Dark Energy

The Minneapolis dark electronic variety show/stream Dark Energy on Twitch (handle – darkenergympls) is culturally the replacement of what MTV 120 Minutes was in the late 80s. Many stay up late for Grant Maryland’s pirate cable-like line up of darkwave artists and DJs – some that we have never heard of and most that we could never see in our home town with our schedules. The best part is the video on demand stream capability so we can watch it Sunday morning with coffee – so much easier than taping over another VHS tape and dealing with tracking. The better part is seeing your friends and interacting with artists directly you would likely not get a chance to meet.

This feels like some digital Camelot, a dark reinnansance. Artists need to learn presentation for streaming performances, the consideration of camera angles and need for more effects. A week ago the LA-based artist Panther Modern performed a set in a virtual reality he constructed. It was revolutionary and right out of the cyberpunk vision of William Gibson’s dystopic cyberspace future. It was like watching history happening – one of those “where were you when…?” moments. Last nights Multipleman duo performed live from apparently two different places at once – possibly different continents.

A silver lining during this pandemic time is that we can see more DJ and musician performances in one week than most of us would in years. We are seeing friends in the chat stream, friends we normally wouldn’t converse with this much in a loud club.

Digital video effects and green screen technology are turning basements and bedrooms into live performance venues and mass DJ nights with people dancing in their living rooms.

This may be our near future – hermetically isolating and living through streaming art. Artists need to monetize this and people need to pay up to keep this streaming. We are in a free zone of stream surfing – we may need to pay at the front door in the future to keep artists making content.

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