Designer David Wexler, a.k.a. Strangeloop, talks to L.A. Weekly about combining art with technology for the projection mapped, live-mixed stage shows with Flying Lotus that he created with partner John King, a.k.a. Timeboy.
Says Wexler, “We are constantly evolving the show, adding animation, altering the stage design, and refining the set, which is still something we use spontaneously, live, triggering different routines we’ve developed, and discovering new combinations in the moment as Lotus might be improvising, or bring[ing] in new material we haven’t heard. John was in charge of the stage design for the new show and I was in charge of the content development, but we both got constant input from one another and it has been a big collaborative process…John and I love to be surprised and follow the vibe that is being invoked on stage — then respond through what we’re doing visually. We try to make visuals that will appear like an extension of [Flying Lotus’] performance, and embody that same energy, so we have to tune in and really try to read everything that’s going on in real time: ‘What’s he doing now? Is he gonna get on the mic? Is he gonna play this, or that…?’ We definitely all have to be on the same page, and sometimes it does reach a kind of oddly telepathic place. It’s like when you get the right musicians together, and they’ve been working for long enough that they can anticipate each other’s moves. I think it also helps that there are definitely these inexplicable things we’re all excited about, dreams, science fiction, other realms… we all geek out on the same stuff.”
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