2002.01.31 - 2004.01.24

chicago based ensemble a-very-sensitive-device created performances and projections derived from unstable sources and transitive mediums. In the culture of laptop artists, VJs, improvised and experimental electronic musics and real time video manipulation, a-very-sensitive-device engaged with historical influences, site-specific recordings and audience expectations.

"This is a (r)evolutionary quality that new era musicians like sensitive-device's Lisa Slodki have brought to the realm of performance art. That the visual projections which were once only a peripheral enhancer have become central to and connected with the emission of sound."

- Stephen Marshall (Guerrilla News Network)



"excellent... droning, complex layers"

- Salma Yaqubi (feminaexmachina and WNUR)

a-very-sensitive-device sought to build expansive, dynamic and seductive metaphors by using various generative systems, synthesized tonalities, fragile melodies and found media. The members of a-very-sensitive-device constructed and manipulated their work with technologies including traditional instrumentation, turntables, electronics, modified hardware, telecom networks and various hybridized digital and analog systems.

"Given the current vogue for "toys for the boys" gameboy aesthetics, one could be forgiven for anticipating that a performance from a-very-sensitive-device would be but one more session in the digital playground. When the collective appear on stage, all the signs are that this will be yet another hardware heavy audiovisual


extravaganza: the laptops, the criss-crossing wires, the electrical hum. However, even before the aural senses are engaged, it is apparent that this is an interface of a far more subtle and ethereal nature. The predominately black and white real time visuals set the mood, captivating the emotions, looping tiny and very human moments: images of a child playing, a house falling from the sky, a lone girl dancing to an unheard beat. Human experience is at the center here. Luscious hypnotic rhythms build and though the beeps and clicks that are a component of most lap top performances are here, they serve to underscore the concerns with mortal endurance and fragility that create the contemplative mood of the piece. a-very-sensitive-device invites the audience on a journey towards wonderment and beauty, and provide a breathtaking antidote to the current obsession with trash aesthetics and the predominance of the machine."

- Abina Manning (Video Data Bank)

trajectories and arcs flirted with narrative implications but resisted discreet resolutions while the members of a-very-sensitive-device responded to one another, allowing their gestures to guide themes and patterns. through the use of experimental visual compositions and improvised sets, a-very-sensitive-device drew audiences into momentary reveries and disturbances.

"lyrical and open -- more tonal than rhythmic... very inspiring"

- Jon Liss (Tiny Hairs)

from dirty beats and granular synthesis to broken samples and analog modalities, the soundscapes produced by a-very-sensitive-device slipped around the corners of genre definitions.

"Their a/v performative poetics are sweet lullabies that become soundprints of the telecommunications age, which become head twitching beats, that then dissolve into nothing. Intelligent editing. Nervous anticipation. Collaborative filtering. Evolved sensory exploration. A machine that is your lover."

- Ed Marszewski (Select-Media, Version, lumpen)

members functioned together as mutually catalytic inputs in the development of emotive audio-visual systems. a-very-sensitive-device operated through references and influences from expanded cinematics, musique concrete, video installation, microsound, loop aesthetics and generative media.

"The components of systems-whether these are artistic or functional-have no higher meaning or value. Systems components derive their value solely through their assigned context. Therefore it would be impossible to regard a fragment of an art system as a work of art in itself"

- Jack Burnham on system aesthetics