MAY 26 — JUNE 10, 2023, TIMIȘOARA
We are happy to share with you the complete program for the third edition of SONIC NARRATIVES, which will be held in Timișoara, along the river – May 26 – June 10. The official opening takes place on Saturday, May 27th, 3:00 PM, at the former Constructorul building, the space that hosts some of the sound installations.
The 2023 program is divided into four themes that meet and intertwine like the tributaries of a river, creating opportunities for dialogue with the invited artists through ideas flowing and fluid like water, floating like driftwood or steady as stones.
Rivers and other waters
This is the central theme, which hosts the main innovation of this edition, namely the auditions of radio art works that take place in a pool on the bank of the Bega Canal: Where the Rivers Meet by Antoine Richard tells the story of two rivers merging and Sails by Ilinca Stihi tells the history of the world through an aquatic journey (a binaural work, listening with wireless headphones). A cruise on the Pelican boat to the Sânmihaiu Român lock brings us together, in a kind of guided tour, with Spoken Words by Alex Higyed (Comuna 30) and the readers of aquatic territories from Ecluze pe Bega – arh. Bogdan Demetrescu & Alexandrina Ciortuz. On the return journey, the boat vibrates with the force of the engines from the Water Plant, through an immersive sound composition that will transport you to the heart of Europe’s oldest hydropower plant, performed by Jacob Kirkegaard and created especially for this occasion.
The Danube is also part of the program with 5 compositions with sounds recorded at Port Cetate within the Sonic Future Residencies and with the beaver families and other wetland dwellers from Linz brought in a performance by Abby Lee Tee, who also presents the film Syntopia:Bega together with the artist Andreea Săsăran.
Maria Balabaș’s soundwalks, inspired by Elena Biserna’s books, open this theme. Along with Caroline Claus, who talks about sound and urbanism in the contemporary city, Elena Biserna presents the soundwalk as a tool for working with space and territory, in a conference hosted by the Faculty of Architecture and the Order of Architects. A field recording initiation workshop is led by Stephane Marin, visual artist Ana Kun installs a series of blank flags with cutout texts allowing the free flowing of the air to create a soothing sound, and Makunouchi Bento will perform a piece that explores the aural journey of a virtual cricket on a bottle, floating on the river Bega that crosses the city of Timișoara.
Anna Kravets invites us to experiment the cohabitation through words spoken or whispered in a bunker, a project started during the first bombings in Kiev. First far, then close, Further away theme also features a concert by Mirian Kolev with recordings from abandoned Bulgarian villages, and an audition of the radio art piece “Tres Fronteras” by Stephane Marin, the poetic transcription of a journey in the Amazon. The film Invisible Landscapes by Ivo Bystřičan reveals the richness of soundscapes and the importance of their preservation, while the series of mini-films Son Seul/Wildtracks by Felix Blume takes us around the world with humor, a microphone, and 34 sonic jewels.
Resonances and Objects
This theme is dedicated to sound installations selected and proposed by curator Carsten Seiffarth in two distinct spaces. Gallery 5 in the center of Timisoara hosts SPIN the Tourist Information Center, a space created by Ionu and Tovarasu D., which questions the impact of tourism on contemporary societies.
The Constructorul building on the banks of the Bega Canal will be sonically populated by coin-cidence by Nika Schmitt, a kinetic sculpture that seeks its way on uneven surfaces, and by Harmonic intervention by Raul Keller, which transforms the space into a resonant chamber for a better understanding of specific acoustics. The sound installation Mineral Amnesia by Ioana Vreme Moser explores the evolution and degradation of the first programmable memory of the digital Middle Ages and its shadows through the perspective of an outdated device, that ended up discarded to form toxic wastelands over the geological layer of the earth.
From soundwalks and events that highlight the acoustic properties of different spaces along the river, to concerts, films, and listening devices in pools and abandoned buildings on the banks of the Bega Canal, SONIC NARRATIVES sounds an alarm, demonstrates a potential, and invites to creativity in how we manage our relationship with Bega today and, especially, in the ways we can affirm its presence in the urban space of the future.
Here’s a little teaser