Guzman goes back repeatedly to the idea of the designer as performer. It was the subject of his thesis, Sound and Vision. Interested in musical artists who have pushed visual performances to the forefront — Daft Punk, Kanye West, U2, and especially the Talking Heads and Jonathan Demme's 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense — he initiated the project as a way of exploring how sound influences visuals and how visuals create music. As David Byrne puts it: "Music is physical. The body understands it before the mind." What Guzman and Tsao have created is a musical appeal to the sense of sight.
For Nosaj Thing's November tour, they're essentially members of the band, rehearsing, traveling on the bus with the other acts — Toro y Moi (who they also designed visuals for) and Jogger — and performing live at the shows.
Did Guzman see this happening when he was studying design? "I always knew I wanted to do something like this," he says. "I didn't envision this, though. I'm really excited about what's happening."
If Guzman wanted to explore the relationship between design as performance, he has done so — by becoming a performer. *
With Toro Y Moi and Jogger
Fri/12, 9 p.m., $15–$18
155 Fell, SF