Performance & Videoart


In the video game performance Versus, which was performed for the first time in 2007, two drummers face off, improvising two drum solos as they engage in the fighting video game Tekken. The two drum sets function as game controllers. A specially configured adapter connects them to the Playstation unit, so that a step on the bass drum, for example, may cause the Tekken character to kick his opponent, or to jump in the air at a crash of the cymbals. The complex fighting moves that are traditionally steered using various combinations of buttons on a game controller simultaneously resound in unique rhythmical ways in a new kind of "drum battle". The video game performance Versus broaches the issue of the interdependence between the real and the virtual. If the foremost goal of the drummer is to win the game for himself, then the virtual progress of the game will steer the composition of the music. The alternative? The outcome of the game is left to chance as the drummer gives in to rhythmic improvisation.