Scorpio Mechanism(Live Performance) 2023
A Work by Nicolas Tian Cai
Soundtracked Live by Magnus Westwell
Performance by Lewis Walker, Courtney Deyn
Production by Antony Waller
Artwork by Mala York
Videography, Editing & 3D Production by Chenshuo Xu
Walter Benjamin, in "A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism", portrayed the flâneur wandering amidst the sprawling urban landscape of Paris. He passionately absorbed the tremors of the city's experience while simultaneously feeling an irresistible urge to distance himself from it. I am struck by how precisely such an experience continues to define the zeitgeist and the surroundings of my era. You traverse through different experiences, perceiving subjectivity within the exchange of bodily fluids, relinquishing a portion of your freedom to enter a state of exhilaration. This exhilaration ultimately leads to a void. Through a series of existential trials, you define it all as introspection—a Scorpio-like mechanism of thought, self-renewal, and the critical thread of self-reboot.
The acts of disruption and attempts to reconstruct experiences also point to another layer of this specific mechanism: the establishment of the legitimacy of experience through the discourse of love and the interplay with others. This represents a counterattack against the concept of cruelty inherent in experience, where the subject's desire, as an endeavor/work, is interpreted as a sigh of existence. Cruelty is dissolved.
Meanwhile, a profound inclination toward mysticism renders this mechanism an inexplicable, narcissistic inner unity, forming a homomorphism with the subconscious of self-destruction. Insights into the theme of death construct the paradox that the subject can relinquish everything at any moment while simultaneously retaining absolute control.
This performance practice utilizes the ritualistic visual setting of an underground club scene as an intermediary, connecting the emotional surges of gaming subjects and others. Through desolate and spiritual musical performances, it recreates the terrain of subjective contemplation. The figures oscillate between the ever-evolving contemporary and the nostalgia of retrospection as they attempt to break free yet once again substantiate their existence. In the interaction triggered by desire, the self is mirrored as the other, and behind the mimicry lies the struggle of the opposing subject. The quest for reconciliation spontaneously falls into dualism. In the teleology of nirvana or the apocalypse, singularity elucidates this mechanism's infatuation with purity.
In conclusion, the resonating questions of how to respond to one's desires, construct dynamic relationships with others, and confront the ultimate question of death as a purpose will reverberate within the spatial and temporal domains of this performance practice. These questions will ultimately return to self-examination and be carried into the next experience.