WHEN TIMES RING

Sound installation
Wasserturm, Zurich
Address: Badweg 10, 8001-CH

From 6 October to 17 November 2023, the installation When Times Ring resonates daily from the Wasserturm in Zurich. Oriented towards the sonification of time and the use of sound as a vehicle of information, the artist Hannah Weinberger transforms the Wasserturm into a temporary bell tower. At every hour – from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. – the sound announces the passing of time through the song of birds that might be rooted in the global south and never heard in our forests. Like a cuocou, the sound is spread through megaphones and merged with the public space, even reaching the nearby Old Botanical Garden, behind whose beauty lies one of man's symbolically colonialist actions.
While the work naturally integrated itself into the location, a closer examination reveals that the experienced sounds are, at best, entirely displaced. This piece served as an invitation, encouraging not only the absorption of auditory stimuli and diverse temporal perspectives but also the interrogation of our approach to time. It beckons us to enter a dialogue, continually reassessing and negotiating the fundamental themes and democratic values that underscore our society.

The sound installation is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini, Eleonora Stassi]

bio

Hannah Weinberger's artistic journey has been marked by a continuous exploration of immersive experiential realms. Graduating from the Zurich University of the Arts in 2013 with a Master of Fine Arts, specializing in Media Arts, Weinberger's practice spans various forms, from associatively enriched sound and video installations that blend across multiple channels to orchestrated live musical performances aimed at collaborative, process-oriented, and open-ended art production. Drawing from an ever-expanding archive of sound and visual materials, Weinberger crafts intricate sound and video collages. Her repository comprises pre-fabricated sound elements from online databases, digital audio programs, studio recordings, and personal field recordings—a visual diary of her journeys captured through a digital lens. The artist adeptly translates the moods evoked by her works into scores, guiding musicians in free improvisation, which seamlessly merge with site-specific live performances featuring her bespoke soundtracks. A constant underpinning of Hannah Weinberger's practice is her resonance with the environment, fostering a subtle yet resonating rupture with the familiar modes of perception. From 2011 to 2013, Weinberger co-organized the Elaine project space in the courtyard of the Museum of Contemporary Art Basel. She initiated the Hidden Bar at Art Basel (2018,2019) and the Basel Social Club that just held its second Edition in Basel last June. Early in her artistic trajectory, she presented her works extensively in solo and group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally.

Temporary sound installation
Wasserturm, Zurich
Address: Badweg 10, 8001-CH

For the latest project at the Wasserturm in Zurich, OTO SOUND MUSEUM presents an experimental intervention entitled Gravity sounds by artists Pe Lang & Marianthi Papalexandri Alexandri. As peculiar to their practices – intersected for a long time – the artists construct a site-specific mechanism that expands on a large scale along the verticality of the tower, transforming it into an enormous musical instrument. Interested in the theme of gravity and the laws of physics, the artists here convert the tower into a sound object that had never existed before, inventing a musical tuning system from the spatial features of the building which soars four floors into the sky. Thanks to the imagined mechanism and the activation of a complex behavior, Gravity sounds offered a sonic experience that could return different harmonies and stages of vibration evoking the sound of water. The intervention Gravity sounds takes the form of an ephemeral installation offering a collective listening diffused in the urban space.

The sound installation is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini]


bios

Sound artist Marianthi Papalexandri Alexandri (*1974, Greece) and kinetic artist Pe Lang (*1974, Switzerland) have worked together since 2008 after realizing their shared interest in combining sound, kinetics, and visual arts. Their collaborative works oscillate between sound art and the designing of new musical instruments. New ways of thinking about materiality and cybernetics strongly influence their work. They are particularly interested in creating mechanical and autonomous lifelike sculptures and installations without software and digital means. Instead, they combine controlled and uncontrolled mechanical and organic parts into a lifelike organism that forms and interacts with itself and the space around it. They create kinetic systems out of deconstructed, repurposed, and reprogrammed analog physical materials and objects and place them in a way that causes them to move and behave in a way that causes random and unpredictable behavior and sounds. Their work achieves a delicate balance between control and surprise, precision and randomness, which is evident in every creation.
By embracing this delicate equilibrium, they immerse viewers and listeners in mesmerizing artistic experiences that challenge conventional boundaries and preconceived notions. In 2021, Papalexandri and Lang received the Aurelie Nemours Prize in recognition of their outstanding work and accomplishments on an international level, both individually and as a duo, for their collaborative works and overall contribution to the visual and sound art field.

Sound performance
In the context of Sonic Matter Festival
Kunstraum Walcheturm, Zurich

A Symphony of Archives is a musical composition and sound performance by the Moroccan artist Abdellah M. Hassak presented in the context of the festival Sonic Matter (2022). With an investigative and experimental approach, the artist explores the audiovisual archives, diaries and sounds of certain territories in order to reactivate their memory and read it in the light of the actions of colonialism to which they have been subjected. The performance is an invitation for visitors to a suspended listening that simultaneously questions the meaning of re-writing process and practices of de-colonisation. The act is realized in collaboration with the pianist Tamriko Kordzaia through a live execution of a data score elaborated by a software from old archives of colonial French newspaper disseminated in Morocco.

The performance is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini, Eleonora Stassi]

bio

Abdellah M. Hassak (1984, MA) is a sound artist, new media and music producer as well as art director. His research explores processes of participative sonic mapping at the urban level, integrating sound, daily technologies and radio as tools to foster agency in inhabitants' narrations of their environment. His work takes the form of performances and installations that include sound objects. This approach often involves transformative aspects of sound that are linked to concepts such as soundscape, resonance, frequency and noise, and new technologies. Abdellah has been collaborating with many institutions and cultural spaces in Morocco and abroad in radiophonic and sound practice, such as Esad Grenoble / Esav Marrakech / Mudawanat - Culture Resource / Qanat Collective / Dar Bellarj / Think Tanger / e-Joussour - Radio impact. He launched the Radio and Archive sound platform Mahattat Radio and develops a musical syncretic Afrofuturism music with field recordings practice as a Producer/DJ. He is co-founder of 4S', a Moroccan NGO which carries the FeMENA project, dedicated to the professionalization of women in the electronic music sector.

Sound installation
In the context of the exhibition Sound without music
Casino Luxemburg – Forum pour l’Art Contemporain, Luxembourg

Derrière la mer is a sound installation by the artist Anna Raimondo, result of research that sees the texts of the Bible and the Koran meet on a common ground: the sea. The sound piece interweaves voices that compare different cultures, languages and geographies, suggesting how the two sacred texts have numerous shared references traceable in the vastness of the sea. Indeed, the sea becomes the lowest common denominator, synonymous with cultural contact and mutual reflection. Invited to imagine and move between different idioms, the listener is called upon to take the time to traverse the piece, in an intimate encounter with the sound that simultaneously embraces the sacred and the profane, beliefs and visions that belong to human beings regardless of any creed. Like a contemporary opera, Derrière la mer is installed in a half-blue painted room that cuts through the space and is accompanied by a 'booklet' available in both a printed version and a video projection. Performed by Edyta Jerząb and Jérôme Porsperger, written and composed by Anna Raimondo, the work can be listened to in the mere flow of its words, which recall both a historical geography and a geographical history – the Mediterranean —recognized in the beauty of an encounter.
Derrière la mer is presented at Casino Luxemburg – Forum pour l’Art Contemporain as part of the exhibition Sound without music (30.09 - 27.11.2022) curated by Anastasia Chaguidouline, who invited OTO SOUND MUSEUM to contribute with a curatorial intervention.

The sound installation is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini, Eleonora Stassi]

bio

Anna Raimondo (born in Italy in 1981, she lives in Brussels and works internationally) Raimondo uses voice and listening as a platform for encounter, collaboration and exchange, as tools for the diffraction of identity. Questioning the limits between private and public, between genders and their connotations, she activates or deconstructs cultural practices to encourage and reveal the inherent potentials of fluidity in identity. She completed an MA in Sound Arts at the London College of Communication (UAL, London, UK) and runs a practice-based Phd between Arba (Royale Académie de Beaux Arts) and ULB University in Brussels (BE) “New genders of listening: voices, silences, bodies and territories”. She has participated in several international solo and collective exhibitions.

Exhibition
la rada, Locarno

Migrating to the Italian part of Switzerland, OTO SOUND MUSEUM presents the show SOUNDATA inviting the artists Axel Crettenand, Mayar El Bakry and Joanna Selinger at la rada (Locarno, CH). SOUNDATA is conceived to open up a space for reflection between different disciplinary areas including sound and image, sound and technology, and also to shake up an old dichotomy involving humans and machines. It focuses on the researches initiated by Crettenand, El Bakry and Selinger on the processing and interpretation of data related to certain existing conditions or environmental frame. Through different approaches, the artists developed artistic displays and technological strategies to translate specific information into sound, creating new paths of listening and landscapes of meaning.

Chaotic arrangement for 66 voices (2021) by Axel Crettenand is an installation designed to translate the chaotic behavior of heat in a fluid into a choir of voices. It consists of an apparatus composed of a tank of warmed water monitored by thermometers, a software and a sound system. Data are collected through twelve thermometers spread in the volume of water and sent to a program specifically designed to translate the temperature information into MIDI notes in real time, which are ultimately synthesized into human voices. Through these anthropomorphic sounds, previously recorded and orchestrated by the random behavior of heat, the invisibility of chaos manifests itself in an ephemeral and unpredictable chorus. The sound of Chaotic arrangement for 66 voices traduces a scientific methodology in an artistic practice capable of revealing a spiritual dimension that plays with boundaries between visible and invisible, absence and presence, natural and technological elements.
Experimenting among the different possibilities of visualization of natural phenomena, Mayar El Bakry and Joanna Selinger have focused their research in the representation of natural events through unconventional methods able to return the data in an aesthetic and sound form of great impact. After an initial phase of orientation, they chose to devote their efforts toward studying the phenomenon of tsunamis starting with some of the major events of the last two decades: the tsunamis of the coast of Indonesia (2004), the coast of Samoa (2009), near Tohaku, Japan (2009), and the coast of Chile (2015). The result of this path is the audiovisual installation wave/forms (2016), elaborated on the basis of seismic data from IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) and developed with the help of the software "Sonifyer" that allowed to translate seismographic data into audible frequencies. This sound track is accompanied by a dynamic visualization obtained through the use of an audio-reactive script. By showing the epicenter of the tsunamis, the image reveals the behavior of the audio waves that encounter the profile of the continents of a hidden geography, but also with the real boundaries of the room in which the work is presented.

The data come to life, shape and sound, take possession of the exhibition space migrating in the perception of the visitor, who is invited to re-evaluate and rediscover the fascination and vertigo of the data hidden in everything that surrounds us, in every law that regulates human life on our planet.

The exhibition is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini, Eleonora Stassi]

bios

Axel Crettenand lives and works between Switzerland and Italy. His practice takes the form of installations, sounds, texts, videos and images. A central theme of his work is the observation and representation of the invisible forces that give shape to the material world. He is specifically interested in exploring and producing intersections between ritual and scientific practices and experimenting with transdisciplinary approaches. Seeking collaborations with authors and professionals from  other fields of research, he generates contaminations between different perspectives and hybridations within the processes of proof making in order to imagine alternative ways of reading and understanding reality. In recent years he started a new research focused on the narratives of the collapse of civilization.

Mayar El Bakry is a Swiss-Egyptian graphic designer and researcher based in Zurich. She works in and around the peripheries of design, merging diverse practices in her work. Currently, she’s focusing on food and cooking as a means to create spaces of discourses, exchange and dialogue and communal reflection. Within her research, she emphasizes the importance of cross-cultural exchange, cross-disciplinary collaboration, decolonial and intersectional feminist pedagogies. In her two-part project “Food for Radical Thought” she is investigating the kitchen as a creative space and a place for communing and resistance. The research draws on the premise that communal cooking and eating can operate as an interface to facilitate dialogue and bridge non-invasive discussions around difficult topic such as power, privilege, racism, white supremacy, and discrimination. She understands cooking and eating together as practices of making and reclaiming space for marginalized voices. In her research she specifically looks at decolonial practices focusing on making and reclaiming space through/with and by food and cooking while applying these learnings in a self-reflective dialogue with her own(design) practice. Next to her studies and research, she coordinates the Swiss Design Network and co-curates “Educating Otherwise” a continued education program at the FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Basel focusing on intersectional feminist pedagogies within design.

Joanna Selinger, born in Basel in 1992, devotes herself to art at a young age. After her compulsory schooling in Allschwil, she attended the Leonhard Gymnasium in Basel at the age of seventeen, majoring in visual arts. In 2014, she was admitted to the Basel School of Art and Design. Among many projects during her education, she created the installation Wave Forms* in collaboration with Mayar El Bakry. In September 2017, she successfully completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communication. Since 2018, Joanna Selinger has increasingly dedicated herself to projects in independent work; in addition to music video clips, short films, vinyl covers, photographs, logos, poster and flyer designs and textile design, she was thus able to further her education in various areas. In 2019, she was also able to gain experience as a freelance graphic designer in the area of editorial and corporate design at Vitra International AG. She is currently still working on many different projects.

Subscribe to stay updated
Supported by
Partners
Copyright © 2024 OTO Sound Museum