Auditions: Sound Residency at Khoj
Sonic art has moved into audio culture where a culture of musicians, composers, sound artists, scholars and listeners are attentive to sonic material, the act of listening and creative possibilities of sound recording, dissemination, transmission and playback. This ‘culture of the ear’ has come to prominence only recently when the social scientists, anthropologist and culture studies started to notice and study sound a marker of cultural difference and temporal study.
Sound Art in India is a nascent, but emerging field. With more and more artists and musicians exploring the meaning of sound, a new language is being understood and redefined. The understanding of sound beyond music is leading to new experiments embodying new auditory sensibilities and awareness.
Khoj’s engagement with sound started in 2006 with the Sonic Arts and Hybrid Sonicscapes residencies. Artists, such as Cynthia Zaven, Michael Northam, Alexis Bhagat, Rajesh Mehta, Brin Desai and Goh Lee Kwang, all from diverse backgrounds, participated in these residencies. Through the creative use of sound, the artists sought to challenge the bracketed categories of sound, technology, science, music and engineering.
A subsequent residency, Sonic Art 2008, delved further into the topic by exploring the aesthetics of noise. Investigating the relationship between technology and the human, the artists, Andrej Hrvatin, Gert-Jan Hobijn, Kiran Subbaiah, Navin Thomas and Sophea Lerner, created noise instruments that responded directly to human interaction. The artists used recycled industrial trash and discarded hardware to create interactive installations.
Sound was once again a prominent medium of choice in Khoj Live’12, where various artists like Hemant Sreekumar, Rashmi Kaleka and Rohini Devasher, created works that traversed different aspects of sound—from noise to music to conversation—to engage and disengage the listener.
Continuing this exploration, Khoj is presenting another sound residency in January 2013. This residency, titled Auditions, aims to grow opportunities of dialogical and practical exchange to foster sharing and growth of auditory understanding. Taking a collaborative approach, the residency is looking at low-tech devices to produce different aural modalities by employing various media to craft sonic landscapes. Exploiting the highly interdependent social technology that characterises contemporary society, the residency aims to dispel the illusion of superficial machine mediated relations. It looks to direct attention towards an immersive sonic experience by using simple, inexpensive, recycled technology. With artists from Italy, Poland, South Africa, Taiwan and India, the residency intends to foster sharing and growth of auditory understanding.
Abhijeet Tambe is a musician and sound artist based out of Bangalore, India. He scores music for film and theatre, and sings and plays guitar for the alternative rock band Lounge Piranha. Tambe’s latest project is an interactive sound installation called Blackbox. As a sound art initiative in the city of Bengaluru, the Blackbox project weaves the city soundscape with conversations, stories and city sounds. Tambe’s work Still In Transit (2004) is a travel music/film project with 22 musicians from seven countries.
The Taiwanese artist, writer and musician Chi-Wei Lin is ’71 vintage. He studied French literature and Cultural Anthropology in Taipei focusing on temple architecture, rituals and music, before studying electronic art in Lille, France. Lin has curated noise festivals and showed his works in very diverse spaces and contexts in China and Europe. His first book on sound and art, Beyond Sound Art - the avant garde, sound machines, and the modernity of hearing was recently published by Artist Magazine/Artist Publishing Co. Lin lives and works in Beijing.
Malose Malahela is a co-founder of Keleketla! Library – an artists’ run inter-disciplinary, independent library and media arts project space focusing on participation, collaboration and. His alias Kadromatt is a creative practitioner on an exploration of sound as emerging theatre for the ear. He is fascinated by the possibilities to narrate stories through processes and dialogues staged with sound. He moulds, manipulates, adds, edits, applies effects and expands recorded realities of sounds generated by everyday world. His works were recently part of Sounding Out, a group exhibition curated by Kim Gurney at the Bag Factory, Johannesburg, and Out of Thin Air curated by Lerato Bereng, at Stevenson Gallery Cape Town. Kadromatt also co-curate an evolving pan- African orchestra Thath’i Cover Okestra.
Priya Sen works as an artist, editor and sound-designer and occasionally teaches experimental film and practices. Her primary practice is with video and sound narratives. She has been trained at MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, and has an MFA from Temple University in Philadelphia in Film and Media Arts. She worked at Sarai-CSDS in Delhi from 2005 - 2011, and taught at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore last year. Her work has been in several shows including at the Berlinale in 2008, has been traveling with 'Indian Highway' since 2009, and she has had two solo exhibitions at the Khoj Studios, Delhi, and Project 88, Mumbai. She was at Gasworks in London for the Charles Wallace residency in 2010, followed by one at Nottingham Contemporary. She is part of a Video-Poetry Collective in Bangalore and is currently working on two films.
Sound artist, sculptor and performer Rudi Punzo is interested in metamorphosis and its symbiotic relationship with artistic transformation. Punzo’s work mainly consists of creating site-specific music sculptures out of discarded materials.
Punzo has participated in experimental music festivals and art residencies all over the world including The Sound Cycles, 2000 His protomechanical electronic performances of Rudimachines (2000) have evolved into photovoltaical rhythmic robots called The Rudimachines and the Fireflies (2005 and 2006). His work Cyberdronyx has been shown in Harvestworks Digital Arts Center (New York, USA) in 2011, Festival of Digital Arts (Bello Horizonte, Brazil) in 2010 and Scandinavia Tour in 2008.
Robert Millis has been involved in the practice and development of experimental music and sound art in Seattle, Washington for nearly twenty years. He has released over 20 CDs and LPs, composed music for film, theatre and choreography, created and curated audio installations, performed in the U.S. and Europe, and collaborated with visual artists and book designers. Traditional Asian music and the era of early recording (cylinders and 78 rpm records) are of particular interest and inspiration for him. He is the author of Victrola Favorites: Artifacts from Bygone Days (Dust-to-Digital 2008), a book of historic early recording documentation, ephemera and music drawn from Millis' 78rpm collection. In addition to composition, sound art practice and design, he has filmed and produced experimental documentaries on Asian music- Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts of Isan and This World is Unreal like a Snake in a Rope. He is currently on a Fulbright scholarship to research the early Indian 78rpm gramophone industry in India.
Pawel Janicki is an independent media artist and producer working with generative music, microsound and algorithmic composition, interactive systems for performances and installations, and his own constantly developed hard- and software.
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