A WORD FROM THE COMMISSIONER – NICOLAS BERNIER
Preamble: the sound that calls out
Sporobole’s Sound Showcase is a reckless, even dangerous act. Because although the passer-by is immersed daily in advertising communications, logos, signs, indications and other visual stimuli, the passer-by’s hearing is only slightly affected. Yet, although he can close his eyes, he never closes his ears. So unaccustomed to being challenged by sound in the street – I am talking here about conscious questioning and not about sounds already present in the environment -, one of the dangers is to frighten him. The unknown is scary. This consciously organized sound that reaches the passer-by’s lobe through the 16 speakers of the Sound Showcase is a source of the unknown. What are the ways to get in touch with the passer-by? Obviously, there is no question, in the Sound Showcase, of playing elevator music to appeal to the passer-by in a (too) comfortable way. However, this challenge of questioning and dialogue seems fundamental to me in a project such as the Sound Showcase. It is like a device, which, by default, has not only an artistic presentation function, but a social function: it is a tool for raising awareness of sound; a tool for communicating with passers-by; a tool for developing the public; a tool for creating extraordinary experiences.
Artistic vision: transient/linearity
This awareness of the social role of the system proposed by Sporobole will be one of the guides to my work as a police station, which will a priori be based on eclecticism. I see the Sound Showcase as a field of experimentation and it seems crucial to me that, in its first years of existence, we give it a maximum of scope in the field of artistic possibilities. In this spirit, the artists I propose each have very different approaches, even antagonistic ones. They have different ages, experiences, training, backgrounds and aesthetics.
Despite an assumed eclecticism, I will propose to the artists, a theme, or rather an idea, or rather a word, simply, because I want this opening of possibilities to remain a complete opening. This theme will not be rigid and can easily be discarded if it does not stimulate ideas.
This idea is the one of the line
It is indeed unusual for the sound artist to have to work on a line of 16 speakers. How does this affect work? How can we take advantage of this unique way of arranging sound on several channels that can be controlled separately, the line can be a line: straight, curved or broken. It can be a line of code, horizon, dotted lines, pixels. The line can be presented as a border: geometric, geographical, geological, artistic. A journey, an interface between the interior and the exterior, between the private and the public, between the passer-by and the creator.
Selection of artists
Line Katcho is a young composer of electroacoustic and visual music. I don’t know her very well, she’s my Wild Card. However, even if we only had brief exchanges, the fire that animates it is palpable. Her work is that of an aesthete, at the opposite of the conceptual, she is in the path, in the movement. However, listening to his work gives a feeling of full control, a liveliness, an extraordinary know-how. Chaotic line.
Herri Kopter (alias Jérôme Minière)
Jérôme Minière is known in Quebec for his song that oscillates between pop, folk and electronic music. However, the latter had the courage to experiment, not hesitating to venture far from the beaten track of the world of song. In 2001, he released an electronic/ambient/experimental album under the pseudonym Herri Kopter, his experimental alter ego. In 2007, he participated in a sound creation program curated by Eric Mattson at Casa del Popolo. In 2009, I invited him to collaborate on the sound environment of the playUne fête pour Boris, a text by Thomas Bernhard directed by Denis Marleau. I would therefore like to make this extraordinary proposal here, both for him and for the sound arts public, as well as for the neophyte public or those passing through the street. Aesthetic line.
Basanta is probably one of the most prolific young sound artists at the national level at the moment. He offers a fragmented, borderless work, ranging from spatialized compositions on multi-channel devices, to audiovisual creation, to the world of contemporary instrumental music, including improvisation. His recent work exploits the line by creating simple devices where microphones and speakers “discuss” by creating feedback networks. This type of installation project, while still alive, seems to me to be a beautiful avenue of creation for the Sound Showcase. The line, a fragile border.