Holly Childs + Gediminas Žygus Freefall [new work - a VIRTUALLYREALITY commission]
Chino Amobi ILLUMINAZIONI
Competition [new performance]
Marta Śniady you make me feel so brand new [new solo version] performed by Silvia Lucas (keyboard/voice)
Sonja Mutić [sh]out
Our previous ‘New Anxiety’ theme showed our attention and devotion are vital for us to impart humanity into the folds of this pluralised world. But what if our devotional abilities - romantic, religious, corporate or otherwise - have been co-opted by higher forms of authority?
We start in pieces, a gut-punch. Sonja Mutić’s audiovisual ‘sh[out]’ sees romantic devotion crumble as language itself fails to comprehend the magnitude of heartbreak. Emotional impact can be felt in the scrap string loops, dented percussion and unadorned croons of Newcastle’s Competition presenting a live-streamed set including music from his 2019 album ‘Repetitive Music’ (Slip).
still from Sonja Mutić's '[sh]out'
Devotion monetised is attention won. The manipulative world of the beauty industry is often critiqued by Polish composer Marta Śniady. In a new solo upcycle of the work ‘you make me feel so brand new’ for pianist Silvia Lucas, ad slogans are recited like mantras over triggered blushy glitch. A higher power is Romantically subverted in Chino Amobi’s film ‘ILLUMINAZIONI’. Blending corporate iconography, first-person-shooter VFX, Renaissance tableaux and the devotional music of Arvo Pärt, the mise-en-scene seems to silhouette our unwitting relationship with the powers that be.
still from Chino Amobi's 'ILLUMINAZIONI'
We close this chapter with a new commission from intercontinental collaborators Holly Childs & Gediminas Žygus. Writer Holly Childs’ forking narratives are known to sit suspiciously over Gediminas Žygus’ cinematic club-adjacent sound. A new track from their sophomore album is haunted by conflicting devotions to knowledge and belief post 9/11, and a newly commissioned video made with filmmakers Tomasz Skibicki and Elif Özbay situates their anxious conspiracy-coaxing within dusty visual languages.
Chino Amobi is a Virginia-based contemporary artist, experimental electronic musician, and producer. He is co-founder of the independent label NON Worldwide. He has previously worked in painting and sound art, and has released albums such as Airport Music for Black Folk (2016) and Paradiso (2017), which explore themes of intercontinental security, post-apocalyptic narratives and The New Global South. He is represented by Fitzpatrick Gallery (Paris; Los Angeles).
Holly Childs is a writer and artist. Her research involves filtering stories of computation through frames of ecology, memory, poetry and light. She is the author of two books: No Limit (Hologram) and Danklands (Arcadia Missa); and has presented her work at ICA (London), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Trust (Berlin), Elam School of Art (Auckland) and more.
Silvia Lucas is a Spanish pianist and electronic performer based in Manchester (UK). As a contemporary performer, Silvia has premiered a large number or works, most of them dedicated to her. She performs extensively along the UK, Europe and North America. Most recently she has received a PhD from the RNCM focusing on the performance of works for piano and electronics. As well as a performer, Silvia is the artistic director of the newly created concert series noisescenes.
Sonja Mutić is a composer, performer and PhD candidate at Harvard University. She works with sounds at thresholds of silence, harmony and noise, using minimal means to create textures of maximal expressive weight. She is interested in slowness, artistic self-exposure and vulnerability.
Elif Özbay (1989, Netherlands), is a multidisciplinary artist whose lens-based practice centers on displacement and the diasporic experience entangled with elements of horror, suspense, and the uncanny. She explores the visual language of representation and the stereotypical imagery of othering. Currently working on the Vampire myth, she is implementing tools of pedagogy, to unlearn conventional ways of research and focus more on knowledge generated by non-academic experiences..
Craig Pollard (aka Competition) is a quietly pivotal figure in Newcastle’s musical underground, curating events and operating across the city’s artist-led communities. As Competition, he makes (mild) pop music with a sampler and voice. The songs think about smallness and vulnerability, and build hooks from within their own limited means.
Tomasz Skibicki creates installations, sculptures and films based on what he likes to call “first-hand encounters with second-hand stuff.” Refining traditional crafts and techniques such as ‘tramp art’, his practice results in personal reminders of these encounters that often speak to concerns of migration, consumerism, and death. Inspired by the aesthetics of sports gear and devotional objects, these idiosyncratic artifacts eye as icons of future believe systems.
In her work as a composer, Marta Śniady follows the vision of a music that refers to different art forms. Furthermore, she feels that new music is an important medium of social communication, which is why she doesn’t treat it as pure sound art, but works on building multi-layered references and connections.
Gediminas Žygus is an artist working within the fields of sound, documentary and performance. Their practice assembles a spectrum of influences deriving from ecology, science studies, and media theory. As J.G. Biberkopf, their releases have found homes on Knives and Danse Noire. Žygus has performed at Barbican Centre (London), Berghain (Berlin), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), and Centre Pompidou (Paris), among others.