Jacek Smolicki: Para-Archives (open rehearsal)
Open rehearsal of three performative soundscape compositions.
Friday, November 15, 7pm
1. Per Aspera Ad Astra (2018-)
Per Aspera Ad Astra is an ongoing artistic and media archaeological exploration of our persistent desire to connect with the non-human, and, more specifically, the extraterrestrial. The project takes the form of a performative soundscape composition built successively of archival material and sounds characterizing technologies used historically to establish contact with aliens. The archival recordings include glitches from digitized interviews with UFO witnesses from the Sweden's Archive for the Unexplained, snippets from the famous Voyager Golden Record, radio signals received lately from distant territories beyond the Solar System, and reenactments of historical messages sent by USSR and USA into space via early radio transmission technology. All this material is gradually intercepted and deconstructed by remediations of Stanisław Lem's deliberations on the inherently flawed idea of establishing contact with other-than-human residents of the deep space and time.
2. Quivering Stillness (2016-)
(Soundscape composition based on field recording sessions at Gliwice Radio Tower, Gliwice, Poland and Belle Isle, Richmond, Virginia)
Even though we can not hear them in a literal sense, the present is always to some degree infused with and infected by the echoes of the past. In the places affected by tragic events, these echoes seem somewhat much more detectable. What is presently aural therein seems not so much representative of the current, but rather misrepresentative of the gone and absent. Even though sounds such as human laughter and bird chirping refurnish the atmosphere, these places seem to resist this enforcement of a new identity; they reject the condition of today and instead remain stubbornly suspended somewhere between the gone and the present
Performed through the means of sound, photo and video recording, Quivering Stillness is an ongoing exploration and documentation of sites affected by military conflicts, political unrest and ruination.
3. Inaudible Cities (2019-)
What stories about the city can be revealed when our attention shifts from the central to peripheral, visual to sonic, from the extra- to infra-ordinary?
Inspired by Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, Inaudible Cities is an exploration of the suburbs of Stockholm resulting in a series of short stories describing diverse facets of the city life from the perspective of its peripheries. As aesthetic and critical modes of engaging with the place I turn to listening and creative audio-visual field recording techniques. The interest in urban peripheries is followed by an interest in peripheral sonic situations in which mundane elements of natural and cultural realms, infrastructures, and debris become leading actors and storytellers. Echoing the Oulipo's fascination with constrained techniques of writing, when exploring Stockholm suburbs, I follow a self-imposed set of instructions. As a structuring device I use the Stockholm subway map to visit all end stations on each line (thirteen in total). After getting off I spend maximum 130 minutes exploring each station's vicinity through intuitive wandering guided by my sense of hearing, and creative field recording and mapping techniques (including contact microphones, hydrophones, electromagnetic field detectors, binaural microphones, accompanies by photo camera, GPS receiver among other tools). For those who live at the end of the subway line, that final stop does not feel like the last, but the first one. Similarly to me, during my exploration the periphery becomes the center.
more on : http://para-archives.net/inaudiblecities
Jacek Smolicki (b.1982, Kraków) is a Stockholm-based interdisciplinary artist, designer, researcher and soundwalker exploring intersections of aesthetics, technology, documentation and everyday life. In his design and art practice, besides engaging with existing archives and heritage, Smolicki develops new techniques for mapping, (field-)recording, experiencing, and para-archiving human and other-than-human environments. His work is manifested through soundscape compositions, soundwalks, para-archives, site responsive performances, audio-visual installations, creative writing, and experimental cartographies. Between 2020-2023 Smolicki will pursue an international postdoc funded by the Swedish Research Council. His research will explore the history and prospects of field recording and soundwalking from the perspective of arts, environmental humanities, and media archaeology. More on: www.smolicki.com