MIRA新伝統, the Tokyo-based performance and audiovisual project of Honami Higuchi and Raphael Leray, unravel a DIY theory-fiction, set in the back alleys of Shibuya’s club district.
“A potential future is abruptly hatching from a black floating egg in one of the dirtiest alleys of Shibuya’s club district,” begin Honami Higuchi and Raphael Leray, who together make up Tokyo audiovisual performance entity, MIRA新伝統. Taken from their album of the same name for James Ginzburg’s Subtext Recordings, ‘Noumenal Eggs’ is an exercise in speculation, drawing esoteric energy from Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus, Reza Negarestani, Mark Fisher and the early accelerationist philosophy of CCRU, while gesturing towards science fiction strategies for new production, removed from the all seeing, all reaching tentacles of capital. “This is what ‘Noumenal Eggs’ are,” they describe, “untapped potential lying outside of our perception – but sometimes, rarely, they burst and the alternate realities they were holding are accidentally diffused and witnessed in the phenomenal world. They are more likely to be seen by people living in the margins and are prone to altered states of consciousness.” Sharar Lazima, a model and actress who regularly appears Japanese TV shows and is vital voice illuminating the fate of immigrants and minorities in Japan, stars as ‘the witness,’ a marginal figure to whom a new reality reveals itself to. “Rei, her long time photographer friend, took the shots in one of those liminal backstreets we often use to gather and drink cheap conbini drinks together before going to the club,” MIRA新伝統 explain.
“What is being unveiled looks like a world of heat and entropy – of plastiglomerates and mucus,” MIRA新伝統 continue. “But what if this future is not really the future but just another place and time trying to transfer itself into ours? Eggs that our neoliberal society was just incubating for decades or more so it could finally start hatching now. Canceling all our potential futures for one which didn’t belong here – like a cuckoo egg. Was the system we had lived in for generations just a giant hyperparasite hacking the desire-driven circuitries at work in humanity’s unconscious limbo and pressing us to produce unsustainably and against our self-interest to prepare its physical venue to the world? Shall we go on a quest to look for the eggs that were replaced? Isn’t now the time to upgrade and free ourselves from the parasite’s dendrites plugged deep in our minds?” Posing these questions with a heady blend of FM and wavetable synthesis, modulated alien vocalisations, 3D-rendered alternative reality artefacts, strange gelatinous textures and impressionistic movement, MIRA新伝統 construct an environment totally removed from conventional human perception, looking to move beyond the immanent, into the slippery unknown. It’s the same philosophy they apply to their performance events, in which they take control of night club spaces to explore themes such as post-humanity, post-capital and body-ownership through a ritualistic live show.
“For us, there is no glory in doing only performance art for galleries and institutions, with a well-educated and often wealthy audience,” MIRA新伝統 assert. “We find it more interesting to intrude into the nightlife and make things happen. It can be trance, hyperpop, techno, or deconstructed club parties. Suddenly, around 2am, the DJing stops and the club transforms itself into a temporary Athenian theatre, deploying an imaginary between hyper-futurism and neo-mythology, to share a cathartic moment with the audience. The audience itself is rather young and generally comes from queer and underground communities. They are often very frustrated by the current power in place and the increasing precarity of living in Tokyo. The idea is to invite them to go for something more than only letting off steam through drinking and dosing until the morning. After the DJing restarts, the conversation about what just happened in the performance goes on in the smoking space of the club, or in front the nearby convenient store. Some are emotional about it, some are excited by the accessories (medieval weapons are often used), others want to dig into the conceptual background and share their thoughts about what they perceived to be the theme. Some will block their calendars for the next performance and might even be a part of it in some ways, whether it is in creating new costumes and accessories, or helping with the archives. They might even end up acting in it!”
Noumenal Eggs Credits:
© & ℗ Subtext / Multiverse LTD. 2022