Donjon is an audiovisual concert performance in which the performers gleefully deconstruct a wide range of objects culled from popular culture, particularly audiovisual equipment : turntables, radios, computers, musical instruments, telephones, fax machines, video cameras – but also racing cars, cocktail blenders, battery chickens, and various other domestic and fantastic appliances of ages past and present. All the consumer goods are shown in 3D animation and projected onto a large screen at the back of the stage.

Video by nina wenhart.

The performance consists in making the objects malfunction, subjecting them to accidents, breakdowns, and audiovisual contortions. Thanks to very special interfaces reminiscent of the 1980s penny arcade aesthetic (recycled control panels from games like Asteroids, Gravitar, Missile Command or Space Duel), the two players interact with the 3D sound-emitting objects, manhandling them sometimes in intersecting, criss-cross fashion, with the sound controlling certain visual parameters and vice versa. The objects are shown in minimalist 3D. This highly graphic stylistic choice permits a humorous look at the modelling modes in current computer graphics (wireframe, solid or surface modelling) and at the ways objects look both inside and out. A number of the objects are so closely “probed” in ultra-closeup images as to show that, behind a given casing, there’s often nothing but empty space… By rotating, flattening, dismembering and looping both sound and image, the performers construct/deconstruct, generate and modulate a musical imaging game that evolves into a veritable audiovisual concert, which is then varied in each succeeding show. Donjon is, in short, a settling of accounts with the glut of consumer merchandise that surrounds us.

Cécile Babiole : visual conception, 3D animation, Jean-Michel Dumas : music , Vincent Goudard : additional music, interaction design, Renaud Rubiano : programming, Soixante circuits and Mathieu Peyroulet Ghilini : interfaces.

A coproduction of La Filature, Scène nationale de Mulhouse, MU and les Ondes, with the support of Arcadi and Dicream, and Usine C in Montréal.


videos of DONJON at TRANSMEDIALE FESTIVAL (2 Feb 2011) by Nina Wenhart : Guitars, Supermarket, Turntable, Computer, and also by Greymatterscales : Boombox.


Previous shows : Festival Nemo 9 April 2010 at 104 in Paris and 14 April at Le Cube in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, 20 April at La Filature in Mulhouse, Festival Elektra 7 May 2010 in Montréal, 13 May Nuits Sonores Festival in Lyon, Le Florida in Agen 20 November 2010, Transmediale Festival 2 Feb 2011, Festival Ososphère 12 Feb 2011.

Author: Vincent

Independant R&D engineer and artist, crafting digital instruments for audio/visual live performances, installations and interactive applications. I post some of my works and news on this site.