members: Christopher Thomas Allen / integrating or collaboration over the years with Brede Korsmo, Jude Greenaway, Rob Rainbow
The Surgeons' website makes us think of Xenakis' Polytrope as performed at Cluny in Paris in 1972. Even watching the film documentation of this event is a mind altering experience, an expanding fusion of sound and light.
The Light Surgeons began in 1995, and the project was to consider and experiment with a large number of audio-visual variables and approaches, including vampling. The delivery mechanisms have been varied as well: slide, video, 16mm projectors, multi-screening/altering performance spaces. They also seem to be able to handle moving between narrative and abstract content, such as their subtle "hi-fi" remix of material from Vidor's Fountainhead "Z-axis". Their approach takes the kind of perspectivism inherent in found video/footage using and expands it to the whole process, a sort of deleuzian "eye of the insect"- mixing as well computer generated graphic material and appropriated video, both "clean" and often altered beautifully beyond recognition, maintaining all the while it's original material presence.
"The Light Surgeons' live performances are a collage of capsule narratives and audiovisual material taken from many different international viewpoints. The show has evolved over several years with the support of onedotzero digital film festival and contains all original video footage, photography and audio, which together form an exploded, expressionistic documentary that crosses road movie with social political essay."
-- from thelightsurgeons.co.uk
Time based sculpture
Their "all points between" project moved vampling closer towards resembling a possible form of future travelling performed cinema. They leave elements to chance and create a less structured or rhythmic work, but rather an organic result of a process of progressive building. The initial performance was developed out of a recorded interview with a "street philosopher", Robert Alan Weiser. His words become the narrative foundation of this performance "an exploration of the social and political state of America".
In terms of equipment, the Surgeons use the GRID system, one of the more developed means of triggering/manipulating AV clips. While it is relatively flexible and a good step forward in its "genre", many feel that MAX provides greater latitude, to be continued...