Air Opera – A Breathing Dystopia
A mask became a charged symbol during the pandemic, referencing the different ways that an item
of prophylaxis can be politicised in the face of an airborne pathogen. The mask distorts the voice
and is an item of human synthesis, that is to say, it is a technological device that changes the
expressions of the wearer.
In Airopera, 3P’Group connected four masks through electronic-analogue amplification systems by
sending the outputs from a microphone situated inside each mask to a speaker system mounted
outside of a different mask. One microphone to a mask linked in series, in a daisy chain. When a
source of output is exposed to its own input, a feedback loop is created, which focuses and amplifies
resonant signals. The voice, which comes out of the face of an individual who is wearing a mask in
this particular technological inter-connexion, is the sound of the person in the matrix to their
immediate right hand side.
The amplified voice can be silenced, magnified, distorted and exaggerated into feedback. That is,
the proximity of the sound can be made more or less, closer or further away, more or less intimate.
The feedback analogy reverberates with our current circumstances, in which our survival is linked to
our adjacency and the alteration of the contemporary human relationships: to stay separated, in
order to prevail and avoid Covid-19 feedbacks.
Concept: Zoya Zerkalski
Assemblage and performance: Zac Bamberger, Diana Fonseca, Mariana Carvalho, Zoya Zerkalski