Chasers is a postmodern pop AV band with Angie Eng, Cécile Lacombe and Atau Tanaka. Mashing up populaire films, they comment on cultural archetypes. The labor and magic lie in the synchronicity beyond the original film narrative. In the age of recycling and innovation, this trio comes together with new technology and our old fond memories of popular culture. Angie Eng and Cécile Lacombe play their Videobasses, computer sensor video controllers in the shape of bass guitars. Front center is Atau Tanaka, music researcher, scientist and inventor of the modsquad patch for playing music samples via hand gestures on smart phones.
The end result is a parody and a new genre of audiovisuals. The girls slide on their sensor chords to scrub through video loops while scratching clips with Playstation™ knobs and tapping on a video buffer (delay) pedal. Instead of playing a turntable like a DJ, Atau is an MJ (mobile phone jockey). With his right hand he mixes the score of Angie’s film. His left-hand smart phone is designated for Cécile’s film score. He uses his Modsquad patch that incessantly reorders time slots, making the otherwise slick and smooth cinematography stutter. Through his PureData granulator patch he tilts and shakes the audio loops to timestretch, to change the pitch and to filter or freeze the sound.
They juggle with our memories of popular culture and preconceived definitions of narrative image and sound. Conventional storytelling and literal interpretation are avoided. Videobassers are more concerned with transforming narrative into visual rhythms. Yet they are not remixing film streams into total abstract video. They want you to see and remember the films, but without its linear narrative. Scenes are chopped into patterns and gestures. Moments are composed forward and backward. Within a loose structure they instantaneously respond to what they hear and see, as well as chase each other with a response. Guided chance rather than improvisation is a large part of the harmony in this new media band.