August 28, 2023

elekhlekha อีเหละเขละขละ is a collaborative research-based group consisting of Bangkok-born, Brooklyn-based artists, Kengchakaj–เก่งฉกาจ and Nitcha–ณิชชา. We are interested in subversive storytelling using non-dominance sound and visual archives, historical research–decoding and unlearning biases, performing documents, multimedia, and technology to experiment, explore and define decolonized possibilities. elekhlekha อีเหละเขละขละ is a Thai word that means dispersedly, chaos, unorganized, all over, and non-direction. Jitr is a performative audio-visual that utilizes historical research and live coding tools to reconcile Southeast Asia’s shared heritage.

Nitcha Tothong (fame) is an interdisciplinary artist and designer using narrative and humanizing storytelling, sensory experience, and emotional expression through art and technology.

Kengchakaj is an award-winning pianist, improviser, composer, and electronic experimentalist. His musical idiom is rooted in the improvised aesthetics of Southeast Asia cultures and African-American Creative Music.

During the IEA Experimental Projects Residency, we expand and further develop our live coding audio-visual project “Jitr จิตร: extended gong ensemble” into quadraphonic performance, Immersive Installation, Risograph prints, and explore and experiment with analog audio and video synthesis. “Jitr จิตร: extended gong ensemble” is a networked live coding, collaborative sound making, and an extended branch from elekhlekha’s process-oriented project, Jitr จิตร. 

For our quadraphonic performance at Holmes Auditorium, we invite audiences to join in the performance and make sounds with found objects, whatever one has in their pocket or their own body. The performance is created with specific frequencies tied to Southeast Asian sound cultures. It uses these tunings as a constraint to create a ritual musical performance with melodies and rhythms spread out among live coders and audiences, thus eliminating the role of the dominant force and underlining the agency of each individual who participates, along with the live coding visual which is an assembling of performing documents using words extracted from crucial Thai radical thinker and writer Jitr Poumisak, who was seen as a threat to Thai authorities and killed in 1966, synthesized with archived video materials. 

We also expand “Jitr จิตร: extended gong ensemble” and present the three-wall immersive video installation at the Immersive media gallery. The immersive video installation’s tone differs from the live performance, focusing more on curated experience, sounds, and visuals.

We had always wanted to make Jitr into a physical object. With access to the risograph printer and support from IEA, we create print series in which we extract frames curated from past performances. We translate the frames from full-color on-screen pixels to two to three colors with halftone texture on paper but keep the contrasting colors to convey juxtaposition. 

Lastly, we explore and experiment with Doepfer modular systems and Dave Jones MVIP video synthesizer module to expand our practice, find inspiration, and prototype our new project and creation. We can’t wait to share what will come out of our fruitful experience at IEA residency. – elekhlekha

JITR 002, Two-color Risograph Work Sample.

JITR 003, Two-color Risograph Work Sample.

Jitr จิตร, Work Sample I.

Jitr จิตร, installed in Immersive Gallery, Work Sample II.