Warning: this film features rapidly flashing images that can be distressing to photosensitive viewers.
Born of technical innovation and bold artistic vision, Hysteresis is, in part, a confrontation of our overwhelming AI moment. In a work built in collaboration between the experimental artist Robert Seidel, the electronic musician Oval (Markus Popp) and the queer performance artist Tsuki, an amalgamation of lines, shapes and colours morph and contort, building eerily beautiful abstract forms that seem to flicker out of existence as soon as they take shape. The form of Tsuki’s body and movements are, in some instances, clearly visible and, in others, seem only to be hinted at, as if her figure is moving between dimensions or inhabiting a haunting dream. The glitchy electronic soundtrack underscores the uncanny atmosphere, emphasising the blurry border between what’s human and what’s machine made.
The details of how, exactly, Hysteresis was built are almost dizzyingly complicated, involving a self-echoing interplay of analogue and digital inputs. Live projection, original drawings, machine learning, dance and music all play a part in the final product. But in the same way one needn’t understand musical theory to enjoy a song, Seidel’s dazzling exploration of authorship, technology and creativity can just as readily be appreciated as a dazzling and visceral aesthetic encounter – one that hints at a transformative moment in human creativity, and an unknowable future.