Galerija za zvok, bioakustiko in umetnost / Gallery for sound, bioacustics and art

Jata C: Chronolith – sound event

live sound event
30 August 2022
MGLC Švicarija

MGLC Švicarija hosts sound event Chronolith by Jata C, as part of the Steklenik gallery’s program.

The sound work Chronolith addresses the world of rocks, temporality, and our interdependence. How to listen to a stone? is the question posed by the bioacoustic group Jata C. The work will consist of 8-channel sound composition and a stone installation as a simple stone instrument. In the first sound event at the MGLC Švicarija, the artists will present the emerging sound composition.

Ida Hiršenfelder, a member of Jata C, wrote about the work:
To think of geological time, the time of the sailing rocks, the time of the lithosphere, and the time of the continents is to think of our insignificance in the big picture, our mortality (dust to dust), and fleeting transience. It is a realization that might motivate us to stop the insane depletion of the Earth and instead marvel at its mighty delicacy and appreciate the innumerable entities that shaped it in the volatile space and eons of time. The rocks from the mountains used to be the seabed. The first organic matter in soil was produced by bacteria. Much limestone on the Earth originates from the activity of coccolithophores, unicellular algae covered in calcium carbonate scales. Same as us, they are both alive and dead, organic and inorganic. We know too well such distinction is needless; however, it matters what worlds world worlds.[1] It is almost impossible to find a place on the planet not dictated by humans or at least transfigured as the consequences of human interventions. To world a different world, ruled by reciprocity and not authority, requires the internalization of different questions. Jata C asks, “How can we hear a stone and its eons?”

In the Chronolith installation, the Jata C group explores the sonority of stone structures, symbols of permanence, immensity, and silence. Like rocks are the Earth’s membrane, the Chronolith is an instrument/membrane that helps us translate the vibrations of the stones with transducers and return them to the rocks in a feedback loop. The sound installation is composed of several large stone plates connected to transducers. The installation may be set up alone or in a concert setting whereby the group members are inserted into the feedback loop between stones and humans. In the research process, the group collaborates with scientists from the fields of micropaleontology, geology, and physics. The project is supported by Marmor Hotavlje. In addition to sounds of stones captured by various field recording devices ( geophones, contact microphones), the sound is also generated from images (spectral analysis of optical rock scans by sound modulator). The processed recordings and databases are used in electroacoustic composition with a score for live performance. The group creates an original artistic interpretation of the lithosphere’s material sonority through digital analysis, the translation of images into sound and vibration measurements.

[1] Donna J. Haraway. Staying with Trouble. Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2016, p. 35. “It matters what worlds world worlds. It matters what stories tell stories.

Jata C is a group of artists (beepblip, OR poiesis, Boštjan Perovšek, Bojana Šaljić Podešva, Brane Zorman) who share common interests in field recording, bioacoustics, and sound ecologies. Their research combines auditory perception with ecological and social issues, expanding them with scientific discourse and original performances of sonic environments. In their compositions, they transform field recordings of their immediate surroundings into speculative projections of the future and delicate perceptions of the present. To capture environmental acoustic phenomena, they employ a vast array of field recording devices central to the so-called deep listening and non-anthropocentric relation with biotic and non-biotic entities. In the performances, the group uses laptop instruments with MIDI extensions. They follow a general score, leaving enough space for improvisation and live musical interpretation. They also compose 8-channel fixed media and exhibit sound installations. Two compositions by Jata C presented to public include ICEmeltings (2019) and Bibaret JC210120 (2020).

Ida Hiršenfelder [beepblip] is a sound and intermedia artist. Her interests include the media history, archives and their vanishing, and media archeology. She collaborates with the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, +MSUM, Topographies of Sound festival, and within the radioCona program. She is a co-founder of the ČIPke Initiative for Women With a Sense for Technology with intermedia sound artist Saša Spačal. Between 2011 and 2017, Hiršenfelder was a member of DIY Theremidi Orchestra sound collective.

Petra Kapš (OR poiesis) is an artist and researcher of sound, sound perception and poetic performance. She extends the word in sonic spheres of timespace poetry. Along with the digital dimensions, her focus is nevertheless the physical presence of the body.

Boštjan Perovšek, an artist, composer and sound designer, who composes experimental electroacoustic music. His special is creating bioacoustic music based on the sounds of animals, in particular insects. In addition, he collaborates with the SAETA group, creates music for film and theater, performances, multimedia installations and soundscapes for museums and galleries.

Bojana Šaljić Podešva dedicates most of her time as a composer to the research of sound as an entity that affects the listener both physically and in terms of content. Her music spans from complete abstraction to complex semantic narratives. She is the recipient of several awards for her concert compositions, incidental music and film scores.

Brane Zorman is an intermedia artist, composer, sound manipulator, producer and curator. He composes sound works for theatre, intermedia and dance performances. He performs electro-acoustic solo pieces and improvisations with local and foreign artists in surround sound. Working with sound and space, Zorman develops various strategies, techniques, dynamic and interactive modules, records and reinterprets soundscapes and by way of sophisticated tools he creates electronic and acoustic sound sculptures.

Sound artists: Jata C (beepblip, OR poiesis, Boštjan Perovšek, Bojana Šaljić Podešva, Brane Zorman)
Production: Cona Institute for Steklenik Gallery, 2022
Sound event partner: MGLC Švicarija
Produced by: Irena Pivka
Lecture and editing: Melita Silič
Venue: MGLC Švicarija hosts sound event Chronolith

Exhibition part of the project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia; City of Ljubljana, Department for Culture
The project is a part of Kons – Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art