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Brick Archival Streaming Series #5: The Blurring Test – Songs from MrMind
Varispeed and Peggy Weil
THE BLURRING TEST – Songs From MrMind
A Work-In-Progress performed January 19, 2020
@ The Brick Theater as part of Exponential Festival.
Music composed and performed by Varispeed:
Gelsey Bell, Brian McCorkle, Paul Pinto, Dave Ruder, Aliza Simons
Libretto and concept by Peggy Weil
From 1998 through 2014, an online chatbot named MrMind administered The Blurring Test, asking, “Can you convince me that you are human?” The sixteen years of online conversations, from all over the world, form a human chorus proclaiming our vision of ourselves during a time of significant transition in the relationship between humans and machines.
This new song-cycle is a musical adaptation of Weil’s texts based on conversations between MrMind and anonymous web users. This suite of songs is scored for voice, electronics and instruments, utilizing the composers’ aesthetic diversity (opera, art song, folk song, improvisation, synth, drone music and movement) to highlight the breadth of conversations with MrMind.
Varispeed, founded in 2011, is a collective of composer-performers creating site-specific, sometimes-participatory, oftentimes-durational, forevermore-experimental events.
Peggy Weil is an artist living in Los Angeles.