CAN'T HEAR MY EYES
November 10, 2012
CAN'T HEAR MY EYES was a one night event featuring performances by is. and HeavyW8bit. A multimedia performance by is. titled the Will Smith E.P. opened the night followed by a DJ set from chiptunes virtuoso HeavyW8bit.
The title, originating from Ariel Pink’s song of the same name, alludes to a tension between what the eyes perceive and the ears hear. Conveying that sight alone cannot dictate an experience, the artists altered mementos and objects from pop- culture’s past.
is., inspired by the writings of Alfred Korzybski is inspired by language and semiotics. Performing the Will Smith E.P., is. appropriates the music and films of rapper and actor Will Smith commenting on identity, popular music, and the tropes of hip-hop. Manipulating and deconstructing Smith’s image the E.P. satirically narrates Smith’s transformation from a young rapper to an Oscar-nominated actor. The outcome is an abstract portrait of the former Fresh Prince that is equal parts experiment, tribute, and obsession.
HeavyW8bit, a chiptunes musician based in Brooklyn, repurposes computer and video game consoles to create original musical compositions. Chiptunes, as a genre, magnifies the capabilities of video game systems, giving new life to outdated devices. As a performer, Heavy’s stage persona pays homage to the exuberance of 80s and 90s professional wrestlers, which gained increased cultural attention at the same time as video games. Heavy’s custom-made software, capable of transforming the NES into a drum machine and the Atari 2600 into a lo-fi visual mechanism aids his prowess in the chiptunes arena.