YANIK SOLAND, 21st April 2023 IPEK, 1st July 2023 HANNAH WEINBERGER, 6th October - 17th November 2023 PE LANG & MARIANTHI PAPALEXANDRI ALEXANDRI, 25th November 2023
Address: Wasserturm, Badweg 10 – 8001 Zurich, CH
PE LANG & MARIANTHI PAPALEXANDRI ALEXANDRI
25th November 2023, 4.00 pm
Duration 30 min
Temporary sound installation curated by Zaira Oram
Address: Badweg 10, 8001-CH Zurich
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 has 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 behaviour, Gravity sounds will offer a sonic experience that can 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 that will take place on 25 November at 4 p.m. and closes the cycle of projects realised at the Wasserturm between 2022 and 2023.
BIOs PE LANG & MARIANTHI PAPALEXANDRI ALEXANDRI
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. Their many exhibitions include venues such as Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; Denise René Gallery, Paris; Anhava Gallery, Helsinki; Kunstmuseum Basel; Martin Gropius Museum, Berlin; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Fondazione Venezia Servizi, Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo; MuDa Museum of Digital Art, Zurich; Museum Art Plus Donaueschingen; ESPO EMMA, Finland; Luzern kunsthalle, Switzerland; San Francisco Art Institute; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, New York, ISEA 2016, Hong Kong; Tokyo Media Art; Tranmediale, Berlin; Mazzoli Gallery, Berlin; Standing Pine Gallery Nagoya; EPFL, Lausanne; ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany among other. Papalexandri- Lang’s works are included in many public collections, such as Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern, Espoo, Finland; Futurium, Berlin, Germany; HeK House of Electronic Arts, Basel, Switzerland; Technorama, Winterthur, Switzerland; Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey; Boghossian Foundation, Villa Empain, Brussels; Artphilein Foundation, Vaduz, Liechtenstein; Exploratorium, San Francisco; Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art, Michigan, USA; Collection Majudia, Arsenal Contemporary, Montreal, Canada, Canton of Zurich as well as private collections.
When Times Ring
Opening: 6 October, 6.30 pm
Sound installation curated by Zaira Oram
6th OCTOBER - 17th NOVEMBER 2023
Address: Badweg 10, 8001-CH Zurich
OTO SOUND MUSEUM presents the sound installation When Times Ring by Hannah Weinberger at the Wasserturm in Zurich from 6 October to 17 November 2023. The work is conceived through a time-specific display that diffuses and blends sound in the urban space. At the heart of this research is an interest in the sonification of time and the use of the sound as a vehicle of information, as a fluid moment of perception of both the surrounding environment and far beyond.
Hannah Weinberger employs the octagonal and historically significant water tower in Zurich as a focal point. This tower can be observed from one side of a transit zone, while from the other side it overlooks the botanical garden. This juxtaposition creates a contemplative atmosphere, serving as a catalyst to subtly engage with the notion of time and the calculations that shape our lives.
While the work naturally integrates itself into the location, a closer examination reveals that the experienced sounds are, at best, entirely displaced. This piece serves 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.
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. Notable venues include the Kunstmuseum Solothurn (2023), Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva (2019), Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris (2017), Kunstverein Braunschweig (2017), Schinkel Pavillon Berlin (2016), Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof Hamburg (2015), MIT List Visual Arts Center Cambridge, Kunsthaus Bregenz (2014), Lyon Biennale (2013,2023), Kunsthalle Basel, and Swiss Institute New York (2012).
Hannah Weinberger currently resides and works in Basel. Her multidisciplinary approach captivates audiences, bridging sensory experiences and nurturing connections between artistic production, environment, and the human psyche.
A performance about water and society
Curated by Zaira Oram
1st JULY 2023, 5.30 PM
Meeting point: Badweg 10, CH-8001 Zurich
For the second performance of the year, interdisciplinary artist IPek shapes a collective experience, combining her traditional singing practice with reflections on the symbolic meaning of water and its role in our society. As a singer, the artist works with the healing traditions of water in folk music from different geographies. On the other hand, as an activist, she constantly questions the growing ecological crises that we partly cause with our consumption habits. IPek accompanies the listeners on this empirical as well as sonic journey as if they were all together on a boat: sometimes listening to a sinister song while sailing down the river of the underworld and at other times pouring water to say goodbye to our beloved in a village in Anatolia.
IPek is an activist who expresses her thoughts through performance, design, writing, music and artwork. IPek draws attention to various social phenomena, combining issues she finds problematic with familiar but unexpected elements. Its themes are: Queer feminism, environment, system change, migration and displacement.
Born in Istanbul (1980) and raised in Hungary, IPek earned two degrees in Film Theory and History and Art Theory in Budapest. IPek completed her first master's degree as a philologist of aesthetics in Budapest and her second master's degree as a Master of Fine Arts at Zhdk.
For many years she has been staging her socio-theoretical texts and popular songs in various Swiss theaters, such as Dampfzentrale, Roxy-Basel and Kaserne.
For information: www.ipek.pink
Sound performance curated by Zaira Oram
21st APRIL 2023, 6.30 PM
Meeting point: Badweg 10, CH-8001 Zurich
In 2023, the OTO SOUND MUSEUM intends to pursue its migratory mission by travelling both in the digital sphere and in the urban spaces, nurturing the nomadic nature of the museum as a home for sound art. Through the SOUND TURM program 2023 at the old Wasserturm in Zurich – which continues last year's experience – sound once again lights up the water tower, endowing it with a ‘heartbeat’ that contributes to make it a living organism.
For the first performance of the year, curatorial collective Zaira Oram invites artist and musician Yanik Soland to perform live inside the space. SOLILOQUY is inspired by meditation practices and local siren tests. Inside the Wasserturm, the artist plays an accoustic narrative using his selfbuild instrument ASMR KOTO, a transformed table-zengarden from his japanese grandmother, distorted voice and a modular synthesizer. Through the windows of the tower he intends to amplify and enlarge his small gestures on the instruments using speakers facing the environment nearby, developing a new relationship between the imperceptible and the perceived.
(b. 1990, CH) Yanik Soland works as a musician and artist in Basel, CH.
As a bass player he was touring with bands like MIR and Zaperlipopette! all over Europe and Japan. In the last few years his focus turned to modular synthesis, self build instruments and composing music for theater and radio.
His debut LP YUKI has been released in Summer 2021 with Futura Resistenza Records, NL.
YUKI—the name Soland’s parents had planned to give him, if he were a girl —is Japanese for snow, snow-princess or luck, and is here used as an alter ego within Soland's practice. YUKI’s touchstones include Laurie Spiegel, Mark Fisher, Ruins, Dean Blunt, Maryanne Amacher, Tyler The Creator, Heather Leigh and Györgi Ligeti.
Along with the numerous performances he has realised since 2014, he also has solo shows including, TBA, Olga‘s Flat, Berlin (2022), „Exhausted Echoes“, Bologna.cc, Amsterdam (2019) „Secret Kisses“, Available & the rat, Rotterdam (2019), „Yukon Ranger 5x42“, Schwarzwaldallee, mit Valentina Minnig, Basel (2017), „Clepsydra“, BIKINI, mit Samuel Tschudin, Basel (2017),„Die Bande performing the white cube Hotel“, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel (2016), „Average Of All Crimes“, Offenburgerstrasse 49, Basel (2016). He obtained his graduation at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam (Master in Fine Arts), Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Basel (Bachelor in Fine Arts) and Hochschule Luzern (Jazz, E-Bass/Komposition).
21 October – 27 November 2022
Listening hours: Mon.-Sun., 2 pm – 6 pm (Badweg 10, 8001 Zurich)
Like an architectural flute hiding in the urban fabric of the city, the ancient water tower of Zurich will once again come alive with the sound installation The Whistle. The work is a site-specific intervention by the VACUT collective (Voices Against Corruption and Ugly Trading), initiated by Gilles Aubry in collaboration with Ale Hop, Aya Metwalli, Gabi Motuba and Sabina Leone.
For the third event of OTO SOUND MUSEUM at the Wasserturm in Zurich, the voices of The Whistle will pass through the silent body of the tower to interrogate the near and distant realities which we live in.
The installation The Whistle features voice recordings presented inside the Wasserturm, water tower in Zurich, audible from the surrounding public space. Informed by data leaks and NGO reports highlighting Switzerland's involvement in international money laundering, tax evasion, and predatory extraction of raw materials, the work seeks to address the affective cost of racial capitalism from a situated perspective. The VACUT Group (Voices Against Corruption and Ugly Trading) was formed to this end, gathering sound artists and musicians from countries involved in dubious business activities with the alpine nation.
The work relies on voice as an embodied manifestation of perceived social and environmental injustice. Each performer engages with a number of sources documenting corruption, land grabbing, human exploitation and environmental devastation in their home countries, along with their own perception of such phenomena. They respond to this experience through vocal improvisations in the course of recorded sessions. Assembled into a composition, the voices blend with the local ambient sound in Zürich. For the visitors, listening becomes a matter of participation, empathy and accountability, an invitation to attend to one's boundedness to near and distant realities.
The project further interrogates existing acoustic representations of Swissness, a term rebranded in the 1990s for marketing purposes, largely associated with attributes of fairness, precision, reliability, political stability, naturalness and cleanliness. An early example of Sonic Swissness can be found in the composition “Symphonie Les Echanges” by Rolf Liebermann, created for the 1964 Swiss national exhibition in order to introduce the visitor to the interaction of the economy in a novel way. Another instance can be found in the Sound Tower installed in Bienne by Andres Bosshard for Expo.02. Essentially a streaming dispositive for immersive aural experience, Bosshard's Klangturm offers a perfect metaphor for neoliberal soundscaping—smooth, consumption-oriented, and depoliticized. Following the rejection of the Responsible Business Initiative by a majority of Swiss voters in 2020, conversations on Sonic Swissness certainly deserve an update. This imperatively should include voices from Switzerland's partner countries, who can attest of the actual human and environmental cost of Swiss wellbeing.
VACUT Group members: Ale Hop (voice artist); Aya Metwalli (voice artist); Gabi Motuba (voice artist); Gilles Aubry (composer and project initiator); Sabina Leone (voice artist).
Alejandra Cárdenas Pacheco (also known as Ale Hop) is a Peruvian-born artist, researcher, and experimental musician based in Berlin. She began her career in the 2000s in Lima’s experimental and underground scene. In 2012, following several years of taking part in different pop and electronic bands, she finally started her solo project, in which she builds layers of sounds by blending a complex repertoire of electric guitar techniques processed by synthesis devices, to create a music of deep physical intensity. Furthermore, she co-founded the Berlin-based festival Radical Sounds Latin America (of which she was co-curator from 2019-21) and, nowadays, directs the publication Border-Listening/Escucha-liminal and the editorial platform Contingent Sounds, which facilitate critical discourses, and artistic research on listening. https://alehophop.com/
Aya Metwalli is an Egyptian singer, composer and music producer. She
started singing at the age of five, learned the piano in her early
childhood and started writing songs on a self-taught acoustic guitar in
her early adulthood. She studied music production in 2014 and has been
experimenting with voice and synthesizers since. https://soundcloud.com/ayametwalli
Gabi Motuba is a South African award-winning jazz vocalist and composer. She studied jazz music at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and received her diploma in 2013. In 2019, Gabi Motuba returned to TUT to complete her B Tech in jazz music majoring in Jazz Improvisation. https://gabimotuba.com/
Gilles Aubry is a Swiss artist, musician and researcher based in Lausanne and Berlin. He holds an MA in Sound Art from the Berlin University of the Arts (UDK) and a PhD in social anthropology from the Bern University. His work engages with sound, technology and environmental voices in relation to power and coloniality in various contexts. http://www.earpolitics.net/
Sabina Leone is a Swiss vocalist and musician based in Zürich. In her new project Héloïse Sabina Leone acts as a solo performer and creates musical images with expressive voice, drums and various percussion instruments. Sabina Leone builds on her long experience as a singer songwriter (solo album Mancare, 2007), with theater productions (Eusi chlii Stadt with Big Zis, Theater am Hechtplatz 2009 and Soirée, created by Alexandra Bachzetsis et al., Theaterhaus Gessnerallee 2008) and with bands such as Sabina Leone & Teké Ensemble, the duo Sorelle Leone and the female band Wemean, a snotty girl band that released an album in 1996 and toured throughout Europe and Cuba. https://www.instagram.com/sabina__leone/
WASSERTURM – historical traces
Among the few places that survived the new Zurich urban plan - whose history remains unknown to most citizens and tourists - the Wasserturm was built in 1724 in the Talacker district with the aim of bringing water to the houses, local businesses but also to the fountains placed in the surrounding baroque gardens. Indeed, the district was lacking of independent public water supply. Hence, a group of citizens decided to join forces for a common mission: build a water tower that would distribute this primary good to people and activities in the area. For nearly 200 years, the water tower fulfilled its function, first through a water wheel and then through its transformation into a steam technology. Acquired by the city of Zurich, it later fell into disuse. Today it houses a center for sports activities.
The tower still stands with its white-green verticalism above the waters of the Sihl looking at the Old Botanical Garden. It is characterized by an octagonal plan rising four floors and a curved copper helmet roof that resembles the shape of an onion. Its symbolic presence and its silent memory, hidden between new contemporary buildings, make this place of significant historiographic, anthropological, social and even artistic interest.
2 JULY 2022, 5.30 PM
Meeting point: Badweg 10, CH-8001 Zurich
curated by Zaira Oram
Like an architectural flute hiding in the urban fabric of the city, the ancient water tower will once again come alive with the performance Calma Apparente by artist and composer Magda Drozd. For the second event of OTO SOUND MUSEUM at the Wasserturm in Zurich, on 2 July at 5.30 pm the sound stream will pass through the silent body of the tower to open from the inside out.
The sound performance Calma Apparente is a sonic investigation into the possible futures of the water tower and its surroundings. Including its present and past, the artist Magda Drozd seeks connections between speculative resonances, history and recent activities within the tower. Through this sonic incursion into the urban space, the tower becomes a symbol of possible transformations and of the multiple natures that places can embody. Through the experimental performance that Drozd realizes with the violin and the synthesizer, nourished by the collaboration between the artist and some members of Kanupolo Zürich – who train inside the tower on a daily basis –, the building becomes a living musical instrument that lights up in the city and returns new stories. Here, where everything is apparently calm, something has been, something else happens and more will come. As Magda Drozd herself states: “The title Calma Apparente refers to the exact moment before the storm. A state where you can perceive the potential of something coming but everything around you is still calm. I am interested in the suspended time of a momentum, where we perceive the omen of a drastic change, the still hidden and invisible while contemplating in front of an old building or while having a walk along the water.
While examining and including sounds that are part of the tower right now, a new landscape opens in front of us – telling a story of strength and fragility at the same time. Something will happen.”
SOUND TURM is a project by OTO SOUND MUSEUM
Curated by ZAIRA ORAM
Supported by Pro Helvetia, Kanton Zürich, Stadt Zürich Kultur, Migros Kulturprozent and Erna und Curt Burgauer Foundation
Hosted by Kanu Polo Zürich
Media Partner RAM radioartemobile
Magda Drozd (1987, Poland) is a composer, musician, and artist working in the field of electronic, ambient and experimental music and sound art. She uses field recordings, digital and analog instruments like a synthesizer, e-guitar, violin, and her voice to create unique soundscapes and music that open imaginative and speculative atmospheres and works underneath the rational. Her LPs «Songs for Plants» and «18 Floors», both released on the Swiss label Präsens Editionen, were acclaimed internationally. Magda worked together with artists, film- and theater-makers to create sound and music for their audiovisual productions and art pieces. As an artist, she creates sound installations that were shown mostly in Switzerland in institutions like Helmhaus, Shedhalle Zürich and Oto Sound Museum. She lives and works between Zürich and Turin.
Resist! Persist! Maintain!
STIRNIMANN-STOJANOVIC and MFJ RULLA
Collective listening (audio piece), duration: 30 min.
6th May 2022, 6 pm
Meeting point: Badweg 10, CH-8001 Zurich
curated by Zaira Oram
For the new program SOUND TURM, the collective Zaira Oram wakes up the historical and silent Wasserturm (water tower) located in the city center of Zurich. The first event takes place on 6th May 2022 at 6 pm with the collective listening and audio piece Resist! Persist! Maintain! conceived by the Zurich-based artist duo Stirnimann-Stojanovic and composer mfj rulla.
As the physical stage of the nomadic OTO SOUND MUSEUM, the Wasserturm is imagined as a home for sound art, where sonority and voices spread from the inside out addressing the public space directly. Often invisible to most people, the Wasserturm is a symbolic place that resists the waves of modernization, hiding in the urban fabric of the city. It is from the history of this profane place that Stirnimann-Stojanovic and mfj rulla have found inspiration to develop their collaborative work. Indeed, the Wasserturm was born out of the need for water distribution, which saw some citizens sharing a common mission and becoming active participants in the construction of the tower in the early 18th century. This social story led the artists to investigate the literature that relates to actions of self-organization and redistribution of resources in the present time, also one of the central subjects of their own artistic research. They are practices of resistance that belong to a radical imagination capable of activating processes of awareness, survival and procreation in relation to our behavior with the environment, human and non-human beings.
What are possible ways to (re)claim the public space? What are possible ways to care for resources in a non-exploitative manner? What are possible ways to maintain collective structures in a rootless capitalist world?The audio piece Resist! Persist! Maintain! (2022) is a collage of existing texts with the intertwining of voice and sound – a fuse that wants to light up and urge action. Composed by mfj rulla, the soundscape accompanies the contents contributing to the transmission of the words’ meaning, and creating a space for the imagination to travel. The audio work will be presented on 6th May in the form of a collective listening that starts from the Wasserturm and moves to the Old Botanical Garden via wireless headphones. The Wasserturm becomes the symbol of collective values interpreted by sound, while the Old Botanical garden turns into a natural space for reflection.
Sound returns to be the center of a program that also looks at the Zurich avant-garde - leaving the canonical and institutional spaces - to question its social, political and artistic role today.
Stirnimann-Stojanovic is a Zurich-based artist duo composed of Nathalie Stirnimann (*1990 in Fribourg) and Stefan Stojanovic (*1993 in Vranje, Serbia) who have been working together since 2015. Holding separate Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, they completed their Master’s degree at the Zurich University of the Arts as a duo.
Stirnimann-Stojanovic's concepts manifest in situations, performances, words and objects. Central themes in their practice are the social and structural issues of the art system seen from the viewpoint of aspiring artists. They are interested in exploring the boundaries between art, activism and society using transdisciplinary approaches. By involving the public, spectators become actors, permitting new types of dialogue. Their aim is to probe and call into question the reality of the art field and, using collective approaches, to thematize fairer and more sustainable working conditions.
Stirnimann-Stojanovic's works were shown in Switzerland and internationally. In 2021 they were awarded with the “Art grant of the city of Zurich 2021”, the “JKON Prize 2021”, a studio residency in Shanghai by Pro Helvetia (for 2023) and were nominated for the “Werkschau Zurich 2021”. They were recently artists in residence at Forum Schlossplatz in Aarau (2022), at Theater Neumarkt in Zurich (2021) and are artist partners of the research “Collecting the Ephemeral” (HSLU/SNF, 2020-2023). https://www.stirnimannstojanovic.com/
Rulla Sutter (1992 in CH) is a sound artist/composer aka mfj rulla.
Since ever, mfj rulla aims to diffuse the frontier of our cosmic perception, combining the known with the unknown, nature with culture, slowly building a cooperative intelligence, harmonised by a rhythm that we share – surrounded by like minded decentralized dedication.
mfj rulla is co-building spaces for collective experiments – since 2015 additionally in the form of musical research gatherings. Combining experiences from interactive ableton live-set tours with previous degree work in sociology and data science. https://mfjrulla.tumblr.com/