robert e. project (1991)

Solo project.

This was an elaborate effort combining performance art with pop music. I would perform on stage with a beamer throwing a video at me which depicted a TV next to (real) me, where again a video was showing me at the keyboard programming the very tracks I was performing on stage. Also, my entrance onto the stage was done by my life-size video double: “He” in same outfit would be projected coming on the stage and walk up to the mic, then there were bright blinding flashes, and I was standing there in the flesh. The same, reversed, happened at the end of the show.

It was a way for me to explore the artificiality of the creation of music and its consumption. At the time, in 1991, the MIDI technology marked the beginning of the epoche of people programming instruments at their (studio), not needing musicians to play the instruments any more (this epoche is still here, only with much updated technology). It’s somewhat of a lonely, solipsist way of creating art. And little did I know, way before the internet was anywhere on the horizon, I anticipated the lonely way of consumption, too. What was artificial about the process and the experience, and what was real? The lyrics of the songs also reflect a “cyber life” – techno dream and human experience are mushed up into some electronic melody pulse.

Unfortunately no video of the show has survived. Only some musical tracks are here as a witness of this strange hybrid – which was neither art nor pop, and hence never really got off the ground in either genre:


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