Incredible Bob & WoO: ‘As we watch television, television watches us’

Bob and WoO

Peoplemeter is an expanded cinema performance created by video artist Incredible Bob and WoO, an experimental guitarist and sound artist. Robots, living in a post digital world of signals, frequencies, oscillations and other media junk are protagonists in this immersive performance structured with lasers, LED stripes and lights. WoO’s guitar and effects are joined by Bob’s live electronic music. Peoplemeter premiered at MUTEK Festival 2013, and was shown in Mexico City in an IMAX cinema. 

Can you talk about your respective backgrounds?

Incredible Bob: We met in the mid 1990s and started a noise band together. In 2005, we began our audiovisual collaboration and performed intensively. WoO released an album called Moby Rock on the Slovenian label RX:TX in 2007, as well as several other releases for independent labels in Atlanta and Belgrade at that time. With this AV show we performed at numerous festivals, including Elevate, Todays Art, MUTEK Montreal, Communikey, etc.

Can you talk about your project PEOPLEMETER? What does the name denote?

Peoplemeter as a device that measures audience viewing habits is a meta-narrative in this expanded cinema performance. As we watch television, television watches us. Machines are becoming independent and autonomous. According to some theorists, technology is not serving us but we serve technology, like apparatus operators. From that perspective, humans can only be a source of error. That’s why we created an environment where only machines exist and correlate. And they fight for dominance, of course.

Robots, living in a post digital world of signals, frequencies, oscillations and other media junk are protagonists in this immersive performance structured with lasers, LED stripes and lights. Is this a comment on contemporary technologies / dystopias?

Yes.

Can you talk about Belgrade and its music scene, and general culture scene? Also in terms of its development after the year 2000.

Belgrade’s music scene is very dynamic. Many musicians are doing great stuff and perform internationally: Jan Nemecek, 33.10.3402, PonTon, just to name a few. Places like Drugstore and 20/44 are bringing the best international underground acts to Belgrade. Since the National Museum and Museum of Contemporary Arts are closed, having been renovated for a decade, independent cultural centres are playing the role of cultural bastions. After years of isolation behind the Iron Curtain, Belgrade in the 2000’s became one of the favourite destinations for artists and is famous for it’s wild nightlife these days. Cultural connections with cities in the region, Zagreb and Ljubljana for instance, are very strong and make this part of Europe very exciting.