following Takahiko Iimura, Observer/Observed/Observer, chapter Camera 1/2 – Monitor 1/2

Exhibition at Quare Gallery, London.
Curated by: Marialaura Ghidini

1) Prelude
2) Breaking the Frozen Radio Sea
3) Uncertainty Relation (Memory tastes Metallic)
4) International Slo-Mo (As Recalled by Room Herself)
5) Spatial Resonances in Eventmind (Fly in Flames)

Bilwa Costas, Mariella Greil, Werner Moebius, Emily Sweeney, J Milo Taylor

Year:2008
Location: Germany
Worktype: Composition
Materials: Recorded Media (Stereo Audio)

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My sense of disconnection from the people of Bad Ems as a consequence of language and the reverberant nature of the Kunstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral architecture. I was working in a disembodied and digital process, where, despite my actual presence in Bad Ems, much of my time was spent online and isolated from the real-world context around me. Although this time was highly productive I decided to counter such work with a piece intended to connect me more closely with the people and environment around me.

I had made the acquaintance of Rainer Hoffman, administrator of the Kunstlerhaus, a few days earlier, we had managed an interesting conversation, and I had noticed that he had difficulties with his hearing, and spends the day with hearing aids (specifics of this?). I myself was experiencing a restricted access to auditory world around me, due to the building’s sonic characteristics, and my own poor understanding of German. I had for a long time wanted to try a version of Alvin Lucier’s ‘I Am Sitting in a Room’ (1970) and so proposed a collaborative work to Rainer.

‘I am Sitting in a Room’ is one of Lucier’s most well known works, and he has always encouraged interpretations of the piece. It is a work based in a short piece of spoken text, originally spoken by Lucier himself. The complete text of this original version is presented below:

I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of r-r-r-rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity nnnnnot so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to s-s-smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.

This short piece of text explains the work quite succinctly, and the final work was originally presented as a forty minute recording. I asked Rainer to translate the text into German, and whether he would be prepared to have his voice recorded for the purposes of the piece. He was initially hesitant, selfconscious about the way he speaks German, saying that people often comment that he speaks his mother tongue in a strange way as a result of his hearing disability. When however I explained Lucier’s own problems with speech, and that his own experience would add to the work, he readily agreed. Rainer’s translation of Lucier is as follows:

Ich sitze in einem Raum, der anders is als der Raum, in dem Sie sich gerade befinden. Ich nehme meine Sprechstimme auf und spiele sie ab, nehme sie auf und spiele sie ab, immer wieder – bis die Resonanzschwingungen des Raum sich selbst verstäken, so dass jede Ähnlichkeit mit dem Sprechen, auxer vielleicht mit dem Sprechrhythmus, ausgelöscht wird. Was Sie dann noch hören, sind die natürlichen Resonanzschwingungen des Raumes, gegliedert durch das Sprechen. Diese Handlung ist für mich weniger die Demonstration eines physikalischen Sachverhaltes, als vielmehr ein Weg, alle UnregelmäXigkeiten, die meine Sprache möglicherweise aufweist, zu glätten.”

The full iterative realisation of this work was carried out in the KHSB on the evening of 20th April 2008. The work is significantly different from Lucier’s, and the openness of his original intentions should be credited. My aims in attempting this work were met in the process of carrying out this work. I wanted a way to engage with the acoustic space of the KHSB, I needed some means of communication across a language barrier, I wanted to address my inability to speak or understand German and also to explore issues of authenticity with spoken German, interestingly fore grounded by Rainer’s inhibited access to the auditory. I would take this opportunity to thank Rainer for his participation in this work, and to hope that he enjoys listening to the transformation of his voice manifested by the acoustics of his daily place of work.

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Year: 2008
Location: Germany
Worktype: Light and Sound Installation
Materials: 12 P.C. speakers, 2 P.C micro sub-bass channels, plastic, water, kaospad, diodes.







Year : 2008
Location : Germany
Worktype : Sound Installation
Materials: stereo digital recording, microphones, grand piano, playback system.

Base Gesture

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Mid-Cycle

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End Cycle

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Obstruction Placed: Position 1: (Distant from Art) (exterior)

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Obstruction Placed: Position 2: (Approaching the Kunstlerhaus) (exterior)

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Obstruction Placed: Position 3: (Inside the “Waterbugs” installation) (interior)

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Obstruction Placed: Position 4: (Kunstlerhaus Downstrairs Hallway: In-between the “Waterbugs”, “Skype Glitch.voices (remodelled)” and “Dissolving Ghost Piano” installations) (interior)

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Obstruction Placed: Position 5: (Kunstlerhaus Stairwell: Ground/First Floor: “Waterbugs” and “Dissolving Ghost Piano” installations audible) (interior)

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Obstruction Placed: Position 6: (Kunstlerhaus First Floor) (interior)

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Obstruction Placed: Position 7: (Kunstlerhaus Second Floor Stairwell – leading to open door to “Cat’s Cradle”) (liminal)

Obstruction Placed: Position 8: (Having Crossed the Border) (exterior)

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Obstruction Placed: Position 9: Overlooking (Higher Up in the Wooded Hillside Listening Down and Around (exterior)

Materials: white cotton thread, interior, exterior and liminal space, 7 kitchen knives, 7 electric guitar strings, white spray paint,

Of the works created during the residency, ‘Cat’s Cradle’ is perhaps the most complex piece, and the hardest to describe, both in terms of process and in its final form. There are several strands of thought running through this piece, and is the most conceptual and non-sound related work I have created to date. The initial concept for the piece was a direct result of my being detained at the hands of the British Transport Police when leaving King’s Cross Eurostar. I was thinking of a way of evoking an idea of a journey, and a means of expressing obstacles placed in the way of the traveller. This idea came from the concrete experience, but took on a different meaning as I explored the KHSB.

CCMR Sense of Sound Post Proceedings.(Computer Music Modelling and Retrieval 2007). Published by Springer Verlag 2008. Germany / Denmark. ISBN: 978-3-540-85034-2



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Year: 2007
Location: Bargehouse Gallery, Oxo Tower, South Bank, London,England
Worktype: Puppet Performance / Immersive Environment
Materials: trumpet, loops, electric guitar, puppets, lights, candles, bare feet, voice, chocolate, oranges, slide projection, multichannel audio.
Info: with Barbara Fuchs

Work Details
A sound composition created for a multi-channel performance/installation which took place over three weeks in the Bargehouse Gallery. Visitors were asked to remove their shoes, and led into a darkened environment by candle light. The single female performer guided visitors through a multisensory immersive environment.

Initial Proposal
A micro-theatrical performance / installation that combines elements of puppetry, sound art, theatre and music. The artists create an intimate environment stimulating the audiences’ senses of smell, taste, touch, sound and sight. Leading the attention of the spectator towards small details. Talking suitcases, taste tests, feeling between your toes,

Taking a small audience through an experience and back to its beginning. The fragmented story conjures dreamlike images and situations that enthrall and the audience is magically drawn into the scene.

The piece deals with the themes of refinding childhood, and asking basic questions, inspiring the imagination of the audience. Taking them through a close, intimate, almost personal experience. Coming close, leading the audience around not just by touch, but also sound, smell and taste. A gentle path where they can focus on small things, and perhaps refind a long-forgotten part of themselves.

Being small in a big world. Being safe. Being able to be like a child, just to look and feel and letting experiences occur close to you, not having to act from your own account, just letting things happen.The small details and magical things.

The audience feels their bodies, their ears, their skin, all of their senses again. The piece aims to draw attention to all of their senses. To challenge their imaginations, they are given something to taste and they imagine something, they can smell something and imagine something. It makes them go inward somehow. Finding your senses again. A safe, womb-space. Warm and quiet and dark.

Very personal experience, everyone in the audience will have a personal experience. Leaving the performance with something in their mouth, each one different. A taste with a lable attached to it – and orange with ‘what does this sound like’. Noise and heat and power, an force and fire, the sun, heat again, running, fighting, shouting, strength. (B.Fuchs)

Performance time: 20min show. Audience of 2- 10.

CHArt Twenty Third Annual Conference
Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

Museums, galleries, archives, libraries and media organisations such as publishers and film and broadcast companies, have traditionally mediated and controlled access to cultural resources and knowledge. What is the future of such ‘top-down’ institutions in the age of ‘bottom-up’ access to knowledge and cultural artifacts through Web 2:0 technologies. Will such institutions respond to this threat to their cultural hegemony by resistance or adaptation? How can a museum or a gallery or, for that matter, a broadcasting company, appeal to an audience which has unprecedented access to cultural resources? How can institutions predicated on a cultural economy of scarcity compete in an emerging state of cultural abundance? The twenty-third CHArt conference will reflect upon these issues.

http://www.chart.ac.uk/chart2007/07programme.html

Essay Shortlisted for the 3D Visualisation in the Arts Network Student Award 2007