In conventional performance, sound and movement exist as separate layers. Often the sounds created by the performers are filtered out by the audience’s ears, like breathing, stepping, falling, etc., and the performers do not regard the incidental sounds that they create as part of the work.
I am not a sound artist, but a performance artist exploring ways to use sound in a way to remove this separation. I use naturally generated sounds as the audio component; I incorporate the sound generated by the movement as an integral part of the performance, rather than a byproduct.
Learning about sound art, I have become aware of the politics of language in art. Dance and music are languages, and they use movement and sound as raw material. They are accessible only to those who understand these languages. Sound and movement, however, are for anyone with relevant physical faculties.
As we learn the languages of dance and music, we learn to categorize the integrated sensorial phenomenon, which we initially experience as a whole, into different concepts. We no longer see or hear, but look for what we expect to watch and listen to in the frames of the languages that we have learned.
Sound art requires a sense of composition, just like any other kind of art made through human intention. However, unlike music, which is available primarily to those familiar with its conventions and vocabularies, it is not a language; rather, it is available to anyone with the intention to listen.
I currently try to merge sound art and improvised movement with these ideas in mind. I explore the state of awareness at the boundaries between sound and music, and between movement and dance. It is the awareness of space where all those things that we identify as sound, music, movement, and dance are happening.
During my artist residency at YATOOi, I had collaborated with a UK sound artist, Simon Whetham (https://www.simonwhetham.co.uk), to create a site-specific, improvised performance. In November 2019, I reunited with him in South Korea and experimented with my voice work and his sound artwork.
In 2018 and 2019, I was an artist-in-residence at AADK Centro Negra (https://aadk.es/en/aadk-spain) in Spain. They aspire to nurture the creation of contemporary art within the context of local culture, as opposed to bringing contemporary art made for city dwellers to the locals. And sound art was their main vehicle for localization and decentralization in creating contemporary art. (http://aadk.es/en/aadk-sonora-en/sonora-school)
My engagement with the political aspect of making contemporary art reoccurred during Katie Duck’s improvisation workshop (http://summerimpro.com/10408-2) in Amsterdam last year. The workshop was created as a platform for artists to gather and instantly compose choreographies towards live public performances. The performances emphasized interdisciplinarity, combining dance, text, music, voice, and other means. They were intended to create independent arts projects devoid of the competitive spirit now common among artists.
Last October, I created the first segment of No Man’s Land (https://vimeo.com/369802270), as part of Üle Heli Sound Art Festival in Estonia.