corroding loop(s)

Schausammlung Open Call, LTK4, Cologne 2020

5 Kanäle, WAV Player, 8 min Loop.

Corroding loop(s) is a site-specific sound installation in the Lutherturm in Cologne. This composition is made for the church bells of the Lutherkirche where the bell tower is located. Recordings of the church organ and the church bells are processed, stretched over time, and played via loudspeakers installed inside the bell tower. The sound continuum is composed around and mixes with the bells that ring twice a day at 12pm and 7pm.

The church bells were urban public clocks structuring everyday and ritual life, the rhythm of Western culture, in a specific cartographic and acoustic range. The act of walking and hearing , the body is directly addressed and connected to the ringing of the bell, while now with digital clocks on our cellphones or visual signs on wristwatches, the relation between body, time and urban space is different, detached from a physical space. Time is teared apart from space onto our skin, into virtual worlds, into machinery. From sonic signs we shifted to visual signs representing time. Social and ritual life formerly were structured into one general rhythm for all people, now we encounter various layers of lifestyles and rhythms all merging and overlapping together in one space.

The church is a stage for the theatrical, the ritual, ceremonies and remembrance. Time structures like calendars are systems, thus creating a narrative and a fiction for a society which changes in different areas of the world and cultures. Bell ringing formerly also served as a signal for other occasions, like a warning sign for example. What happens if the church bells never fall silent? For what purpose is a human community being called together here? What happens if an everyday background sound, to which we got used to, is heard in a transformed way? When digital and acoustic signals overlap, the memory of a bell and its actual sound?

The installation is located on the 4th floor of the bell tower, just directly under the belfry, from which a whole is opened into the room and one of the bells is lit visible to the audience. The audience in order to experience the installation needs to physically move inside the bell tower room, because from outside it is not heard. The visit becomes a ritualistic pilgrimage into a space where time is restructured sonically by presenting the bell sound in a different way. The mechanical attack sound of the motors that play the bells is amplified and starts like a beat which dissolves into sound textures. Our contemporary society is accelerating rapidly. Physical spaces dissolve into the virtual, one no longer lingers in the physical but relocates into the digital. The ritual disappears in our society, space and time perception change. In the constant stream of sound, the corrosion of time, bodies and spaces may become physically tangible.

Ecken

Air Berlin, Intermission Collective, Villa Heike, Berlin 2020

3 channels, 5 min loop.

Ecken, meaning corners, highlight the ceiling texture of the entrance area of Villa Heike in front of the main exhibition hall. The ceilings texture remind me to a folded origami paper, likewise, it looks like in a process of folding and unfolding surfaces. Folding surfaces create corners, that hide and show. The 3 Loudspeakers are positioned high on the columns, to direct the visitors attention upwards towards these visual forms – a flood light emphasize these shapes and lines. The sound which originated from rustling recordings of papers, is folded into different sonic spaces, reverberating simultaneously in different rooms at one place and time, folding and unfolding between the actual physical space and the memories of other distant acoustics.

enchainments

Body Occupation, Inkubator Collective at Dada Post, Berlin 2020

Turkish tea tray, chains, transducer, amp, WAV Player, 5min loop.

This piece is a symbolic object, a vibrating metallic instrument, a sound sculpture, exposing like a mirror karmic chains. A big Turkish tea tray becomes an autonomous object, annihilating its horizontal position it is deprived of its usual function of serving and being a support, of being used. By standing up, and sounding, vibrating, it gets a voice. The chains that decorate it, tremble. Shaking the constraining chains, that adorn its body creating the illusion of necklaces, it reclaims liberty. The tea tray breaks the light creating infinite illusory forms on its surface, a pulsating, vibrating cosmic mandala. Handcuffs intertwining form an 8, the number of infinity. In karmic beliefs, everything reflects, repeats and returns infinitely till we break the chains of attachments and our illusory notions of existence.

V² – Vertikal Volumen

FK:K Festival IV Kesselhaus Bamberg 2020

8 channels, 18 min loop.

A former boiler room is emphasized and acoustically explored in its verticality. For this purpose, sound sources are placed in the two kettles, an adjacent room and in the basement. High frequent sound impulses and low-frequency drones stimulate the resonances of the cavities. The acoustics of the boiler and the cellar shape the aesthetics of the sound and create spatial sonic impulses for the visitors. The echoing room becomes a sonic filter. The clean and cold lightning with neon tubes highlights the architectural shapes of the room, specially the V-shapes of the 2 boilers, and the visual textures of the walls. The architectonic body is exposed to the audience.

ROOMINATION III

Floating Presence at Berlin Art Summer IV, Humboldt Carré 2020

8 channels, changing interactive sound loops.

ROOMINATION III is an interactive sound and light installation by Katharina Bévand & Shahed Naji, which reacts to the presence and movement of visitors in the room with the help of sensors and an interactive system specially developed for the installation. ROOMINATION invites visitors to physically deal with their surroundings. What reactions do our actions produce? How does a changing environment affect us? Where is the separation or fusion between us as body and the surrounding world?

Technical support and programming: FluxGeist

EARTH WOMB

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Listen to Cairo, DARB1718 Cultural Center, Cairo, Egypt 2020

3 sound channels, inside a former pottery kiln, 24 min loop.

Field recordings of different places all over Cairo – as a bustling, hectic, and mostly loud city, transform here into a meditative sonic space. The transformation of and into opposites, this fluctuation of states and emotions, is a special concern in this piece. As life and death are both ends of the same string, everything hosts dualities. We often have the decision and responsibility to choose between these dualities in tension and often we do not realize this opportunity to shape our reality consciously. In many traditions our body is made of elements, including Earth – when we die, we fall to dust again. The organic cavities of the kiln remind organic forms, like the womb that gives birth and the grave that accomodates us. Atmospheric field recordings as well as amplified electromagnetic waves and contact microphone sounds of a bridge were used in this composition.

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orbiting mantra

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Infinité, Weisser Elefant Gallery, Berlin 2020

2 sound channels, transducers and object trouvé.

Orbiting Mantra is a slowly evolving sonic composition, which invites the visitor to orbit around hanging resonating plates, or to stand between them taking a sonic bath. Sound exciters transmit vibration onto the metallic surfaces, enhancing the metallic character of the sound. The composition is made of various parts that inter fade slowly. On the turkish tea trays of special resonant qualities, infinite spirals are drawn, appearing and disappearing with the changing light angle while one moves around. Like the visuals, the sound spins endlessly, and the visitor mirrors with his circular movement the repetition of a spatial infinity. The atmospheric composition expands into the room. The exhibition “Infinité” was held in honor to the great female Pioneer of Electronic Music Eliane Radigue, for her 88th birthday in January 2020.

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volcanic pulse

2

Phenomena, Former Königstadt Brewery, Berlin 2019

5 sound channels and lights, 5:53 min loop.

The volcano pushes material and air,
glowing atmosphere.

The underground cavities reverberate. Virtual sonic rooms fade into this real room, filled by the spirit of a volcano. The vibration of the earth is collected from the ground and erupts inside the vault. The rumbling air is the skin between surface world and underground world, a shaft at the end of the room connects the underground vault to the street level, making sounds fluctuate.

The volcano is the membrane between these worlds. The structural forms of the cavities and their acoustics remind us of organic forms as if architecture was a living breathing being. Vibrations on surfaces and objects activate the room on a physical level, bringing life to rigid materials. The old remaining underground vault of the former Königstadt Brewery has the ground covered by small red stones that remind the texture of a volcano, and make additional sounds while one walks on them. 

Excerpt of the exhibition text:

Phenomena are sound and light installations that place direct sensorial perception at the forefront. The underground vault of the former Königstadtbrauerei is filled by sound and light, which make spatiotemporal objects and environments of sensory experience emerge.We may think about natural phenomena, which include a vast amount of manifestations such as volcanic eruptions, waterfalls, fog, electromagnetic pulses, or physical phenomena such as freezing and boiling, and biological phenomena such as decomposition. Phenomena oscillate between becoming and elapsing. We may also ask about artificial phenomena, or at least such with a kind of human intervention. A lightbulb that turns on or off at human will is a good example.

Since antiquity philosophers like Plato and Aristotle have been occupied with the topic of mimesis, usually translated and simplified as “imitation of nature“, applied to the arts specifically in this context. Aristotle in his Poetics goes further and describes mimesis as a relation between Techne (translated as “craft“ or “art“) and nature. Techne completes nature by making manifest through mimesis what nature did not accomplish by itself. In this case the phenomena, as objects known through the senses rather than by thought or rationality, aim to be a medium to play with the question of mimesis (imitation or extension of nature) in the work of art. Through the intervention of the Königstadtbrauerei with these phenomena made of sound and light, the place can take new meanings. A waterfall invites us to listen closely and maybe dwell into the nature of sound itself, the spotlights enhancing architectonic surfaces remind us of the organic and mimetic nature of architecture, the conservation and decaying of human-made structures, the artificially made and the natural.

The compositions made partly of recordings collected in natural and urban environments, as well as electronically produced sounds, remind us of the tension and “symbiotic” relation between the human, technology and nature. When does abstraction reach the point, we do not associate its object with any natural phenomenon? We often automatically address sounds to known natural phenomena, for example white noise is often related to the rumbling of the sea. Thus, where is the border between nature and technology sonically? Where is the border between physical spaces and virtual-sonic acoustic environments, or, which of those becomes more real to our perception?

Kesselrausch

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Former Braustolz Brewery, RAUSCH Festival, Begehungen Chemnitz 2019

8 channels: 2 loudspeakers inside the tanks, 2 transducers, 2 subwoofers, 2 monitors, 2 found metal plates, 8 channel player.

Kesselrausch is a site-specific sonic installation in a room of the former Braustolz brewery. The three 100.000 l tanks used for storing beer have still an impressive visual presence. Now, these become resonant bodies. Loudspeakers inside the cavities of the metallic storage tanks are echoing by low frequent and metallic sonic events, recorded inside the brewery. Turbines of airplanes are intertwined with these local sounds. The room becomes a roaring, vibrating and stormy sonic field. This agitated sea of sounds honors the remains of the former brewery. Transducers attached to metallic surfaces transmit vibrations making these resonate. The architectonic body and its organs, the machinery of the brewery, vibrate, dance, sing. The anatomy of the building, its objects, its limbs, and skeleton, become living bodies. Resonance phenomena arise, connecting various oscillating systems. This combination of objects and their environment; of sound, material, body, and air, is like the experience of intoxication or ecstasy, in which the separation between us and our environment is abolished. The visitor’s body composes its personal acoustic-spatial experience through movement in space, experiencing various acoustic effects since as many different listening positions as possible are created by the sound sources placed throughout the room.

IMG_5653.JPGDSC08677.jpegDSC08678.jpeg3. & 4. Fotos: credit @ Linda Kolodjuk