2013 _ 016 Urban Songline (for reverberating room) Latitude: 41.041250° N - 41.041345° N / Longitude: 28.990245° E - 28.990331° E - Istanbul Biennale, Parallel Event, FCK Lab, Istanbul Technical University Architectural Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey

An acoustic test room for architectural walls hidden in the 'dungeons' of a 250 year old university building brought to life as an active voice through site-specific reworking of the reverberations of a noise profile by an electro-acoustic ensemble. The music is generated by manipulating a single 'Cut-O-Move Hi-Pass Filter' by three creatures that inhabit the above-ground landscape as characters in a play.

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Part of the project Urban Songlines, a utopian/dystopian series of collaborative translations of public spaces into music through site-specific sound-generation inspired by the tradition of the Songlines, a system for relating to-, mapping of- and caring for their land among Aboriginal Australians. These performances research how we use and experience the public domain and to what degree we can claim ownership over it, discussing notions of inclusion, becoming and belonging.

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As an official Parallel Event to the 13th Istanbul Biennial I have performed '016 Urban Songline (Latitude: 41.041250° N - 41.041345° N / Longitude: 28.990245° E - 28.990331° E) for Reverberating Room' at the Architectural Faculty of the Istanbul Technical University. This performance takes as its point of departure the piece 'I Am Sitting in a Room' by Alvin Lucier, first performed in 1969, in which Lucier records and plays back into the room his own voice reading the following text:

I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.

An acoustic sound-check for cello, violin and saxophone by Distractfold Ensemble is used to generate the voice of the Reverberating Room of FCK Lab // Architectural Faculty at ITU Taskisla Campus. This original score is used to determine the resonating frequencies of the room that represents the sonic voice of its topography. During the first part of the performance this recording will create room-specific reverberations that will then be translated electronically in a live version that is the Urban Songline representing the singing voice or song of that space in the tradition of the Aboriginal Australians who sing the topography of their environment as a form of navigation, spiritual embodiment and care-taking of the land they live in. Giving a new voice to the Reverberating Room hidden in the heart of Istanbul researches notions of resonance / echo and obliteration / annihilation.

The subsequent music is generated by manipulating a single 'Cut-O-Move Hi-Pass Filter' by three creatures that inhabit that landscape as characters in a play. Alternating the spider, crow and walker are seen navigating the very center of Istanbul around Taksim square. With different purpose and intent these actors traverse, cut-through and cross-back the city grid fulfilling different roles, testing different paths, creating alternative views and perspectives to the current.

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Videographer:

Antoine Passerat

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In collaboration with:

13th Istanbul Biennale

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts has been organizing the Istanbul Biennial since 1987. The biennial aims to create a meeting point in Istanbul in the field of visual arts between artists from diverse cultures and the audience.

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Distractfold Ensemble

016_Urban_Songline was created in collaboration with Mauricio Pauly, Linda Jankowska, Alice Purton, Rodrigo Constanzo & Sam Andreae. The group specialises in instrumental, acousmatic and hybrid music of the 21st century written by composers of the new generation.

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[f]Flat Architectures

Established in 2003 by Muge Belek and Frederico Fialho [f]Flat Architectures research group is a partnership between Practice, Research and Academia, Focussing into transdisciplinairy architectural and media art works. The ongoing research aims to test the new design methodologies, in which computational design generates spatial hybrid artefacts by solving its conditions.

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016 Urban Songline is made possible with generous support from the Mondriaan Fund


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