality visible to the naked eye. As well, under the digital microscope, the female and the male bodies lose their sexual identity. SKIN / TONES is a visual and sound celebration of cellular life itself.


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