「初·ZPTPJ」is an audiovisual performance project initiated by Miao Jing (visual artist, animator) and Jason Hou (composer, sound designer). Miao and Jason are fascinated by creation myths, archeology, simulation theory and so on. The name “ZP TPJ” comes from the golden era called “Zep Tepi” (the first occasion) in Egyptian mythology.
Increasingly more evidence indicates that the modern understanding of the linear development of our civilization is wrong. It’s highly probable that an advanced civilization which thrived in the distant past was wiped out by a global cataclysm. They have left a legacy of sacred monuments and mystical texts for us to decipher; there is an essential lesson to learn from their demise. The incredible achievements of ancient civilizations such as Sumer and Egypt suggest a technological and cultural transfer from a much older and unknown generation.
The performance is currently 45 minutes long with multiple chapters unveiling the rise and fall of a simulated civilization that reflects our own reality on earth. It questions whether we are a species with amnesia and wonders where humanity is heading at the verge of technological singularity. Miao and Jason perform this story as two archivists of records, extracting audiovisual information on the stage. They strive to develop their “primal-futuristic” style of audiovisual language to provide the audience an immersive experience, transporting them to an alternate reality.
「初·ZPTPJ」is a long term on-going project. Miao and Jason want make the show constantly evolving with new contents and improvements every time. They adjust the visual and sound to each performance space to create the best possible experience for the audience. They also look forward to implementing new technologies and other forms of performance art into the show in the future.
Miao Jing and Jason Hou started collaborating on audiovisual installation works such as “渐·Transition”, “O” and “博物柜·Cabinets” from 2015. In 2017, they wanted to explore the possibility of audiovisual art further, then 初·ZPTPJ was initiated. After a year of developing the core contents for the show separately, Miao and Jason had the opportunity to work closely together during their artist residency in Paris (May - July 2018) supported by Dawan Art. The majority of the show was developed and the duo started touring from July 28th of 2018. So far they have played in Shanghai (ALL Club, Extrart Base, VAS Live), Beijing (CHAO Art Centre), Chengdu (Nu Space), Chongqing (Opening Ceremony of Nebulas Award for Chinese Sci-Fi Literature) , Phnom Penh (Prince Bay Art Festival ) and Santa Fe (Currents New Media 2019).
Miao Jing and Jason Hou perform the visuals and music live. Miao mixes multiple layers of video clips and effects with a Midi Fighter Twister and a Launch Pad. Jason Hou performs the music with an AlphaSphere, a midi keyboard and a continuum fingerboard. The AlphaSphere is a programmable midi controller that can control 16 midi channels with polyphonic aftertouch capability, thus it can be programmed to perform according to each song’s characteristics (for instance, it can be a percussion set for one song and a multi-timbral synth for another). Jason sends midi and audio signal to Miao’s computer that trigger and affect the visuals. Miao also sends audio from video clips to mix with Jason’s audio.