“Rio in MIDI” is a performance that takes the shape of a lecture. It attempts to revile the rigid technological restrictions of the MIDI format, standardized in 1982, while simultaneously examining the differences in a sequence of anonymous reproductions of the pop hit, Rio, by Duran Duran, released in the same year.
The lecture showcases rare, possibly exotic versions of Rio, collected from various public directories across the Internet. It attempts to highlight the distinct differences in a few of these sequenced versions of Rio, while also exploring the role the MIDI format had in shaping a technological shift to digital music.
Andrea Merkx is an artist and musician living in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA from the University of New Mexico and her MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York. She has exhibited and performed at venues such as PS1, NY; Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR; the Swiss Institute-Contemporary Art, NY; Jack Tilton Gallery, NY; the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, NY; as well as the Bowery Ballroom, NY, and Irving Plaza, NY.