PROTEST ENGRAVING / SUPERIMPOSITION

Protest Engraving, performance by Christophe Fellay
SUPERIMPOSITION, video-installation by Polisonum
Meeting point at Walcheturm Kunstraum, Kasernenareal, Zurich 

PROGRAM
6.30 pm: Performance Protest Engraving by Christophe Fellay (meeting at Walcheturm)
7.00 pm: Temporary video-installation SUPERIMPOSITION by Polisonum 
7.20 pm: Round table and discussion with the artists Polisonum and Christopher Fellay, and curators 
8.00 pm: Drink at Walcheturm! 

Protest Engraving is an artistic performance which fluctuates between the scientific discipline of sound archaeology and fiction. Starting from the idea that sound leaves traces of its interaction with the material, Christophe Fellay proposes to overwrite the sonic memory of the Zeughausareal military past with messages of peace. Using the natural phenomenon of sound erosion, an amplified drum set will echo the slogans chanted by peace activists during a protest gathering Israeli Jews and Palestinian Israelis calling for an end to the war in Gaza in January 2024. The use of such a hybrid instrument mixing cultural and musical elements from four continents raises the question of togetherness, chosen and forced migrations, and a reflection on our status of perpetual migrants. Inspired by the common use of drums in the struggle for social change to attract attention and punctuate messages, Christophe will “hijack” military drum calls – the music signals played to transmit orders to the soldiers – to create signals for change. Using microphone and amplification, he will engrave the result on the armoury. During the performance, existing military sounds on the surfaces of the architecture will be overwrote by sonic and rhythmic punctuation of anti-war messages engraved in situ and left behind as permanent traces in what must be understood as a screaming silent sound installation calling for necessary transformation.

SUPERIMPOSITION is an artistic project by Polisonum that investigates the theme of listening and takes shape through the encounter of multiple disciplinary fields including sound, data analysis, fashion and visual arts. SUPERIMPOSITION explores the concept of earworms, namely all those sound agents that coercively graft themselves into the brain to become parasites and provoke cognitive control mechanisms. The project consists of a performative act, a video work and a sound piece which will be presented through a temporary installation at Kunstraum Walcheturm (Zurich) in cooperation with OTO SOUND MUSEUM. This will be followed by a round table and discussion with the artists, curators Francesca Ceccherini, Anastasia Chaguidouline, Irene Grillo (Alte Fabrik, Rapperswil) and Patrick Huber. SUPERIMPOSITION is supported by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture under the Italian Council program (2023).

The interventions are curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini]

SUPERIMPOSITION, Polisonum, video still, 2024

bio

Christophe Fellay is sound artist, musician, composer, performer and improviser. He has presented interdisciplinary works, sound installations and performances on several continents, and has composed sound works and music for ensembles, solo instruments, radio, theatre, film, video, choreography and performance art. His work has been presented internationally in London (ICA, Kings Place, London Jazz Festival), Edinburgh (Fringe Festival, University of Edinburgh), Cambridge University, Paris (CCS, St Merry), Montreux Jazz Festival (Miles Davis Hall), Copenhagen (Christians Kirke), Zurich (Kunstmuseum), Geneva, Bern (Dampfzentrale), New York (601 Artspace), San Francisco (Exploratorium, Swissnex), Seattle (1412), Atlanta Music Festival, Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Johannesburg (JAG, Center For The Less Good Idea), Pretoria university, Cape Town (Mahogani Room) and Windhoek. Christophe Fellay holds a PhD in Art, Music and Performance from the Brunel University, London, and is associate professor, researcher and head of the Bachelor's degree in Sound at EDHEA (university of the arts) within the HES-SO in Switzerland. His research and artistic interests focus on indisciplinarity, improvisation, active listening, acoustic phenomena, space, sound and architecture, documentation and archiving, soundscape ecology, digital art and participatory art. In his performance research, he is particularly interested in the interaction between gesture, movement and sound. 

Polisonum (Filippo Lilli, Donato Loforese) is an artistic collective using sound as a method and device of investigation to explore processes and metamorphoses linked to the present time. It is characterized by a research-based approach directed at listening to and interpreting the spaces in which it operates through sound installations and performative acts in strong dialogue with visual languages. Thanks to its hybrid identity, Polisonum realizes projects that feed on a practice of study and analysis in relation to other fields of knowledge. Polisonum's work has been shown in several institutions and festivals, among others: Una boccata d'arte (AV), Fondazione Volume (RM), Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (CH), Palazzo Altemps (RM), Palazzo Pallavicini (BO), Romaeuropa Festival (RM), OTO Sound Museum Zurich (CH), The Others (TO). The collective collaborates with La Sapienza University of Rome Faculty of Civil and Industrial Engineering on the Green Network project for the Public Space Biennial. In 2018 Polisonum received the Special "Utopia" Award of the Talent Prize and in 2016 the Best Unpublished Work Award during The Others. Over time the collective has released several vinyls, among the latest Passi 13'36'' in collaboration with the artist Alfredo Pirri.

Performance and temporary sound installation
Zeughausareal Zurich (Kasernenareal)
4 pm: performance / 11 am – 5 pm: sound installation

Changing of the Guard     
[to change: to pass from one state or form into another]
[guard: a group of people, who protect somebody/something]

OTO SOUND MUSEUM presents the first performative intervention at the Zeughausareal, one of the largest military areas built on Swiss territory in the second half of the 19th century, now awaiting re-functionalisation. Acting in the longitudinal space of the barracks lawn (Kasernenwiese) is the artist Rahel Kraft through the intervention Changing of the Guard, realised for the first time in direct relationship with the architecture and its history.
Changing of the Guard reflects themes of transformation, protection and care in the context of the historical elements of the barracks area in Zurich. Over the decades, hundreds of young men have passed through the armouries to become soldiers for a neutral state. The work takes as a point of departure a few intimate photographs taken in 1960 by the Zurich photographer Heinz Baumann, who captured the process of dressing up, and thus the transition to another function. These images reveal something caring, quite un-military, which did not take place in rank and file, but in the wood-panelled upper floors of the Arsenal.
This attitude of care, which is at odds with both the strict marching and drill routine, as well as the rigid, symmetrical architecture of the armoury, inspired the process of creating a site-reflective piece for two runners/drummers. The performative work combines physical intensity with rhythmic precision, training and sound to create a hyperactive physical drumbeat. At the same time, Changing of the Guard attempts to interrogate the dialectic played out between the search for and loss of control. Embodied physically and metaphorically in the corporal movement, this relationship of control raises a specific question about the future: What social changes of guard do we need today?
The sound installation accompanying the performance consists of two original guardhouses probably belonging to the previous century, found by the artist in an inaccessible part of the barracks during her research time in the area. These are temporarily and exceptionally transported outside and installed to resonate like bodies from 11 am to 5 pm on the day of the performance.

The intervention is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini]

Performers: Alon Ben, Silvan Schmid (drumming/running)

bio

Born on Lake Constance in 1984, Rahel Kraft is a composer, artist and director who creates environments meticulously designed to provoke interactions, intersections and unexpected revelations within the realm of auditory encounters. At the crossroads of performance and participatory events, Kraft's work embraces interspecies kinship, anthropological inquiry and inner perception in relation to collectivity. Kraft regularly collaborates with numerous artists, designers and researchers, including Japanese artist Tomoko Hojo, German director Sylvie Kretschmar, Swiss designers Ortreport, and Italian based writer Sibylle Ciarloni. Her work has been shown most recently at Ocean Space Venice (2023), Komaki City Library (2022), Deutschlandfunk Kultur (2021), and Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid (2020). Numerous grants and residencies also brought her to institutions like ZKM Karlsruhe, Cité des Arts Paris, Electronic Music Studio Stockholm, and Palazzo Trevisan Venice. Her compositions are published by platforms such as BBC Radio 3, Nonclassical UK, Dasa Tapes Greece, and Line Sound Art Editions L.A. Kraft lives and works in Basel after seven years of nomadic existence.

Alon Ben (*1998) is a musician and producer currently based in Elsass France. His musical Career started at age 11 where he joined Bands as a drummer and bassplayer. Between the age of 14 and 19 he was invited to join different youth programs at the local Musicschool, was accepted in Christian Muthspiels Youth Jazz orchestra and performed at Neue Musik Festival Rümlingen. Over the years he performed live with Adrian Sieber (Lovebugs), Benjamin Amaru, North Naim, Malummi, David Caspar, Haesin, Mastergrief, Iuri a.o. In 2023 Alon joined the Band Black Sea Dahu on Drums. 

Silvan Schmid is a drummer and mixing engineer from Lucerne, living in Basel. He is currently studying in the master's program „Producing/Performance“ at Jazzcampus Basel. As a drummer, he works with artists such as "Black Sea Dahu", "Solong", "STRUKTURSTRUKTUR". He also creates pieces for theatre, performance art and sound installations and works as a freelance live and studio engineer.

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