Dark Hearts of Space Review

An Audiovisual presentation – The Lowry Centre Salford Quay.  Jan 28th 2017.  Reviewed by Mike Davies

This was a 40 minute audiovisual performance followed by a short meet the artists talk in the small Quay theatre. The Russian born duo have ongoing collaborations, in this art form. Dasha, the experimental techno DJ and graphics guru Stanislav have here attempted a herculean undertaking to try and describe the indescribable and have created something of a ‘curates egg’

Their most notable previous collaboration was the acclaimed ‘Antartic Takt’, developed for the Berlin ‘Atonal Festival 2014’ and performed all over the world.

The graphic effects were generated with a dual screen arrangement to give the illusion of depth and a quasi 3D effect, but the medium was insufficient to convey the full grandeur of the cosmological event being portrayed. The use of the forward mesh screen to presumably catch the reflection of the main image, did seem to improve the visual effects creating a mirage like forward image to give the required depth perception.

Dasha Rush is better known as an international techno DJ but I felt in this performance the ‘music’ was a little one dimensional. While the depiction at the end of what was apparently the evaporation of the black hole agreed with the current theoretical model this effect robbed the performance of a much needed crescendo

For me this meant the performance was all middle with not much beginning and no end. This is not to say that the performance had no merit, and may well have suffered from being staged in a small theatre. The artists are to be commended for the attempt to portray this subject but a true 3D or holographic medium may be the best venue, or possibly a surround or immersive setting as I discussed with the artist post show.

The general perception I got was nice attempt, and in general the audience seemed appreciative, but I left feeling there should have been more!