On the sound stage of the 12th SURVIVAL Art Review in Wroclaw, the mysterious RSS B0YS and Gerard Lebik with Migul A. Garcia will present their latest sound installations.
In 1946, the Department of Pharmacy near the Department of Medicine (later the Department of Pharmacy at the Medical University) was appointed thanks to the decree of the Council of Ministers in Wroclaw. The pharmacists were due to study in an enormous building on Burgstraße (today called Grodzka street, known as Uniwersytecka in the post-war years) designed by Theodore Milczewski, one of the most important architects in Wroclaw in the 60s. The pioneers of popular science did not have it easy - at the end of the war, Soviet forces nearly destroyed the building. Before the school could start running again, students and professors had to rebuild the classrooms and laboratories by hand. Now, in the 21st century, the classrooms and laboratories lie derelict and abandoned. However, all this will change during the SURVIVAL Art Review. For a few days, the empty hallways and dusty corners will once again be filled with life.
The slogan for the 12th edition of the SURVIVAL Art Review is “City – Inflammatory State”, which aims to bring attention to the problems of sickness and healing. The city here is a living organism that has its own anatomy, vital signs and can become sick due to infection. This can result in entropy, collapse and even death. Thankfully, medicine and urban planning help with treatment and revitalisation.
70 different works of art have been chosen for SURVIVAL by the curators of the review. Among exhibitions and performances, there will also be a sound stage, posing questions about how sound behaves in a space and how it responds to its surroundings. Two pieces will be heard in the old pharmaceutical school, S000ND WYTH W000ND by RSS B0YS and aseptic sinus infection by Miguel A. García and Gerard Lebik.
Maligna and a total lack of quinine
“This form of sound installation poses new challenges both to the creators as well as the listeners” – says Daniel Brożek , the curator of the sound stage – “I treat these festival installations as attempts to deal with a specific space differently to concerts – both visually and aurally”. RSS B0YS use both conventional gear (speakers, a smoke machine, a projector) and more innovative equipment such as a heater. The secretive duo have taken inspiration from the Middle East. They combine Middle Eastern iconography, their usual sounds and a sweltering room to simulate a concert in a sandstorm.
“The work of RSS B0YS is an attempt to reach the limit of endurance associated with techno music – it’s a visualization which we may enter; it’s a party that never ends; it’s a sound that defines the space. It is Afrofuturism, powerful reverb and rumbling bass.”
So says Daniel Brożek. But from where have the RSS B0YS taken inspiration about the total experience which they want to portray at the Pharmaceutical Department?
“FROM OUR CONCERTS AND FROM WHAT IS HAPPENING DURING THEM IN US. WE REACH A FEVER. AND FROM THAT MOMENT, WHEN EVERYTHING IS BOILING, WE CAN SAY, THAT THE CONCERT WAS A SUCCESS. THIS IS ALSO ABOUT IMAGINING WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO PLAY A CONCERT IN THE DESERT, IN THE SUN, WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO REACH THE DESIRED MOMENT, OR WOULD WE MELT BEFORE. IN OTHER WORDS, DELIRIOUS HEAT, MALIGN AND A TOTAL LACK OF QUININE. IN A SMALL ROOM AND WITH A SMALL BUDGET WE ARE NOT ABLE TO ACHIEVE A MILLION WATTS, SO OUR INSTALLATION WILL ONLY SCRATCH THE SURFACE, ONLY PORTRAY A FRACTION OF WHAT COULD BE.”
The site specific work of Miguel A. Garcia and Gerard Lebik seems to be the opposite of the extroverted installations of the anonymous duet. The metal and glass construction of the building is the source of their sounds, layers of vibrations are coaxed out of the laboratory walls. Visitors have to go to the centre of the structure to experience the full effect of the sounds. “The space is an integral part of the composition, creating a maze of sonic nuances, their resonances and echoes”– says Broże – “It’s a statue of sound derived from the tradition of Harry Bertoi”.
“The installation makes use of sound waves to generate acoustic vibrations and resonance of solid elements forming the architecture of the space. The vibrating elements in the space such as the walls, windows, ventilation, plasterboard and so on will become the source of the sound. To make these elements vibrate and resonate, we will use sounds of a certain frequency and amplitude.
Miguel A. García (also know under the name Xedh) is one of the most dynamic aural artists in Spain. His work focuses on electro-acoustic compositions and improvisations. He uses sounds taken from electronics, field recordings and acoustic instruments. Gerard Lebik, a graduate from the Music Academy in Wroclaw, creates sounds and music through improvisation, musical notation and through manipulation of sounds using acoustic and electronic media such as saxophones, acoustic wave generators, electroacoustic objects, video feedback and software.
The Library of the Urban Audiosphere
With reference to the field recording workshops and the accompanying panel discussions last year, the library will showcase a selection of pieces attempting to present different ways of listening to and perceiving the urban audiosphere. This project is not only an invitation to confront different ways of listening but also is an attempt to widen the searchable space for sound experimentation.
“With these projects we are trying to blur the boundaries between the composer, performer and listener - we are focusing our attention on the source of the musical experience” – said Daniel Brożek in MI Magazine.
Invited artists and scientists:
Aleksandra Grünholz; Kama Sokolnicka; staff of the Research Laboratory of Landscape Sound at the Institute of Cultural Studies, University of Wrocław; participants in the field recordings workshop SURVIVAL 11: Dawid Furmaniewicz, Agnieszka Górniak-Korzeń, Krzysztof Marciniak, Kamila Staśko-Mazur, Ewelina Turkot.
Friday / 27.06.2014
21:00 Miguel A. García, Gerard Lebik
22:00 DUNNO RECORDINGS SHOWCASE
22:00–1:00 POLISH JUKE SHOWCASE
Sunday / 29.06.2014
19:00–22:00 TURNUS IN THE TROPICS
The curators of the 12th Arts Review SURVIVAL are Michał Bieniek and Anna Kołodziejczyk, working together with: Anna Stec
Sound Stage curator: Daniel Brożek, working together with: Małgorzata Sobolewska
Debate curator: Bartek Lis
Outside Curators: Magdalena Popławska, Magdalena Zięba, Szymon Kobylarz and Antoni Burzyński
Sources: press materials, interviews with artists, http://www.survival.art.pl/ edited by fl, 23.06.2014
Translated by Alexander Sikorski 25.06.2014