[ISEA2016] Artist Statement: Juliana Espaňa Keller — Sonic Electric

Artist Statement

Sonic recipes with experimental intermedia workshop and performance, 2016

The objectives of “SONIC ELECTRIC: sonic recipes with experimental intermedia” are located within the fields of experimental sound performance and electronic art as inter-media [sound/video, performative and community practice] to develop a strategic laboratory for collective engagement by exploring principles of participation and relationality. The aim of this project designed for ISEA Hong Kong is to develop a practice-based creative analysis of identity, power and place, through the immersive environment of the kitchen. The spatial politics of the communal kitchen workplace shape our daily experience. With a collection of hand tools and electric motors that will be gathered together from kitchens in Hong Kong, local participants will be bending kitchen instruments and appliances into doing things they were not designed to do and will learn to shift and reposition their status as tools and social markers, in ways that seek to open up sites of resonance and resistance. Participants will also learn how the spatial and deep listening experience of the kitchen interior may open through collaboration via the fidelity of kitchen utensils and motors to sonic textures in sound performance. Sound has the ability to create a relational space, a meeting point, diffuse and yet pointed. This makes sound a significant model for thinking and experiencing the contemporary condition, for as a relational spatiality global culture demands and necessitates continual reworking. It locates us with an extremely animate and energetic environment that, like auditory phenomena, often exceeds the conventional parameters and possibilities of representation. This connection is equally a spatial formation whose temporary appearance requires occupation, as a continual project, emphasizing our place and is also potentially, emphasizing our local community. This dynamic provides a key opportunity for moving through contemporary social discourse by creating shared spaces; it belongs to no single public. It can exist as a network that teaches how to belong, to find place and still search for a new connection, for proximity. A critical and practical hands-on workshop will introduce recruits to, the concepts of Sound Improvisation from a dynamic perspective using kitchen tools and appliances and the manipulation of such tools and appliances. Utilizing Performative Improvisation, Sound Exploration, Music Electronics and Music Recording. Participants will also experience how to make deep listening an effective tool or as an active collective process. The workshop will finalize into a sound and performance art work presentation fusing cryptic beats and experimental noise with live sound improvisation created by the amplification of manipulated kitchen apparatus assisted by electronic hardware such as Contac mics plugged into bass guitar amplifiers. They will play their kitchen appliances through these devices for the final performance presentation.

  • Juliana Espaňa Keller, Malaga, Spain. My research inquiry examines the spatial architecture of the kitchen and the relationship between art practice and broader social / political spheres, specifically to explore what kind of knowledge aural-aesthetic and taste-aesthetic experiences are capable of producing. I use the kitchen table as the motherboard, a platform to investigate principles of participation as an area of relational aesthetics stressing the hybrid or in-between nature of performance, sound, and labour and community practice. I aim to unlock the capacity for sound to create a relational environment, as a tangible meeting point linking art and sociality. Working with musical communities and other social groups, I examine how institutional and political / economic forms of power appear in experiences of crisis, with all the uncertainty that characterizes our present. My focus is the kitchen as a relational site for extensive techniques bending instruments and appliances into doing things they were not designed to do. I see a kitchen island as an experimental sound workshop and food laboratory. I am revealing how do aesthetic practices in the kitchen contribute to the sensory formation of a specific community. Do these practices, through engagement of the senses and physical labour, reinforce or blur social class borders? I am also mixing in how can the dynamics of aural perception, taste, and the consumption of food; promote interaction by sharing multisensory experiences. How can these practices reconfigure notions of identity and encourage alternative ways to integrate our perceptions through intercultural collaborations? Furthermore, I am stirring up what sensory relations are made possible between artistic propositions and the social context/environment of a sound presentation? How can the dislocation and repositioning of the kitchen appliance create new cross-cultural spaces, to propose alternative ways for shaping solidarities that cut across conventional lines of class, region, ethnicity, and ideological affiliation. And to complete my recipe for research and reflexivity…I am whipping in…How can inclusive, from the ground up associations have the potential to be small catalysts for change within dominant social systems by looking at sound and sociality. How can I capture moments of insight, as a process of dialogic engagement that binds people together through ethnographic inquiry and procedural knowledge?  julianaespanakeller.com  cargocollective.com/julianaespanakeller/ISEA-Hong-Kong

Full text and photo (PDF) p. 157-159