Oscillation – on sound's nature
25 April – 5 May 2019 | Brussels (various venues)
Oscillation is a project and festival circling around various aspects of the nature of sound, with a special curiosity about its capacity for creating and sharing space, its propensity to occupy the zones in between spaces, positions, events, discourses. Sound travels, hops borders, passes through walls. It is endlessly participative in that we share it all the time, often unwittingly. It entangles itself in the necessarily messy gaps between us. Sound offers a framework for thinking the in-between as a space that not only needs boundaries in order to exist (what is a space without limits to define it?), but whose very presence both creates and parodies the fixities of those boundaries. A discourse of inbetween-ness cannot be fixed but is always made up of a great many tentative constructions and holdings in place.
Part of sound’s particularity is its unflinching sitedness; hearing is always hearing in place. And yet, sound inevitably permeates between spaces: between walls, between the ‘external’ room and the ‘internal’ ear, between languages, across divisions between producer and listener, artist and audience. Sound plays an increasing role in our senses and connection to others. The artists, thinkers, and practitioners that make up this festival come from a diverse range of positions, formal backgrounds, and traditions. They split across continents, generations, and languages. But in the space that opens up between these different positions, there is a common practice of thinking with and through sound. Of using sound as a tool to occupy and energise the space in between: not absence but material, not lack but medium.
Symposium performances –
Cinema RITCS, Brussels
Friday 26 April 2019 (moderator: Leonie Persijn)
space and perception | 10:00am – 13:00pm
With: Annette Vande Gorne, ‘Writing Acousmatic Music on Fixed Media’; Lila Athanasiadou, ‘From the Mechanism of Speech to the Mechanism of Meaning’; Aki Onda, ‘On José Maceda’.
Subliminal awareness | 2pm – 4pm
With: Xabier Erkizia ‘The Sound of an Ox-cart: Aesthetics and amnesia of a thousand-year-old noise’; Pedro Oliveira, ‘1,977 Ways to Say “No” ’; David Toop ‘Instruments of Darkness: A performance in which speaking may take place’
- David Toop, Instruments of Darkness: A performance in which speaking may take place | Toop’s improvised performances grow from curiosity about resonance: how to let the soft invisible characteristics of a space and its harder boundaries resonate; how to let materials of all kinds resonate; how to let time resonate, so that durations and our sense of quick or slow are in a state of complex vibration; how to let memory resonate, so that the phantoms of sound and the void of silence penetrate into personal history. The materials Toop uses vary, some of them conventional musical instruments, some electronic, some acoustic, some autonomous, some abject or without any boundaries. All of them ask questions of what an instrument actually is, a conglomerate whose pieces only come together in the darkness of deflected sight.
Saturday 27 April 2019 (moderator: Linnea Semmerling)
causing impact | 10:00am –13:00pm
With: Juliette Volcler ‘Sonic fences in public spaces’; Séverine Janssen ‘Brussels’ Sound’; Salomé Voegelin ‘Unstable Contacts: a political imaginary made from water and honey’.
- Salomé Voegelin, Unstable Contacts: a political imaginary made from water and honey | Sound is always an unstable contact. It is an insecure and unsecured connection that when heard in its sonority rather than its semantic message or lexical referent presents the in-between: the fragile space between things that do not touch but generate an indivisible volume. This volume is not a measure of decibels but the capacity of sound’s invisible expanse and the demand of its forceful reciprocity. It is not outlined and bounded by walls, ceilings, floors and windows, “this” or “that”, but is the mobile and viscous encounter between things that does not keep a shape but grasps anyone who might listen. Thus it is the condition of listening, where my sound is part of other sounds and they are part of me: where we inter-are, objects and subjects as things, creating fluid approximations, converging towards each other and dissolving again. This intervention invites a rethinking of politics, understood as the governance of interaction and living together, from a being according to listening as a being according to the in-between: performing the capacity of the world in the fluid and grasping capacity of sound.
Oscillation is organised buh Q-O2 workspace, co-produced by RITCS-School of Arts, in the framework of the Interfaces project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.