MERCHE BLASCO, establishing a non-hierarchical relationship with technology, Olya Karlovich, δημοσίευση στο CLOT Magazine [14/3/2023]Marilena Pateraki
It all started with improvisation. When 20-year-old Merche Blasco was looking for a hobby to switch off from studies in communication engineering, at least for some time, a friend took her to an audition for a punk band. ‘Just sing something, anything,’ the band members suggested, starting to play one of their songs, which Blasco had never heard before. She was surprised and confused but accomplished the task, improvising a melody and making gibberish words on the fly. That experience was a turning point. ‘I realised that I can come up with melodies and sounds,’ the artist recalls.
Today Merche Blasco not only creates music spontaneously and without preparation but also has her own approach to improvisation, according to which listening at different levels and not only with your ears is a determinative action. Working with performance, she opens spaces of collective experience where all elements, whether human nature or not, are interconnected, and the relationship between them loses its vertical hierarchy.
After moving away from using commercial machines, Blasco focused on building custom instruments and reimagining our interaction with technology. Her unique devices are designed to make it impossible to predict the outcome — they bring chaos and surprise to the process, and their beauty is imperfection. Thus, the performance is more like a real-time exploration, where even the most delicate Blasco’s gestures and body movements directly affect the sound and vice versa.
Along with solo projects, collaborative ones also play a big role in the artist’s practice. For example, in a three-act show, Vibrant Strata, alongside guest performers, Blasco interacted with the electromagnetic field of the building through unique homemade devices, amplifying the vibrations of the animate and inanimate worlds and exploring the energies that connect us to each other and to the external environment. What also makes such complex improvisations so special is the involvement of each participant in the creative process. And you also see it in Blasco’s participatory performances, where the audience’s actions are an integral part of the composition. A good example here is BLINK, during which several dozen cyclists created a symphony of bicycle bells guided by the artist’s light instructions.
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