A Series of Gaps Rather Than a Presence (2019)

Performance and Radio piece, commissioned by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and CTM. Presented live at HAU2 Berlin on January 30, 2019, as part of CTM Festival. Broadcast on 31st of May 2019. Length: 41:12

A Series of Gaps Rather Than a Presence is a tale about home, a story of returning, or, if you are so inclined, a story of repentance. This piece explores the temporal loops connecting the Prussian Phonographic Commission (Preussische Phonographische Kommission), established in the beginning of the 20th Century, and the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge) one hundred years later. Both institutions are connected not only in time and space, but more importantly in their desire to classify, rank, organize, and taxonomize otherness based on vocal traits such as the articulation of an accent.

Are we ever welcome near fortresses made of barbed wire
and software-automated decisions?
If the lost sons and daughters return home
will they be welcomed with a feast
or execution?

A Series of Gaps Rather Than a Presence

Performed by Pedro Oliveira (electronics, narration) together with Enana Alassar, Mariana Bahia, and /Lio.DIC/ (voices).

Listen to the full piece at Klangkunst
English translation of the German text (PDF)

CTM Festival programme (WWW)

With support from the Lautarchiv an der Humboldt-Universität Berlin.
Thanks to Anna Biselli at netzpolitik.org

A Series of Gaps Rather Than a Presence

“Now it seems to me that they’re all tied together, like a web, they seem like a series of gaps rather than a presence but when you lay them out you can see the outline of a skeleton on the ground.”

– Sofia Samatar, “Winged Histories” (2016)