Exhibition: Jogja biennale, Jogja, 2019

#videoart #soundperformance #documentary

During Betty Apple's artist residency at Biennale Jogja XV 2019, the 2019 Indonesian protests and riots broke out in response to various controversial bill revisions and proposals, including the criminalization of "premarital sex, female staying over at male friends' house, abortion, wandering at night, and in-home sex education". In response to the social-political event, through engaging with feminism protests and underground techno parties in Yogyakarta, Betty Apple connected with 8 female musicians, political activists, and sound artists to co-create the #NOISEXY vibrator octet project with cell phone videography. At the beginning of the video, the participants would choose their favorite part of their body and touch it with a vibrator, an instrument that Betty Apple often used in her sound art practice. They would then countdown 60 seconds with their own perception of time. 60 concentric circles on the screen gradually vanish one after another, creating a hypnotizing sensation as the vibrators gradually enter the participators' personal spaces. As the participants verbally countdown 60 seconds, time progresses at their own pace in each channel of the video, and the interactions between the female agents and the vibrators create 8 tracks of sounds, emotions, and facial expressions that constitute an octet performance. The visual presentation of the interview recording adopts "bullet screen" and multi-channel picture-in-picture techniques to represent the decentralization of networks. Being in SouthEast Asia for the first time, shocked by the intersecting aloofness and intimacy of the Indonesian culture and society, Betty Apple experienced and explored the richness and noisiness of the in-situ sensations. Also, not being able to speak the local language made Betty Apple perceive the interviews as a type of "noise", and the visual of the video represents her psychological fluctuation that reflects her relationship with the noise culture.