Contact Gonzo explores our animal instincts

by Alisa Yamasaki

Staff Writer

Improvisation group contact Gonzo will collaborate with Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media on Aug. 24-26 to present “Hey you, ask the animals,” an outdoor tour that encourages participants to create their own trails through the same kind of instinctive movements an animal would make.

“I think even if it’s just for half a day, by going from the city’s paved streets to a forest where you have to find your own path, people will experience an awakening,” says group leader Yuya Tsukahara. Disposable cameras will be positioned on the trail and customized to act like the kind of cameras that record behavior in the wild, automatically snapping participants when a change in the subject’s speed is detected. Tsukahara says he would like to see physical actions and modes of filming brought closer together.

Although Tsukahara admits his group “isn’t in the center of media art,” collaborating with YCAM has inspired many ideas that contact Gonzo may pursue in the future.

“Technology might seem like the polar opposite of the body because of the mechanical image people have of it, but I think softer forms of technology will develop,” he says before mentioning possible advances in the science of cloning and body modification. “When we’re able to grow a third arm or make clones dance, I’m curious to see what the theater world will produce then.”