melody _panosian

Public acts / Inner works


Public acts / Inner works *
Site-specific Intermedia Concert
Oberkeller/Moritzbastei, Leipzig
February 5th 2019, 10:45-11:30

Jan Tobias Sutter (Mondasian audio track)
Kiritan Flux (Video)
Michael Ohme (Sound-reactive LED-light)
Melody Panosian (Concept, Performer, Costume, Fold poster, Sound-reactive LED-light)

* The title of the piece is inspired by the illustration Spiritual Activism: Acts of Vision by the writer Gloria Anzaldúa as well as Anzaldúa’s essay now let us shift… the path of conocimiento… inner work, public acts in this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation, Ed. Gloria Anzaldúa, AnaLouise Keating (2002)

Fold poster, 280 x 410 mm, Gate Fold, 32 copies
iPad, Music Apps: AUM, Mood synth, Borderlands
Audio track, Modular synthesizer
Sound-reactive LED-light, x6 LED strips, Seeeduino, Grove LED Strip Driver
Single-channel Video, Davinci Resolve 14, Adobe After Effects CS6, Resolume Avenue 6, Screen 300 x 200 cm
Dual Cassette Tape Deck
x3 Type I Cassette tapes
Mixer, Behringer XENYX UFX1204
Speaker System, Sony SRS D8
PA-System (Oberkeller)







When and how does one’s appearance play a role in performance?

In the field of performance, my personal experience is that it has become increasingly difficult to represent someone who looks like myself. It leaves a feeling of inadequacy and it feels like taking the place from someone who could do the job better.

As performers, as well as backstage, one is ascribed a role based on how one looks, and one can be expected to act accordingly. It is about a categorization, or stereotyping through conventions, in accordance to one’s body, which are inscribed on the person before one gets a chance to describe oneselve. As a result, some people are reduced to their bodies and looked upon as bodies.

When constantly singled out and categorized as Other because of one’s body, the only way to protect oneself against the piece-by-piece dehumanization is constructing a wall: brick by brick. Each brick contains the Self, protects the human flesh and blood, but at the same time operates as fencing.




Brick by brick, together with her fellow students, Angela Merkel, who used to be called Europe’s political mother, helped built this room which had laid in ruins for so long that young trees grew on the top.

The fold poster shows a gate folded board of a subjective perspective, which is as detailed as a walk. The board is shot from above, creating a unity. The fold poster is also veiled in the color blue. Open it, and you are invited to view my unconscious intentions, my intuitive exploration, bridging the way to Oberkeller. My intention was to reach the heart of the matter, in the way that Oberkeller is to Leipzig.




My back is to the audience on the very bottom of Oberkeller on the right side vault. I create silhouettes with lazy hands against the spotlight. Finger motion, opening and closing, forming a fist. Hand pushing, pulling and sweeping. I playback a “Mondasian” * old school robot sounding audio track from my iPad, the text is a poem I wrote. Meanwhile, my soundreactive LED light, carelessly attached on a blue veil, reacts to the audio track: during silence a weak indigo colored flickering; during speech a bright lemony white.

I am a figure that hardly acts and lets the audience look, listen or follow. The voice is robotic and the figures mouth is kept open. There is neither action nor expression really, but rather a diluted and inhibited machine state. Is it too late? Has the robotic reality taken over the person piece per piece and left only lazy hands and an open mouth? Or is the figure resisting at this very moment? Because when it speaks, the LEDs light up Oberkeller.

*In the science fiction series Doctor Who, Mondasians are artificially modified humanoids, originating from earth’s twin planet Mondas. Regular Mondasians where converted into Cyberman by leftover cyberfication machinery. The first appearance of Cyberman was in 1966.
In the episode “The Doctor Falls”, one of the main protagonists, Bill Potts, is transformed into a Cyberman. Bill initially remains unaware of her cyber-conversion because of her strong sense of Self.






I now turn around and playback another audio track. A generated cosmic music (Kosmische Musik) that keeps evolving. Opposite me, a video is projected. In it a protagonist is marking, unraveling and linking the proximity between inner and outer Oberkeller with 50 meters of nub yarn. Oberkeller becomes an exploration of internal space. It becomes the Protagonist that lets audience look, listen or follow. At the end of the video the gaze is returned, with a clear blue sky as its backdrop.




I am sitting next to the stairs on a patchwork of carpets surrounded by old and new technical equipment. I am reading out loud the collection of recent dreams of friends, family and fellow students into my Dual Cassette Tape Deck from letters, and it is audible in the small local speakers next to me.

I asked friends, family and fellow students to send me their dreams description. What interested me was the perspective and position of the dreamer in the dream. Another element that caught my attention was the way dreamers started their notes. I always begin with “Dreamt”. Someone started with “I am writing now”. Others jump right into describing the events of the situation, without much ado.

Since my early twenties I’ve written down my nocturnal dreams. In dreams our position and perception seems to say something about the intention behind our actions. Normally, The Unconscious is described as our unknown wishes and desires. What is unknown to the mind. What we call “intuition” seems to be a sort of knowledge not yet known (to the mind). In this way, the guiding force that we call “intuition” becomes helpful in understanding the unconscious. Intuition is like thinking with the heart: it requires feeling, and closeness. Intuition works in the dark, but without hiding. But intuition is like seeing through touch. The same applies to dreams, which certainly work with conventions, but are best described/explained by their effect on us.




I am copying the cassette tape into another one – creating an archive of the dreams. At the same time I am taking samples from the tape into my iPad. Each time I listen to the samples, I get to know the recorded reading: the collected samples create a patchwork that can be heard in the PA, a hypnotic cacophony of voices in the heart of things. The discoball in the vault section starts turning, spinning fragmented dots of light and voices, the audience in Oberkeller in a lucid state across time and space. The harshness of the inhuman figure is replaced by a subject that creates music, the medium which best dissolves the border between Self and the Other.








Thanks: All artists involved in the project, everyone who sent me their transcribed dreams, Moritzbastei, Rick Barkawitz, my parents, Stéphane Querrec, Antoinette Belin, Max Schneider, Camilla Safrankova, Tlalit Raayoni Last, Ella Raayoni Last