2016 _ 048 Urban Songline (Sedimentation Script) | Latitude: 38.363463° N - 38.365969° N / Longitude: 106.357771° E - 106.365002° E - 1st Yinchuan Biennale, Yinchuan, China

A comment on the complex relationship between globalization and culture in a place where the new One Belt One Road initiative passes on the Silk Road through Northern China. Here, I used trolleys with flashlights to animate the Chinese-designed architecture of the building that mimics the centuries of sedimentation and surrounding wetlands caused by the overflowing Yellow River; setting in motion the buildings' layers, its user as well as Yoko Ono's spiritual forrest 'Ex - it'.

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On occasion of the 1st Yinchuan Biennale the architecture of the Yinchuan MoCA as design of its sedimented surrounding wetlands is activated by 343 high-powered flashlights tied to 7 dollies moving through Yoko Ono's forest of trees she designed as both a memorial of victims of war and natural catastrophes as well as a celebration of nature's ability to renew itself.

Sedimentation creates a visible layered history of time. The concept of the architecture of the MoCA Yinchuan building shows the landscape's layers formed in the surrounding topography by millennia of flooding here on the Silk Road that China is attempting to reinvigorate as an overland trade route between China and the West. The wetlands and the desert on both sides of the Yellow River are occupied by passing time; the sedimentation shaping the land that is the buildings' environment.

The layered facade of the Yinchuan MoCA building, placed at a chino-islamic meeting point on the Silk Road, congests in a visual node that speeds up and slows down geological time (or reverses it) depending on which direction the building is read whilst the moving flashlight 'eyes' project shadows of Yoko Ono's forest and its ghostly inhabitants; a(n) (re-)incarnation.

The live music during the performance is created from the sound-recordings of the moving dollies.


With Yoko Ono's 'Ex - it'


Architect: We Architech Anonymous (WAA)




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Part of the project Urban Songlines, a utopian/dystopian series of collaborative translations of buildings, urban structures and 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 are a way of connecting to places by listening to them as well as a research into 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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Curator: Bose Krishnamachari

Artistic Director Yinchuan MoCA: Hsieh Suchen



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


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