This Order Goes Wrong
Responsibilities, expectations, deadlines, bottlenecks, screens… We’ve become used to anxiety. We’ve come to expect it as an inevitable part of contemporary life. However, ancient Greek and Roman philosophers were aware of it and wrote about it. The concept later disappeared from medical dictionaries for several centuries, hiding under different names, but Freud brought it back into usage in the second half of the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, as psychiatrist Finn Skårderud writes in his book Turmoil – a journey into the contemporary self, “Steam engines existed in Freud’s era, and he borrowed his models from these machines – energy and pressure. We live in an era of information technology, and we borrow contemporary metaphors interactively and intersubjectively from computer networks.”
These are precisely the metaphors that the creators of This Order Goes Wrong have borrowed. In this performance, anxiety is not simply a theme: it is the basis for experiments with music and digital technologies.
violin: Lora Kmieliauskaitė
composer: Dominykas Digimas
video director: Kristijonas Dirsė
projectionist: Nidas Kaniušas
dramatist: Rimantas Ribačiauskas
costume design: Morta Nakaitė
sensor design: Marius Čivilis
vocals consultant: Rupert Enticknap
movement consultant: Živilė Virkutytė
Sponsored by the Menų spaustuvė (Arts Printing House) young artists’ programme Atvira erdvė’18 (Open Space ‘18), Lithuanian Council for Culture and the Vilnius City Municipality
music and media performance
How do involuntary body movements (or tics) – which often accompany panic and anxiety attacks – affect an instrument as well as the live performance of a musical composition? What happens to the sound of an instrument when a performer experiences anxiety on stage and allows the feeling to grow and take over the body? To allow the audience to observe these experiments, the performance uses a synthesis live and electronic music, visual art, and sensors attached to the body of violinist Lora Kmieliauskaitė. The precise interaction of the various elements in this live performance is measurable in milliseconds.
Underlying this attempt at experimentation are the experiences of the creators, some of whom have experienced anxiety disorders, who wish to unveil this state sensorially and energetically, transposing it from the level of subjective experience to a communal performative act for all. This Order Goes Wrong is a meditation on anxiety which demonstrates that what one person suffers individually is also interhuman and universal. Perhaps even controllable and conquerable.