We Need A Volunteer

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.

Première at Les Voûtes, Paris, 2004

Read the interview with Valentine Chédebois about Cocoon’s performance at Le Nouveau Festival du Centre Pompidou 2009 (French)

 

VENUES

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore. Electron Festival

Optical Sound. Le Commun. Geneva, 19 April 2018 

Spring ‘S’ Night. Espace de l’Art Concret. Optical Sound.

Mouans-Sartoux, 29 March 2014

• festival Interstice. Station Mir. ESAM. Caen, 19 May 2011

Le Nouveau Festival du Centre Pompidou. Paris, 23 October 2009

Le Cube. Issy-les-Moulineaux, 13 December 2007

Qwartz Awards. Cirque d’Hiver. Paris, 23 March 2007

Transports Non Communs. In Fact. Couvent des Récollets.

Paris, 9 September 2006

• OPA. Qwartz. Paris, 14 June 2006

• Miejski Osrodek Kultury. Polart. Lodz, Poland, 10 June 2006

Monoquini. Montpellier, 15 March 2006

• festival Emergences. Le Périscope. Nîmes, 14 March 2006

• MCA. Plusieurs. Creil, 4 March 2006

• festival Souterrain porte III. Le Totem. Maxéville, 30 September 2005

Un dimanche à Pigalle. Le Joy’s. L’Entreprise. Paris, 13 March 2005

• Salon Light. CNEAI. Point Ephémère. Paris, 5 December 2004

• festival Emo-Son. Emmetrop. Bourges, 4 December 2004

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

Paris, 1 October 2004

• festival Nowa Fabryka. L’Entreprise.

Katowice & Bytom, Poland, 18 & 24 September 2004

Les Voûtes. Paris, 18 June 2004