You And I Are Water Earth Fire Air Of Life And Death, part 1 – You
12-hour online event organized by Christof Migone.
First in a series of twelve annual events taking place on December 12 from noon to midnight GMT (7-7 EST, 5-5 CST, 4-4 PST).
Each year the event will move through each word of the 12-word phrase You And I Are Water Earth Fire Air Of Life And Death and activate the word of the year in myriad ways.
This year it all starts with you-. It always starts with you-.
All participants were invited to programme one hour with you- as the sole prompt. The result could be a mix of live and recorded (or entirely one or the other). There could be a visual element throughout, or partial, or none at all. An open structure welcoming coherent incoherence (or, incoherent coherence). A radio-but-not-really-radio event where you and you and you share the same nonplace.
This year the hours are set to UK time because the project originated at the Glenfiddich Distillery (Dufftown, Scotland) and the main broadcast partner is Resonance Extra (London, England). The other broadcast partner is Wave Farm. Each partner is also programming two hours.
Y- is structured in four sections: 1. You-Base-Twelve, 2. You-Scratch-Script, 3. You-Rotate-Radio, 4. You-Urge-Urgent. Y- includes attempts at timing and counting, making 12 Rimmed Records stand up, stacking 12 pieces of acoustic foam in various arrangements, and other nonproductive largely silent gestures. Some of the audio is culled from new mixes of Swan Song completed in the summer of 2020; this body of work is more fully featured in the final hour of the event. Also featuring Xuan Ye reading out and commenting the code from the website she coded and designed that tracks the 12 years of this project: you and i are water earth fire aire of life and death.
Participants in Scarborough’s hour were given the 6th paragraph of Cornelius Cardew’s score The Great Learning as part of their invitation to You– to be used literally as a score or philosophically as a social frame for engaging sound and silence. For an exercise in communion (a study of Cardew’s The Great Learning) Tiffany Schofield and Erika DeFreitas took the sixth paragraph as a score for organizing vocalizations derived from the word communion, modulated, reverberated, reshaped by a pedestrian tunnel’s architecture and accompanied by sited sounds. The trio of Christopher Dela Cruz, Marla Hlady and Eric Slyfield used invented and conventional instruments to improvise together. Cardew’s score was translated to a set of relationships, two movements, each with its own respective rule and with some freedom in time. Their piece is in two parts: MOVEMENT I: Play after another plays, then rest when the performer before you rests and MOVEMENT II: Only two can play concurrently, if a third person plays, one of the two must rest.
Erika DeFreitas is a Scarborough-based artist whose practice includes the use of performance, photography, video, installation, textiles, works on paper, and writing. Placing an emphasis on process, gesture, the body, documentation, and paranormal phenomena, she works through attempts to understand concepts of loss, post-memory, inheritance, and objecthood. DeFreitas’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She was the recipient of the TFVA 2016 Finalist Artist Prize, the 2016 John Hartman Award, and longlisted for the 2017 Sobey Art Award. DeFreitas holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto.
Christopher Dela Cruz is a Filipino-Canadian artist whose works investigate the relationships of objects and technology, to interculturalism and individuality. His primary media of works revolve around sound, sculpture, installation, and digital media. His works have been exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Nuit Blanche, Doris McCarthy Gallery. He was recently awarded the Ontario Regional Prize for “Notice of Disruption” in the BMO 1st Art! Competition in 2019. He currently lives and works in Toronto as technician for the Department of Arts, Culture, Media in the University of Toronto at Scarborough, and the audio director of “Festival Italiano di Johnny Lombardi” at CHIN Radio/TV International.
Tiffany Schofield is a Canadian artist and curator. She is a founding member of the Scarborough-based collective Y+. Her artistic and curatorial work is centred in collaboration and community-building, with a focus on emerging practices and suburban spaces.
Eric Slyfield is an artist, designer, and musician. Slyfield employs the use of sound, photography, installations and digital media to explore and subtly disrupt traditional art-making processes. Having most recently exhibited at Nuit Blanche and the Doris McCarthy Gallery, Slyfield’s works often explore the role of the body in the process of art-making, movement, and the effects of migration on lived experience.
Marla Hlady draws, makes sculpture, works with sites and sounds and sometimes makes video. Hlady’s kinetic sculptures and sound pieces often consist of common objects (such as teapots, cocktail mixers, jars) that are expanded and animated to reveal unexpected sonic and poetic properties often using a system-based approach to composition. She’s shown widely in solo and group shows. She has mounted sited sound works in such places as the fjords of Norway, a grain silo as part of the sound festival Electric Eclectic, an apartment window in Berlin, a tour bus in Ottawa, the Hudson’s Bay department store display window and an empty shell of a building. She also, at times, collaborates. She currently lectures at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.
YOU- HOUR 3 (14-15 GMT) (9-10 EST) (7-8 CST) (6-7 PST) Steve Bates (Saskatoon) PRESENTS You, as if radio silence
A fifty-nine minute composition in three parts (I, II, III) using recordings from Dakar (radio), Stockholm (Elektronmusikstudion – EMS), Vienna (kunstradio – ORF), Northern Ontario (shortwave radio), and Montréal (blank cassettes, empty and quiet rooms) collected between 2010 – 2015. Assembled and mixed in Saskatoon at Reflected Light. November, 2020.
In Walter Benjamin’s brief text, “On the Minute”, he describes the instructions delivered to him by the producer for the radio program he was hosting on German State Radio; 1) that he strictly adhere, to the minute, the duration allotted to the program and, 2) never address the audience as multiple. Only ever as ‘you’. Or, if he must, multiple ‘you’s’. In radio, we are only ever one even if there are many of us. In 2010, inspired by Benjamin’s text, I made a series of small works whose sound was made from blank cassettes, the space between radio stations, radio silences and dead air, and people sitting alone in a room while trying to estimate a passing minute. An archive if you and you as missing. I also made a video work of empty white walls to accompany these sounds. In 2013, I took this little archive of recorded silences and quietness to Vienna and with the aid of Kunstradio (ORF) engineer Martin Leitner, we massively amplified these recordings with multiple speakers to activate a Bösendorfer grand piano with notes clamped down across the length of the keyboard. This was broadcast across Austria with the request to technicians to transmit as quietly as possible. Another inspiring component of radio is never knowing who the listener is. I always imagine long distance truckers tuning in at night was they pass through the signal. But no one really knows who you are.
Technical Note: Many radio stations have an automated emergency response system that activates if there is prolonged silence below a certain threshold in a broadcast. While made of recorded silences, the dB level of this program is likely well above this threshold – perhaps even loud at times.
Southern Comfort by Jen Kutler with Quintan Ana Wikswo Southern Comfort is a radio sound piece by Jen Kutler featuring text and performance by Quintan Ana Wikswo. The title Southern Comfort surrounds the queer US/Mexico border experience in its complexity of solidarity and joy in the face of bigotry, violence, hate crimes and the AIDS crisis. Kutler and Wikswo’s works invoke a rich, evolving and intergenerational legacy of obscured drag, ballroom, trans, mixed-race and gender queer fissures of deep southern and southwest American Culture through which the whiskey culture forms a through line of recreation and transgression. These rituals transcend the simple imbibing of alcohol. The sounds are synthetic voices generated from physiological sensor devices worn on Kutler’s body to document her response to the emotive narrative. These voices draw from granular synthesis, sine waves, cassette tape loops and stringed instruments.
Jen Kutler is a multidisciplinary artist and performer. She modifies found objects that are cultural signifiers of power, gender, queerness and intimacy to create atypical instruments and sculptures. Her performances feature many of her instruments incorporated with immersive field recordings to explore common and discrepant experiences of familiar social tones in immersive sound and media environments. www.jenkutler.com
Hailed as “heady, euphoric, singular, surprising” by Publisher’s Weekly, “beautiful, horrifying, passionate, and bold,” by Jeff VanderMeer in The Millions, “Rilke’s lost female shadow,” by Conjunctions, and “universal and personal, comforting and jarring, ethereal and earthy,” by Electric Literature, Quintan Ana Wikswo has long been active in the collusion and collision of transdisciplinary art and direct human rights fieldwork. Quintan is recognized for innovative hybrid constellations of work that integrate her fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry and essay with her original photography, performance, audio, film and video installation. These projects interrupt sites and trajectories of human rights infractions, hate crime organizing, and global and local networks of the far right. www.quintanwikswo.com
Spirit Safe by Sadie Woods
In this radio work, sound artist Sadie Woods takes inspiration from the Scott whiskey term spirit safe, an enclosed control center where the strength and temperature of the spirit is analyzed by distillers without having direct physical access to it. Spirit Safe builds on the experience and instincts involved in the spirit analyzing process exploring impulses, intuition, and receptivity in interpersonal relationships through mixing and blending ethereal sound and electronic music.
Sadie Woods (American, 1978) is an award winning artist who has had an exciting career, showcasing her talents everywhere from academia to nightclubs, boutiques to museums. As a multidisciplinary artist, curator and deejay, Woods’ work focuses primarily on social movements and resistance, and producing collaborations within communities of difference. Woods received her BA from Columbia College and MFA from The School of the Art Institute. She is a 2020 recipient of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Esteemed Artist Award and currently Faculty at the School of the Art Institute, Residents Orchestrate Project Manager at the Chicago Sinfonietta, and resident deejay on Vocalo 91.1FM and Lumpen Radio 105.5FM.
Segunda Persona by Agustina Woodgate with Florencia Curci
A multilingual remix amongst friends. A fabulous and loving speculation about the second person. Where are the words coming from? ¿Cuál es el oldest tú? What if they come from you?
“The spanish Tú sounds like a spit”
“In French, Le Toi also means the roof, the You has this connotation of being something that protects you. You, the entity that gives you shelter, that helps you find solace”
“Nderehe is the guarani for tú. Nderehe are not always humans”
The many ways of saying You explore the many yous possible.
– I care about you. – You will always be vos.
Agustina Woodgate is an artist and designer addressing landscapes and infrastructures as conceptual and political public geography. Her approach is site and context-responsive. Her recent experiments include communication channels and publishing platforms that propose alternative forms for media distribution. In 2011 she co-founded radioee.net a nomadic, translingual, online radio station focusing on mobility, migration and climate transformation as its core themes. In 2017 she co-initiated PUB, an experimental publishing platform within Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam. Her projects have been commissioned by the 2019 Whitney Biennial, 4th Istanbul Design Biennial; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; 9th Berlin Biennial; PlayPublik, Poland; DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Washington; Storefront for Art and Architecture, MN and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin amongst others. agustinawoodgate.com
Florencia Curci is a drummer, sound & radio artist and curator based in Buenos Aires. Her work focuses on noise and rhythms as relative concepts that can configure perception, communication and subjectivity. Her work has been presented at Centro Cultural Kirchner, Cultural San Martín [AR], Medialab Prado [ES], Tsonami Festival[CL], Aural Festival [MX], Kunst Radio [AT] and Mayhem [DK], mongst others.. Florencia completed her Masters in Expanded Music at the UNSAM University, and was part of the Artists’ Program of the Torcuato di Tella University. She is currently the director and main curator of the Sound Art Center (CASo) in Buenos Aires. florenciacurci.com
Useful Radio by Jeff Kolar Useful Radio is a new radio mix focused on radio voices, citizen listening, and the intimacy of signals. Featuring collaborations with Joe Jeffers, Anna Friz, and Zeena Parkins. Track listing in order of appearance: Untitled; Creepy Tipi (with Joe Jeffers); Far Gone; Useful Radio (with Anna Friz); Hooking (with Zeena Parkins); and Prologue (with Zeena Parkins).
Jeff Kolar is a sound artist, composer, and founder of Radius, an international experimental radio broadcast platform established in 2010. His solo and collaborative work, described as “wonderfully strange” (John Corbett), includes atmospheric compositions and sonic installations for dance, film, theatre, and performance. He has performed and exhibited widely across the United States, and at international venues and festivals such as the New Museum (New York), Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Moogfest (Durham, North Carolina), CTM Festival for Adventurous Music (Berlin). His work has been reviewed and discussed in international print publications and online platforms such as The New York Times, The Wire Magazine, Red Bull Music Academy and Architect Magazine, and in an array of art, design and music publications including VICE, Art Slant, designboom, and Rhizome.org. jeffkolar.us
Originally published in 1984, Voice of Hearing was found in a used book shop in London, Ontario by Christof Migone. Its titular provocation led to this re-presentation complete with a generative introductory essay by Migone, a newly crafted postface from Vivian, and re-packaging with eloquent cover art by Dominique Pétrin.
This online event is hosted by jake moore, Director of the University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collections. The hour will feature an excerpted conversation between Vivian Darroch-Lozowski, author and professor emerita of the University of Toronto, currently based in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; the original editor of the book, Ann J. West; the writer, researcher, lecturer and editor, Daniela Cascella; and Christof Migone artist, curator, and writer and the editor at the audio-centric Squint Press responsible for this re-publication. The conversation will be interspersed with readings from the text by Vivian and excerpts of Migone’s introductory essay.
Contemplative, intricate, here the philosopher Vivian Darroch-Lozowski develops a phenomenology of hearing. Where theorizing is a present-tense action. Where a landscape teaches waiting. Where to be in a body is to gesture to another. Where subjectivity is the transformation of language. Where attention releases nascent energy. Where to hear is also to transform. Where myth is a gate. A close attending to this text, which is also a unicorn, will delicately open the reader’s time-sense.
—Lisa Robertson, author of Cinema of the Present, The Weather, Nilling, and The Baudelaire Fractal
“What is on these pages is what I am which is what I have never been”: Vivian Darroch-Lozowski’s meditation on coming into being through the act of writing is at once familiar scenario —a narrating of the process of creation— and distinctive unswerving unscrolling improvisation. Its visionary sensibility and self-exegesis and sheer blizzardy accumulation of word, image, observation, and insight attunes to the play of sound in ways that make radical modes of hearing fundamental to its ethos.
—David Grubbs, author of The Voice in the Headphones, Now that the audience is assembled, and Records Ruin the Landscape
Anastasia Freygang‘s LIPREADER: ‘you re-listen and re-observe remotely and are grasping anew the one that was you and where forementioning myths of the far future you got yourself a lipreader’. The piece is a meta-observed temporality quest addressing you and featuring Anastasia Freygang appearing, listening and moving with ragamash st james mix, Koichi Yamanoha, Traktor Sternfahrt Orchestra route 5, Lister engine 3 Cylinder aboard UNISON with an impromptu aria sung by Kalan Sherrard and occasional exclamations of intent in fantasy language recorded on the River Lea.
Anastasia Freygang is an artist who was born in Moscow and raised in Berlin. She is interested in non-linear and subjective modes of narrative building through language, sound and the present body.
Milo Thesiger-Meacham presents a multimedia project featuring an original script and soundtrack, handheld and drone video, Google Earth, computer-generated imagery, field recordings, and the voice of actor Kadence Neill.
Milo Thesiger-Meacham is an artist, composer and writer. He works on solo and ensemble multimedia projects that combine text, music and digital visuals.
Conversations with ancestors, bodies, and ancestral selves. You. Distant and longed for, distant and beloved. You. Are changing, have changed. You. Consider all your relations.
Performed by: Anna Friz, Amy Mihyang Ginther, Cynthia Ling Lee, Gabriel Saloman.
Anna Friz is a radio, sound, and media artist. Since 1998 Anna has predominantly created self-reflexive radio for broadcast, installation and performance, where radio is the source, subject, and medium of the work. Her compositions for theatre, dance, film, installation, and solo performance reflect upon public media culture, land and infrastructure, time perception, and the intimacy of signal space. Recent radiophonic works include The Joy Channel with Emmanuel Madan, Embodied Radio Device with Absolute Value of Noise, and Unbox, Outside, and This Hour (a trio of online and broadcast performances). Anna is assistant professor of sound in the Film and Digital Media department at UC Santa Cruz. http://nicelittlestatic.com
Cynthia Ling Lee instigates queer, postcolonial, and feminist-of-color interventions in the field of body-based performance. Her interdisciplinary choreography has been presented at venues such as Dance Theater Workshop (New York), East West Players (Los Angeles), SZENE Salzburg (Salzburg), Taman Ismail Marzuki (Jakarta), and Chandra-Mandapa: Spaces (Chennai). Cynthia was the recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, an Asia-Pacific Performing Arts Exchange Fellowship, and a Hellman Fellowship. Cynthia is an associate professor of dance in the Department of Theater Arts at UC Santa Cruz and a member of the Post Natyam Collective. www.cynthialinglee.com
Gabriel Saloman is a multidisciplinary artist, musician, writer and educator based in Santa Cruz (USA), who works in sound, text, visual mediums and socially collaborative forms. In addition to his work as a soloist he has worked in many, many collaborations including Yellow Swans, Red76, The STAG Library, Company 605 and Action at a Distance. He is currently a PhD candidate in the History of Consciousness Department at UC Santa Cruz where he is researching the relationships between noise and power. http://diademdiscos.com/gms
Amy Mihyang Ginther is a queer, transracially adopted scholar, activist, and award-winning theatre maker. She has lived, taught and performed in the US, Europe, South America, and Asia. Her work utilizes devising methods to create documentary/autobiographical theatre that focuses on themes of loss, belonging, grief, race, power, and representation. Ginther’s last play, Homeful was performed Off-Broadway (Best Storytelling Show), in London, and at Exit Theater (Best of Fringe, sold-out run). She is currently devising a musical, No Danger of Winning, that examines the experience of former contestants of color from The Bachelor/ette and is editing a volume on decolonial, anti-racist actor training.
you think to appear/when you begin to appear/you begin to appear/when you think to begin/
A lost space that leads nowhere. Restless and confined. Disembodied and embodied presences roam, taunt, multiply and echo each other across planes.
Dana Gingras/Animals of Distinction. Choreographer, filmmaker, performer and artistic director of AOD. Founded in 2006 the company functions as a type of framework for contemporary practice, as a point of intersection where the social kinaesthetic, and the possibilities of physical thinking can be visualized in choreographic ideas with different collaborations and with other art forms.
Tot Onyx. New solo project of Japanese duo group A’s Tommi Tokyo. Formed in 2012, group A has explored the possibilities in breaking the preconceptions of live performance, attempted to subvert the boundary between musical performance and performance art incorporating use of the body, live-painting, noise, acoustics, and poetry in their formative performances. Frequent collaborations with visual artists, dancers, and scenographers of different practices is one of the crucial processes in her experimentation both of sound and performance.
Sonya Stefan. Independent Media and Dance Artist. Interests are Trash Aesthetics, Shifting Trees and Bodies that escape their realm. Collaborations with a variety of artists in dance, music and visual arts, as well as community-based projects, combining her love of fragmentation and suspension with that of togetherness.
You-Swan is structured around the endless walking through of Still House 2 at the Glenfiddich Distillery (Duffotwn, Scotland) by Andy Fairgrieve, the Artists in Residence Co-ordinator (footage shot by John Paul in November 2020). Featuring new mixes of Swan Song completed in the summer of 2020 and mastered by Harris Newman in October. Also featuring a selection of videos shot by Marla Hlady and Christof Migone during their residency at Glenfiddich in the summer of 2019.