Sound around Kaliningrad: Audio installations


24.05 - 26.05.2012

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Included in: [Sound around Kaliningrad. International Festival of Experimental Music and Sound Art]

Curator: [Danil Akimov]

Audio installations by JG Thirlwell, Jacob Kirkegaard, Vladimir Tarasov, CM von Hausswolff and Thomas Nordanstad, Andrey Kolomyjtsev (StirliTZ) and Oleg Blyablyas, Maksims Shentelevs and John Grzinich

Attic, Kronprinz Barracks / BB NCCA (38 Litovsky val st., porch 6, 3d floor - see the map).

Opening: May, 24 19:00
Opening hours:
May 25-26, 13:00 – 19:30
Entrance free.


JG Thirlwell
"Otitis Interna"

Sound installation, 2012

When I was presented with the image of the room in Kaliningrad where my sound installation would be housed, I felt it evoked a sonic landscape of wood and organic matter, of work and anxiety, of memory and loss trapped in the grain and the walls. I sought to examine and paint these ideas with sound. I sourced and arranged a sonic palette into a six channel spatial environment to envelop these ideas in the space. Adding blacklight as the sole source of illumination in the room added a twist of disorientation which is meant to invoke an x-ray, illuminating unseen crevices of the listener's person.

Jacob Kirkegaard
"A I O N" 

Installation, 50 min., 2006

AION (Ancient Greek αιων = “infinity”, “eternity”, a time span beyond human understanding) is a portrait of four abandoned spaces inside the so-called “Zone of Alienation” in Chernobyl, Ukraine; a dripping swimming pool, a ruined concert hall, a mould-infested gymnasium and an old village church. During the days and weeks following the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26th, 1986, the local population were evacuated by Soviet military, and they had to leave behind all their belongings. The former homes, meeting places and recreation centres were declared contaminated territory – in fact, they will remain uninhabitable for thousands of years.
Two decades after the disaster, Jacob Kirkegaard visited the exclusion area with his recording equipment. His approach was inspired by Alvin Lucier's work “I am sitting in a room” [1970]. While sitting in a room, Lucier recorded his own voice reciting a text which he then played back in the room. He repeated this process over and over again until the different layers of his voice began to merge into a constant drone. Kirkegaard didn’t record his own voice but the voice of the room itself. He put up a microphone and a speaker, started the recording and left. After ten minutes, he returned, stopped the recording and played it back into the same space. With each new layer, the subtle sounds of the room were enlarged and deepened until they finally turned into one humming sound with many overtones.
For the visual representation of the four rooms, Kirkegaard explored a variety of techniques, working with layers, overexposure and video feedback, that can be understood as analogous to his acoustical method.
All sound and video was recorded in the exclusion area around the former nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, in October 2005.
Thanks to Sarah Kirkegaard, Stine Hebert, Ania Pilarska, Touch, Anthony Moore, Siegfried Zielinski, David Larcher, “Verein der Freunde der Kunsthochschule für Medien Koeln” and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany.
AION is dedicated to my guide in Chernobyl, Rimma Kiselitsa (in memoriam).
This DVD was released on April 26th, 2011, 25 years after the nuclear accident in Chernobyl.


Vladimir Tarasov

Video installation, 2009

For several hours we had been driving a small jeep around the tracks of ancient Gobustan, near Baku. This was my second expedition in these parts, and I still cherished the hope of seeing the first stone drum in human history. Once again I was disappointed and doubtful that we would ever discover anything more than a small resonant stone in the area belonging to the museum, but Ali, a Baku artist, assured Vitaly Patsyukov and me that he remembered the location and we would definitely find it. It was almost evening before a huge boulder balanced on two other stones came into view on the mountainside and we realized this was the Great Ritual Instrument. Clearly this was the way it had to be. The stone with its penetrating sound that carried across the entire territory of this ancient human encampment was only revealed to us after an arduous search.


Carl Michael von Hausswolff / Thomas Nordanstad
Digibeta, Courtesy Electra, 2002
A part of trilogy of “Hashima” ,“Al Qasr“ and “Texas“

“Hashima“ (Japan, 2002) is a tour of an island off the coast of Nagasaki that until the 70s was the site of intensive coal mining by Mitsubishi. The video shows the history of this small
island from extremely accelerated modernity up to abandonment and ruin, as told through the slow decay of buildings. Captivating images are overlaid with a deep sonics of drones
and small tonalities.
The deserted island of Gunkanjima, as it is most often called, was a coal mining colony based on an island roughly the size of a football field. This was the most densely populated place on earth before Mitsubishi, the company who owned the island, closed the operation in 1974. Upon closing they offered the population to apply for jobs on the mainland, leading to a mass-exodus within only a few days of closing its mines. Thus, the island was left as if a neutron bomb had gone through it, with people´s breakfasts remaining on the tables, bicycles leaning on the walls, and beds still unmade. It is a harrowing place.


Andrey KolomyTZev (StirliTZ) with the participation of Oleg Blyablyas
"Speech Suppressor", 2009
Installation, an audiovisual signal to degrade readability of human speech

This installation is based on the original Soviet technology of suppressing propaganda broadcasts from abroad. In 1976, some secret KGB laboratories had come up with the idea of so-called «speech-like signal» which was composed out of very short samples of Russian texts spoken by male and female actors. Being applied to the «enemy frequency» (Radio Liberty, Voice of America, the BBC, Deutsche Welle, etc.) the signal was not only making contents of the transmission unreadable but also was extremely annoying for the listeners.
The Speech Suppressor installation has been created out of audiovisual images of nine participants of Kaliningrad Sound Art Camp project. Each of the «language representatives» was asked to speak anything for the camera, then both audio and video tracks have been processed to randomly switch between one and another at a frequency of 25 Hertz.
The audiovisual output can be effectively used for degrading radio and TV transmissions in any of the languages used: Russian, English, Lithuanian, Danish, Polish, Swedish, Icelandic, Latvian and Norwegian. Business requests and propositions are welcome.

Concept and media processing: Andrey KolomyTZev a.k.a. StirliTZ
Camera and video pre-editing: Oleg Blyablyas

Maksims Shentelevs, John Grzinich
“Riga Sound Locations”

Sound film, 2007

Riga Sound Locations is a site specific workshop which deals with phenomenon of spatial memory of the place.
As in many cultures believed, each activity including thought resonates in space leaving a trace. Some traces sustain for seconds other for longer time and some seem never to leave a place. These strong spatial resonances play significant role in how we act in particular places. They also shape phisical architecture of spaces. By acting with open mind, deep concentration on presence and awareness of surrounding we are exposing ourselves to the flow of spatial memory, thus becoming both mediums of the past actions and true actors of the real moment.
Workshop participants:
John Grzinich / Toomas Thetlof / Jekabs Nimanis / Kaspars Kalninsh / Gints Birznieks / Ivars Shmits / Ivars Gravlejs / Janis Bikis / Kaspars Groshevs / Maksims Shentelevs / Patrick McGinley / Johanna Lonka

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