Visual Culture: Inside LayerCubed, Flying Lotus' Mind Expanding Performance Sculpture
The typical Flying Lotus show is atypical. In fact, ‘show’ maybe isn’t the right word for a FlyLo performance, which can feel much more like an exhibition. No other word can capture the sheer scope of his recent performance at New York’s own Terminal 5. Before Los Angeles native even came on the stage, there was the LayerCubed– the evolution of FlyLo’s previous Layer 3. This inconspicuous cube quickly transformed into an otherworldly live projection set-up for the experimental DJ that is a show unto itself.
As one or another synthetic beat pounded throughout the crowd, LayerCubed would respond in kind. By projecting FlyLo’s silhouette and seamlessly incorporating mesmerizing visuals, LayerCubed– the brainchild of visual artists Strangeloop and Timeboy— could make the unique visuals of the night match with the DJ’s equally alien sounds. The LayerCubed, however, is one-of-a-kind even in its build:
“It’s essentially two projectors—a rear projected screen and a front projected screen. You can get a certain amount of three-dimensionality because we have a foreground projection, Flying Lotus performing in the mid-ground, and a background projection.”
And the visuals are truly unique. While it’s common for a performance to have an accompanying light show, what is uncommon is that Strangeloop and Timeboy mix all of the visuals on the fly–yet somehow the improvisational nature of their art doesn’t make the performance any less tight, as the visual artists explain:
“So [FlyLo] may play something totally abstract that we’ve never heard before or everything might be out of order…We’ve have great moments of flow and synchronicity and we’re finding new things all the time because it’s not set, it’s not time-coded.”
For every thumping bass note heard that night, the corresponding menagerie of eerie geometric patterns were created and projected on the fly–and that’s incredible.
I’ve seen amazing music live, and I’ve seen amazing visual art, but where else but a Flying Lotus er, show, can you see both? I’d pay good money to see Flying Lotus or LayerCubed. But both at the same time– well, I’d practically throw my money. Flying Lotus is currently on his You’re Dead tour and is likely stopping at a city near you. I wouldn’t miss it.
Follow the link to read more on Strangeloop and Timeboy’s incredible LayerCubed.