REMOTE CONTROL TOMATO
CHRISTINA DEROOS, THOMAS BELL
“Remote Control Tomato” (RCT) is a sound and video collaboration between Christina deRoos and Thomas Bell, often with guest performance artists. Guest artists in 2011 included Gregg Jarvis (sound), Sarah Benoliel (dance), and Anya Liftig (performance). RTC is a platform for experimentation across artistic mediums, with an emphasis on spontaneous creation. The process-based collaboration is exploring high- and low-tech strategies for group connection and communication in multidisciplinary performance settings. Strategies to strengthen group connection are addressing delays in human reaction time among performers, and machine reaction time among various types of equipment (including software, computers and accessory equipment, and internet video/sound streams).
RCT performances in 2011 were based on Christina using Isadora software to create a live mix of video and photography, and Thomas using Ableton Live along with real, virtual and circuit bent instruments. The computers and software Christina and Thomas used were sometimes connected via MIDI and sometimes not. The artists typically spent 60–90 minutes preparing for each performance, to arrive at general themes and concepts to be explored, and create as immersive and site-specific environment as possible. When guest artists were incorporated an additional 30–45 minutes of dialogue and rehearsal took place. The limited preparation time is to strike a balance between determining the technical and conceptual ideas to be explored and the desire to keep each performance fresh, spontaneous, and focused on a process rather than a specific result.
RCT is a way for artists from different experiences and mediums to collectively develop a language incorporating human and non-human resources and to enable this language to facilitate the evolution of new forms of performances and creative collaborations.