SERENA STUCKE / DAN TESENE
“Second Skin” is an immersive audiovisual performance created by Serena Stucke and Dan Tesene. Inspired by a sci-fi story in which humans adapt to a dystopian environment by creating a new skin, the work imagined a new future through the combination of custom-made videos, electronic sound, architectural elements, and concealed movement at once familiar and alien. “Second Skin” aims to challenge traditional modes of A/V work, dance, and audience experience. Concealed within a frame that acted as the central portal for the work, and hidden from direct view, performers manipulated the custom-made organic and chemical textures of video projections with their bodies to alter and stretch the elastic surface of the central portal, transforming it into dynamic three-dimensional terrains. The audience was free to remain static, stand above or sit next to the frame, or to move around during the performance.
The videos for “Second Skin” presented macro-views of recordings of chemical and magnetic reactions. Fluids and metals came together or repelled each other in vivid psychedelic amalgamations. The videos evoke and work within a wide lineage of art, film, and performance, referencing everything from Warhol’s “Exploding Plastic Inevitable,” London’s “UFO” club, and Stan Brakhage and the Expanded Cinema movement, to Hubble telescope photos of space and imagined alien planetary terrains. These images were then stretched into another dimension by Yoko Murakami and Maki Kitahara, whose backgrounds in contemporary dance enabled them to interpret and interact with the visual material in inventive ways. Sonically, the “Second Skin” experience was grounded in a custom-made modular and analog synth soundtrack created by Adam Gottesman and Stucke that was diffused over four speakers around the space. Its hypnotic pulses, glimpses of field recordings, and futuristic feeling integrated and enhanced both video and movement.