Soundscape compositions from a self-initiated, lo-fi archive on the use of sound as a collective medium for political change in the Global South. Collaboration with Lucas Odahara. Length: 53:41; 54:24; and 11:04.
“It’s either today, or not tomorrow!”, announces the speaker to his bewildered audience. With passionate enthusiasm, he points out the deficiencies of the status quo and calls for a reorganization of things. His struggle turns into rhythmic sounds and chanted songs. They are student protests and marches against oppressive governments, which are part of a diverse sound collage played over two sound speakers placed on top of a black-and-white landscape through which roads are drawn. They offer us different definitions of the English “simple present” tense and represent the idea of the progression of time and its grammatical translation within a language system. Lucas Odahara examines the specific state of time within revolutionary processes with “Tempos Verbais (the Volume of History and the Balance of Time)” and brings up the question of how the idea of time can be materialized in space. According to Walter Benjamin, the moment of the revolution possesses the ability to break up the continuum of history. When time describes the progress of the present from the past into the future, the outbreak of a revolution can expose this irreversible flow of time for a moment. During the act of protest, when a collective dissatisfaction is released, the present can be isolated from the past and the future, and an alternative historical path can be taken.
The sound installation is a joint project by Lucas Odahara and the designer and sound artist Pedro Oliveira. From their own sound recordings and found online footage the two artists create a continuously growing archive of protest songs. Excerpts from this archive are presented for the first time in the Kestnergesellschaft as part of an audiovisual installation. The sound work will never be complete, as worldwide protests take place and new material is continuously being added into the archive.
(original text in German by Elmas Senol)
For the exhibition “Shaping Resistance” at NUDA Gallery (December 2017), Stockholm, the eleven-minute composition focuses on revolutions around the body, making use of sounds from indigenous protests all around Brazil, as well as students’ occupations of schools in São Paulo.
Photo credits: Lucas Odahara; Frida Vega Salomonsson.