project image
Frame from Screen Grab Documentation by Ventiko

first performed on May 06, 2020
Performance Anxiety Live Stream
performed once in 2020


Brooklyn, NY


“Ultimate Reality” explores the varying levels of existential fragmentation experienced throughout the first two months of quarantine and the increasingly pervasive reliance on internet based mediums of communication. The piece took place in my bathtub and was live-streamed through the Zoom application. I wanted to explore the application’s ability to become a medium of expression in and of itself by experimenting with the various features of the Zoom interface. By using the virtual background features and the ability to share sound directly from my computer, I was able to feed a custom collage of audio and visual static, vocals, interstellar space and live effected sound, creating a temporal blend of concurrent and preexisting media.

At the beginning of the performance, I asked the audience if they could hear and see me. I asked the audience this a few times before blending those questions with pre-recorded vocals asking the same questions. By doing so, I was attempting to create an intentional glitch of space and time for the audience to perhaps question whether the distortion was real or an application error.

In the bathtub, I had a fishing net, a spherical balloon filled with spirulina, and a small bell. Struggling with the net wrapped around my head, I began to grab and make visceral contact with the sphere. While I was doing this, various distorted recordings of my voice and alternating static spliced into differing increments of time began to crescendo. Vocals started to become more audible as I pulled a mirror from under my body in the bathtub.

I then turned on the faucet before looking at myself and the screen where the audience “was” behind me through the mirror, playing with the doubling of my image and the infinity effect of the mirror capturing itself on the screen. As I took the netting off my face and the sphere, recordings of voices in different languages became audible reciting the line, “the core of my being is the ultimate reality.”

As this repeated, I popped the balloon with the edge of the mirror; spirulina dyed the bathwater and left a small bell in my hand. The sound and static went silent. I rang the small bell. Paused. Looked up offscreen, grabbed a large Tibetan cylinder bell, stood up and swayed it in front of the screen, ending with the resonating sound of the bell.