Bubble and Squeak

The evenings were the featured performers, with SEAMUS Award recipient Carla Scaletti (designer of the Kyma language and co-founder of Symbolic Sound Corporation). Heavily steeped in science concepts, we got to hear her explorations of strange attractors, sub-atomic particles and boundary conditions. In case this sounds altogether too academic, realize that the attractors were explored by having the whole audience play penny-whistles, and the boundary conditions were represented by balloons (with the occasional POP!). — Darwin Grosse, “(Collective) Artist Focus: SEAMUS 2017”

Photo by Darwin Grosse at SEAMUS2017

In the beginning, was a bubble. Before life could emerge from inorganic matter, there first had to be a ‘container’, a boundary to separate inside from outside, self from other. Some of the most interesting interactions occur at this boundary between inside and outside: extracting energy and resources from the outside, exhausting metabolic waste products from the inside…breathe in, breathe out.

This sense of CONTAINER, of self versus other, of INSIDE versus OUTSIDE, permeates our thoughts, as reflected in linguistic metaphors like ‘insider trading’, ‘outside the norm’, ‘in the know’, ‘out of touch’, ‘in the groove’, ‘out of his mind’.

Borders can be places of instability, turbulence, and potential risk (foreign proteins, pathogens, invaders). But it’s at the border, at the interface between INSIDE and OUTSIDE where life-generating exchanges and interchanges can occur.
Seal off the border and you create stability, stasis, and equilibrium. But life is dynamic. Equilibrium is death.

Bubble and Squeak is a kind of live musique concrete, where all the sounds you hear are derived from sounds the performer makes into the microphone.