We Need A Volunteer

Cocoon, We Need A Volunteer, Electron Festival, Le commun, Geneva, 2019 © Thaïs Juillerat








concert performance, première at Les Voûtes, Paris, 2004

If the punk movement broke a certain amount of things, on the opposite it did not change anything to the traditional music structure with its verse and chorus. Neither did it change anything to the conventional form of the rock concert with its boundary between the stage and the hall.

It was with this observation in mind that Christophe Demarthe formed in 1981 his group Clair Obscur which never ceased to attempt to break the established sketches of the performance. When he created Cocoon in 2004, as a renegade of the cold wave/industrial scene, he could but notice again the codes which are at work in the experimental electronic music scene. These codes, these sketches (which in many ways are very close to a certain tendency of contemporary art) will form the basis of Cocoon’s live performances. The show We Need A Volunteer first looks like the replica of a laptop concert. But immediately on the screen appear sentences which stigmatize this set and the feeling of boredom that it creates. These sentences on the screen ask for something else to take place, images for example…

it is rather boring to watch a guy behind his laptop …. i wish they had projected images ….

So images appear on the screen… Now we have understood. Cocoon’s performance will be an invitation to play with the expected figures of the performance.

we need a volunteer to play with cocoon …. we need girls to come on stage ….

It is by the obstinate repetition of these sentences on the video screen that Cocoon somehow orders the audience to play the game, playing on the possibility that « nothing happens », that the performance stops. However the music says the opposite with its dramatic construction folding and unfolding itself. In his live performance and in the various ways he plays with his audience, Cocoon questions the ways of being together in the time of the performance. These games of mutual voluntary control that take place between the performer and the spectators remind us of those desired games that take place between « consenting adults » within the protected boundaries of the private sphere as well as those undesired « games » that some people force some other people to play despite their will in many areas of the public sphere of our society.



Room 4. CAN. Neuchâtel, Switzerland

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore. Electron Festival. 

Geneva, Switzerland

Spring ‘S’ Night. Espace de l’Art Concret. Mouans-Sartoux

• festival Interstice. Station Mir. ESAM. Caen

Le Nouveau Festival du Centre Pompidou. Paris

Le Cube. Issy-les-Moulineaux

Qwartz Awards. Cirque d’Hiver. Paris

Transports Non Communs. In Fact. Couvent des Récollets.


• OPA. Qwartz. Paris

• Miejski Osrodek Kultury. Polart. Lodz, Poland

Monoquini. Montpellier

• festival Emergences. Le Périscope. Nîmes

• MCA. Plusieurs. Creil

• festival Souterrain porte III. Le Totem. Maxéville

Un dimanche à Pigalle. Le Joy’s. L’Entreprise. Paris

• Salon Light. CNEAI. Point Ephémère. Paris

• festival Emo-Son. Emmetrop. Bourges

• festival Emergences/Villette Numérique. Dédale. La Villette.


• festival Nowa Fabryka. L’Entreprise. Katowice & Bytom,


Les Voûtes. Paris


TELERAMALa performance est tout sauf exclusivement musicale, du genre qui annonce la couleur avec sous-titres sur grand écran (…) du décalé qui qestionne, inquiète parfois… et fait jubiler. Cathy Blisson

LIBERATIONEn faisant sourire, réagir ou réfléchir sur des thèmes qui finissent par dépasser le strict cadre musical, Cocoon retisse ce lien mis à mal lors des concerts au laptop souvent abrupt. Marie Lechner