An artist in residence project for the production of five sound portraits of Tuscany; five stories conceived and produced for radio that narrate a territory and its cultural geography.
Participating artists: Viv Corringham, Mikhail Karikis,Laura Malacart, Davide Tidoni, Allen S. Weiss
Curator: Lucia Farinati
Producers: Radio Papesse - Villa Romana
Co-producers: Tempo Reale, Comune di Santa Croce sull’Arno, Architettura Sonora
Produced as part of Compagni di Viaggio, a project for Toscanaincotemporanea2011 - Tuscan Region.
Board of Advisors: Angelika Stepken (Director Villa Romana), Lucia Farinati (Director Sound Threshold), Ilaria Gadenz and Carola Haupt (Radio Papesse)
Nuovi Paesaggi / New Landscapes was born from the idea of using radio as a space for radio production: a space that is the immaterial space of transmission, with the narrative and imaginative potential of sound, the limits and freedom of the specific listening conditions that escape from the dynamics of the "protected" listening of sound installation.
For this, we have invited five artists to tackle the medium, to test its limits, curious to hear how every single practice, every single experience will have met radio, a radio understood as method, as platform and as language. The project has found fertile ground for development in the territory of Tuscany, and has evolved with the invitation of the curator Lucia Farinati; the polyphonic dialogue with Villa Romana; with the five artists - Viv Corringham, Mikhail Karikis, Laura Malacart, Davide Tidoni, Allen S. Weiss – who accepted Radio Papesse’s invitation to spend two weeks in Tuscany; with the meeting among all those from Florence, Carmignano, Santa Croce sull’Arno and Larderello, who were able to welcome the artists, speak and listen, contributing to the production of five surprising sound works for radio.
As James J. Gibson would say, the terms of subject and object essential for defining the activity of observation (in our case, we say of listening) draw their content from the relativity of the movement. From here we start on five trips, undertaken by five travellers who have discovered different points of listening, beyond our familiarity with the images of the Tuscan landscape.
We invite you to listen to the intertwining of stories and pathways by Viv Corringham in the Statuto/Rifredi area in Florence; Mikhail Karikis’s Dantesque explorations in Larderello, where the modern utopia that welcomed Giovanni Michelucci’s urban projects has been disillusioned, and where today, after their abandonment, we can imagine starting again from a different identity. We invite you to listen to the work of Davide Tidoni who, from the physical exploration of the construction site of Florence's new city theatre, embraced the contradictions and suspensions of a project that is at the heart of Florence’s political imagination and the center of its cultural identity; Laura Malacart’s spoken piece, resulting from her work in Santa Croce sull’Arno and in which the repeated language is a hypnotic comprehension exercise of what happens when an individual finds him/herself ‘living’ another language, that is, existing in another culture. Words are also the protagonist of the work by Allen S. Weiss, whose polished verses in Carmignano explore the limits of language faced with the experience of taste.
Ilaria Gadenz & Carola Haupt
Proximity and distance
by Lucia Farinati
The voice manifests the unique being of each human being, and his or her spontaneous self-comunication according to the rhythms of a sonorous relation. [Adriana Cavarero*]
What does it mean to know or rediscover a landscape through its voices?
And what are the landscapes evoked, re-imagined, or simply remembered through a voice?
Is it possible to re-establish the symbiotic relationship between voice and landscape, piecing together, so to speak, its topographic wholeness through the medium of radio? In adopting a curatorial approach that embraces proximity and distance, as well as working with five artists coming from different countries and diverse disciplines (moving image, writing, music, visual art), New Landscapes has taken the form of a journey, or journeys, that explored the twofold nature of both site-specific intervention and radio production.
From each location chosen (together with Radio Papesse and the individual artists) as a site for artistic production, began a story and different mode of listening which, despite their different meanings and methodologies, focused in on field recording and vocality: the embodied voice of song, the musicality of spoken language, the musical evocation of landscape, as well as the immediacy of storytelling and the audio interview.
Proximity and distance is therefore the parameter that is concerned here with locational listening and acousmatic listening, with the proximity of the sound source (in this case, real places and real people) along with the spatial-temporal displacement provided by radio. It also refers to the common and varied artistic strategies employed by the five authors in exploring yet investigating a particular context: the shared use of recorded sound as a narrative media and in some cases, the use of moving image and/or text as a device to structure the radiophonic work.
From this process resulted five individual sound stories which depict a becoming landscape inhabited by multiple voices: five works that address the limits of language and challenge the traditional representations of Tuscany and that distance themselves from the mere documentary format. Proximity and distance, therefore, as an inclination towards listening, and at the same time as a project that intends to give voice to others; to become agents of what we are not or what we don’t know that we are yet. Ultimately (as Jean-Luc Nancy and Adriana Cavarero suggest), as a proposal for both resonance and reciprocity: the resounding of the singularity of one voice through the plurality of languages, becoming the singular plural** of a story for more than one voice.
* Adriana Cavarero, For More Than One Voice: Toward A Philosophy of Vocal Expression, Stanford University Press, 2005, p. 173.
** Jean-Luc Nancy, Essere singolare plurale, Einaudi, 2001.
Lucia Farinati is an independent curator and the Director of Sound Threshold, an interdisciplinary research project that explores the relationships between site, sound and text. She has recently curated exhibitions, events, talks and site-specific projects at the Freud Museum and Flat Time House - London and for Cut & Splice Festival and Manifesta 7. She is a contributor to diverse sonic art projects and initiatives including Sound Proof 5, Audio Arts, Errant Bodies and Resonance FM. She lives and works in London since 2000. The music that goes with Lucia Farinati's audio clip is Palindromi (I) by UYUNI
Viv Corringham is a British vocalist and sound artist currently based in Minneapolis, USA, who has worked internationally since the early 1980s. Her work includes audio installations, performances and soundwalks, and has been presented in exhibitions from New York to Istanbul to Portugal. In her ongoing work Shadow walks she explores people’s special relationship with familiar places and how that links to an interior landscape of personal history, memory and association. She has recently been awarded the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Composers from the American Composers Association.
I am interested in exploring people’s special relationship with familiar places and how that links to an interior landscape of personal history, memory and association. I would like to create sonic portraits of Tuscany based on the experience of its inhabitants. This will include three elements: walking, vocal improvisation and the soundscape. [Viv Corringham]
Mikhail Karikis is a Greek-born, London-based artist. Educated in architecture at UCL, visual art at the Slade School of Art and music, his inter-disciplinary practice encompasses sound and video installation, performance art, drawing and music. Karikis's work emerges from his long-standing investigation of the voice as a sculptural material and a conceptual compass, which he employs to explore notions of community and difference, the politics of work and human rights. His art has recently been presented at the Wapping Project, London; Manifesta 9, Genk; the Barbican Theatre, London; and at the Danish Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale.
There are fascinating natural events to be observed on the road between Larderello and Monterotondo (Grosseto) where there are lagoons and fumaroles. I would be very interested to explore these sounds, which have remained mute for centuries, and which have silently witnessed the path from the legend of Dante’s metaphysical journey to Landerel’s scientific knowledge and industrial exploitation of the landscape. I would be interested in exploring whether the type of visual and literary culture which the look of the landscape has inspired also has an equivalent in aural and musical culture in the region. What is the connection between these sounds and the people who live there or work in the factory? How is their work and professional identity connected to these sounds? [Mikhail Karikis]
Laura Malacart is an Italian born visual artist, her practice is interdisciplinary and collaborative. In 2011 she was awarded a doctorate for her research on the applied politics of the voice in the aesthetic field: from this work emerged MUVE (The Museum of Ventriloquial Objects). MUVE functions as a metaphoric and structuring element in her practice. She is currently in receipt of a Wellcome Art Award working collaboratively with scientists, performers and people on the autistic spectrum on the subject of communication.
In engaging with a community of newcomers settled in the region, I will further develop the critical and practical methodology of Voicings, a project in which she exposes the potential violence that can be hidden in everyday speech, when the person involved is a foreigner. [Laura Malacart]
Davide Tidoni is an Italian artist and researcher. His research focuses on diverse listening modes and sound-space relations. His work includes site-specific interventions, acoustic territory explorations as well as sound etnography fieldworks and listening workshops. He has presented his work at the Barbican Centre – London (2012), the Ars Electronica Festival – Linz (2011), the Venice Architecture Biennale (2010), the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Exeter (2009), and RAUM – Bologna (2009).
My intent is to explore the urban voids generated from the construction site of Florence’s New Theatre Music Park. Through a series of listening strategies and site specific interventions I'll try to bring light on the socio political implications and contradictions of the architectural project. [Davide Tidoni]
Allen S. Weiss is a writer, translator, curator and playwright, and is the author and editor of over forty books in the fields of performance theory, landscape architecture, gastronomy, sound art and experimental theater. He is currently working on a gastronomic autobiography, Métaphysique de la miette, and teaches at New York University.
I have long found Michel Serres’ chapter on Château d’Yquem in Les cinq sens to be the epitome of culinary literature, with its beautiful prose and extraordinary description of this great wine. It reveals how taste is simultaneously the expression of terroir – the site-specificity of food – and of personal style, where language provides the subtle grid through which we experience the world. I have long wondered how to emulate and perhaps improve upon such a work, and realized that it is precisely through the multiplication of viewpoints and the multiplicity of voices that this can be accomplished. I thus envisage a radio essay focused on a single Tuscan wine tasted by a multitude of people, where voice and dialogue enrich word, discern taste, celebrate place. This hopes to be a lyrical exploration of the profundity of taste, the limits of language, and the sense of place in the Tuscan landscape, expressed in several languages (English, Italian, French, German, and perhaps Latin) and many voices, with musical and bacchic accompaniment. [Allen S. Weiss]
Radio Papesse is proud to work with
Villa Romana, a centre for contemporary artistic production and international exchange. Active since 1905 the Villa Romana Fellowship is the oldest German art prize. It has been awarded every year to four artists living in Germany. Its purpose is to provide emerging and young talented artists with the space and support for the development of their practice and their art work thanks to a long residency in Florence. Through exhibitions and a broad range of events including presentations by international guests, Villa Romana presents itself as a forum for contemporary art, promoting the collaboration with international partners as well as the diverse cultures of the Mediterranean Region.
Since 2006 it has been directed by Angelika Stepken, curator and art critic. Previous to this Stepken has been the director of the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, vice-president of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft deutscher Kunstvereine (AdKV) and has also taught at the Art History Institute of the University of Karlsruhe. Based in Berlin till 2006, she currently lives and works in Florence.
And we are pleased to collaborate and co-produce Nuovi Paesaggi with Tempo Reale, Santa Croce sull'Arno Municipality, Pomarance Municipality, Architettura Sonora and Capezzana.
Tempo Reale was founded by Luciano Berio in Florence in 1987. It is now one of the main European reference points for research, production and educational activities in the field of new musical technologies and electronic music. Since its foundation the center has been committed to the production of Berio’s works and in the production of outstanding musical events, working both with established composers and artists as well as young emerging musicians. Its main areas of research include the study of real time sound processing, the interaction between sound and space and the synergy between creativity, scientific competence, performative and educational rigour. The Centre regularly organises events and produces projects at local level in cooperation with the main Tuscan cultural institutions in the field of music, theatre, dance and education.
The Municipality of Santa Croce sull’Arno boasts, from a cultural point of view, three ‘presidia’ that have been a great ambition of the Town Administration, all of which are under public management: the Giuseppe Verdi Town Theatre, the Villa Pacchiani Exposition and Multi-Purpose Center, and finally the Adrio Puccini Town Library. Three presidia, three programs that may take different directions, with significant potential for convergence on shared actions that will be synthesized in the S.C.S. Santa Croce Cultural System. This working project explicates the will to create a “territorial system” where culture means the meeting of theatrical experience, visual arts and book holdings, the will to establish a place for permanent cultural education, in addition to the need to preserve, promote and produce.
Architettura Sonora is the research division of B&C Speakers dedicated to the creation of immersive sound spaces; with a multi-sensory approach in architecture and experience design it enhances the richness and uniqueness of architectural and sound projects. It designs and develops unconventional sound modules (in which industrial design, craftsmanship and electroacoustic know-how entwine in the research for new forms, materials and directions of sound emission) and produces original music; from detailed spatial-acoustic analysis to the creation of virtual sonic spaces.
The Pomarance Municipality. In the Municipality of Pomarance (in the province of Pisa) there is a bridge that physically connects the town of Larderello with the surrounding territory. That bridge metaphorically represents the soul of this community: progress and modernity in dialogue with traditions. Here cultural contamination is in its own nature. The relationship with contemporary cultures is an integral part of the Pomarance area and to work with it means to give the territory new inputs and possibilities.
We are gratefull for their help: Accademia della Crusca - Associazione Arturo - ENEL Green Power - Fondazione Michelucci - FOSCA - Parco delle Colline Metallifere - Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino - SAC s.p.a. - Società Chimica Larderello Chiara Banchini - Paolo Belardinelli - Renzo Boldrini - Mariangela Bucci - Alessandra Casini - Francesco Casciaro - Billy Cerri - Beatrice Contini Bonacossi - Vittorio Contini - Leone Contini - Lorenzo Coppini - Richard Crow - Lucia Fedi - Pietro Gaglianò - Francesco Giomi - Allen Grieco - Yuki Ichihashi - Ilaria Mariotti - Simone Martini - Maria e Gualtiero Masini - Fabio Picchi - Marco Pierini - Orano Pippucci - Vania Pucci - Letizia Renzini - Maddalena Rossi - Maria Paola Sacchetti - Massimiliano Santulli - Yorgos Sapountzis - Raﬀaella Setti -Antonella Strozzalupi - Chantal Thomas - Alessia Toni - Francesca Vigo - Francesca Zardini and all the people who helped us develop this project.
NUOVI PAESAGGI WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF TOSCANAINCONTEMPORANEA 2011 REGIONE TOSCANA.
Coming to a close with Nuovi Paesaggi, together with Lucia Farinati, we are honoured to present the sound works produced by Viv Corringham, Mikhail Karikis, Laura Malcart, Davide Tidoni and Allen S. Weiss for Radio Papesse. All of them are fruits of an intense year long effort in terms of research, surveys, explorations, ideas; all of theme come out of diverse site-specific strategies - Tidoni's physical investigation of the space, Corringham's walks, Weiss' convivial practices, Malacart’s ventriloquial approach and Karikis' encounters with a land that literally has a voice - that invite us to adopt diverse modes of listening, whereas we are used to see, and that don't please our familiarity with the imaginary Tuscan.