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Libita Sibungu and Perivi Katjavivi

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Libita Sibungu

Libita Sibungu’s solo and collaborative projects explore the political and spiritual relationships connecting the landscape to the body, told through personal and collective diasporic histories and legacies. Research is shared through embodied acts of digging; in earth and in records—revealing lost, and buried testimonies emerging out of fugitive experiences. Installations, performance, print, text and sound, help bring to life ongoing conversations surrounding the possibilities of a living archive. Sibungu is a British-Namibian artist based in the UK, projects of note have been presented with; Gasworks, Somerset House, Spike Island, (all UK) and Cabaret Voltaire, Switzerland, (2019); Whitstable Biennale; Eastside Projects, (all UK) and Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2018); South London Gallery, UK, and Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale, Italy (2017). Website

Perivi Katjavivi

Perivi Katjavivi is a Namibian-British filmmaker and researcher. His first feature film The Unseen played in competition at Durban. His most recent film Film Festival Film had its world premiere at the Berlinale in 2019. Perivi is currently a PhD candidate with the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. His work explores entanglements between colonial sites of trauma and contemporary modern life. He is currently based in Bristol and makes music under the moniker the pharaohs. Writings

Untitled Pacific2.wav, 2020 — 3”54’

The untitled pacific2.wav by Libita Sibungu and Perivi Katjavivi speaks in many languages—an interlude from and to liquid bodies of light and love which their sonic poem so confidently emanates and invokes. With hydrophone recordings made in Namibia, this introduction to our project—communicating to and caring for the knowing Ocean—has such tangible warmth and immersive depth that it resonates bodies into the intangible frequencies living beyond human sense alone.

Inspired by Ben Okri’s ineffable Astonishing the Gods (2012), which also seeks and converses with invisible beings and their utopic visions, whose protagonist desires to be seen and made visible—a novel as a portal to a principled universe—Sibungu and Katjavivi sound and voice a mystical creation story through their shared ancestral histories and mythologies, as it beats and weaves blissfully into our watery bodies and hydrological cycles.

“Our highest acts of creativity are in the empty spaces,” writes Okri’s invisible guide, “in the air, in dreams, in unseen realms… If you are lucky you will partake of this higher condition, and delight in its power that transcends all boundaries… And sometimes—very rare—but sometimes nonetheless our highest creative acts, our highest playfulness, our self-overcoming, our purest art, our ascending songs, by some mysterious grace, transcend so many boundaries and enter so many realms that we occasionally astonish the gods.” —Astonishing the Gods

Abbas Zahedi

Abbas Zahedi is a London based artist, known for his interdisciplinary blend of social practice, performance, installation, moving-image, institution-building and writing. His practice emerged out of working with migrant and marginalised communities in the UK to explore the concept of neo-diaspora, and the ways in which personal and collective histories interweave.

Zahedi completed an MA at Central Saint Martins, London in 2019 and is currently the ninth South London Gallery Postgraduate Artist in Residence. Recent exhibitions and performances include South London Gallery, UK; Belmacz, London; Spike Island, Bristol; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Lethaby Gallery, London; clearview.ltd, London; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, UK; and 57th Venice Biennale, Italy.

Website

Sonic Support Group

Ourano Amnion, 2021 — 5”30’

Ourano Amnion 2021 is overflowing with extra- and intra-terrestrial communications - packets coming in from all sonic directions including inner, outer, binaural, and still ungraspable. The tap and rumble is a call-and-response between a Chinese Mars Rover’s traction with that planet’s surface and the antique parquet floors of a disused post office in Chelsea (London) where Zahedi’s incredibly moving Ouranophobia SW3 exhibition took place in, through, and between lockdowns 2020/21. Zahedi’s solace in that time was sensing, even caressing the unique building’s eccentric possibilities, spending weeks and months sounding out the space, gently and deeply attending to it as a condenser of intimate energies and complex perspectives.  

Ouranophobia SW3 enigmatically became a place of recompense for frontline Brompton hospital workers during lockdown, the shut exhibition taking place and offering space just across the street, which led to the development of the Sonic Support Group. Ourano Amnion 2021 is a condensation of these subtle implicate energies and forces from one of the UK’s most genuine and careful artists working today. You can almost feel Zahedi’s hand gently tapping on the forehead of the Ocean, while the second section steps eleven strides (halfway towards and halfway from) a mystical terrain beyond the ratio(nal).

(headphones suggested)

Margarida Mendes

Margarida Mendes is an hydrosonic explorer, intertidal poet and curator of metabolic fictions.

She creates transdisciplinary forums and exhibitions where alternative modes of education and sensing practices may catalyse political imagination and restorative action.

She has been long involved in anti-extraction activism and ecopedagogy, collaborating with marine NGOs, Universities and institutions of the art world to amplify her messages.

More

Lateral Waters, 2021 — 3”54’

For the past months I have been working with shamans to access ancestral auditory memories imprinted in my body over the eras. I wanted to regress to the moment when we diverted from a 400 million year old common ancestor that connects terrestrial vertebrates with fish. What you listen to here is one of my journeys, where I am conducted into a trance meditation to access these somatic memories.

~

I had a dream some months ago where a woman walked into a wooden shack with a hand-painted indigo blue line drawn on her skin, as if outlining the lateral lines of a fish. This deep blue line was drawn from her forehead down to her feet, contouring the extremities of her chest, passing around her diaphragm and her legs. This woman had the tacit presence of a messenger, who reconnected me to the humid atmospheres of the river Amazonas in Colombia, where cosmovisions of interspecies mating are passed down intergenerationally as ecological teachings.

Later on a journey I became that woman, who was then pregnant with a fish, and gave birth to herself, continuously becoming fish.

Samuel Hertz

Samuel Hertz is a Berlin-based sound artist and researcher investigating connections between sound and climate that emphasise geologic, ecologic, and social listening practices at more-than-human scales. Having studied composition with Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, and Maggi Payne at Mills College, Hertz’s performances encompass a wide range of media including IMAX films, surround sound installations, interstellar transmissions, and doom-metal concerts.

He is the author of nine essays on the relationships between sound and environment, including recent work for the Onassis Institute and contributions to an upcoming book from the Universität für angewandte Kunst, Wien. Previous work of his has been presented in such contexts as Ars Electronica Festival 2020 (AT), Palais de Tokyo (FR), Fylkingen (SE), the National Science + Media Museum (UK), and Opera North (UK), as well as working residencies at institutions such as EMS (SE), Wave Farm (US), Pioneer Works (US), and VICC (SE).

Hertz’s time has recently been devoted to DOOM (with Layton Lachman): a durational performance in the form of a doom-metal concert, with upcoming performances at the BONE Festival for Performance Art (CH), and Sophiensaele’s Tanztage 2022 Festival (DE).

Website

Four Aquatic Mirroring Devices

Text By Sam Hertz

I lower my fingers slowly into a broad glass container of water. I watch them slip sideways and my orientation changes. Light and water together create the condition by which my hand is both whole and part. The digits begin to look physically distinct from the rest of my hand, but the feeling of my hand persists.

‘Four Aquatic Mirroring Devices’ imagines this relation to water, across bodies, sound and light. Not only when observing through a glassy, external lens, but when fully submerged in water itself as an immersive lens. Therefore, these four mirrors offer reflective and refractive ways to understand more-than-physical relationships within and among water, within and among parts that are whole, or wholes which appear to slide apart. To see drastic changes caused by small ripples at a distance and understand them as proximal and direct. Simple melodic material is transformed, sedimented, and refracted in four ways, creating four unique sound movements. Beyond melody, the mirrors also reflect and refract timings and rhythms that translate to visually repetitive structures, alongside their aural counterparts.

In the same way that the play of light underwater creates fuzzy and distorted views of physical relationships without unbinding them, I look to the intuition of the 1996 French science-fiction film ‘La Belle Verte’ in which water itself constitutes the basis for a quantum communicative matrix. In the film, watery bodies serve as communication interfaces, based on a hydrologic relation between all bodies of water, regardless of physical proximity. Bathtubs, oceans, and airplane sinks—all hydrologic nodes—are tied in common through a diffracted-yet-substantial matrix. A hydrologic internet—not substantially dissimilar from the fibre and silicon internet, requiring immense hydro-vascular systems to keep cool—therefore ties together disparate elements through an understanding of their essential relation.

One is submerged. One observes refraction but imagines their body tied in common to any other submerged and refracted body. Human bodies are, of course, not the only submerged material. Whole and part. A communicative matrix involving submersion also ties in common those elements with which we might prefer not to communicate, and yet they are tied in common, nonetheless. Whole and part.

Listening with headphones is highly recommended.

1. Untitled Pacific2.wav
June 24 – 26, 2021
Libita Sibungu and Perivi Katjavivi
2. Ourano Amnion 2021
July 23 – 25, 2021
Abbas Zahedi
3. Lateral Waters
August 21 – 23, 2021
Margarida Mendes
4. Four Aquatic Mirroring Devices
September 20 – 22, 2021
Samuel Hertz
October 19 – 21, 2021
Caitlin Berrigan
November 18 – 20, 2021
Andrea Zarza
December 18 – 20, 2021
Josèfa Ntjam
January 16 – 18, 2022
Mariechen Danz

Radio Amnion: Sonic Transmissions of Care in Oceanic Space is a multi-year sound art project for the waters of Earth, commissioning and relaying new compositions by contemporary artists more than 2kms deep with/in the Pacific Ocean. During each full moon, far beyond human perception, the abyssal waters of Cascadia Basin resonate with the deep frequencies and voices of invited artists. All transmissions are relayed in the sea through a submerged neutrino telescope experiment’s calibration system and available here online only during the three days of each full moon. Register to be notified for our next transmissions.

The Radio Amnion project is possible due to a collaboration with the ‘P-ONE’ ‘neutrino telescope’ experiment of the SFB1258: Neutrino and Dark Matter Group at the Technical University of Munich. The ‘P-ONE’ telescope is partnered with Ocean Networks Canada: a vast underwater oceanographic observatory monitoring marine ecosystem function, deep-sea biodiversity, and multiple geological dynamics with their 840 km NEPTUNE Observatory in the Pacific north west.

Invocations, blessings & affirmations from Radio Amnion are first and foremost for and to the Ocean, streamed in those remote cyclic depths that irrigate our connected lives and worlds. Artist’s compositions enter and expand these new hybrid spaces where ecology and astronomy intersect, where deep sea and deep space convene, where scientific and cultural cosmologies develop new types of relationships.

Pacific Ocean: Juan de Fuca Plate; Cascadia Basin - 47°N 127°W (-2600m)

P-ONE Telescope

The ‘Pacific Ocean Neutrino Experiment’ is a submerged neutrino telescope initiative led by Prof Elisa Resconi of the Technical University of Munich’s Neutrino and Dark Matter Group SFB1258. Deep underwater the cosmic radiative noise of Earth’s surface is heavily reduced, making it possible to detect more rare and elusive particle interactions within the water itself.

Since neutrinos do not carry a charge, they do not interact with our typical ‘baryonic’ matter. They are completely translucent and have other strange properties that cause physicists to believe in the possibility of a completely other type of physics. To attempt to elicit communications from these hidden cosmic messengers, physicists of the SFB1258 are testing the location of Cascadia Basin for the implementation of a submerged multi-cubic kilometer telescope made up of a vast matrixial array of floating, tethered optical modules. It is from these optical modules that Radio Amnion transmits into the Ocean.

The optical equipment submerged 2.6 kms underwater attempts to view and reconstruct the rare faster-than-light neutrino intra-actions occurring in the elemental waters of Earth. Fluorescing an ultraviolet ‘Cherenkov’ radiation on their encounters with charged hydrogen, it is the water itself that collides with the ghost like phantom particles causing cascades of superluminous particle showers deep within the Earth across hundreds and thousands of metres.

For more information please see the German Science Research News article on P-ONE.

Sonic Platform

The bronze, glass, steel, rubber and electronics sound sculpture—the Radio Amnion Sonic Platform designed by artist Jol Thoms—is one of several hundred glass spheres that make up the aquatic P-ONE telescope. The other glass orbs house optical equipment designed to register and amplify the faster-than-light UV signals caused by rare neutrino particle intra-actions in the sea water. The Sonic Platform was designed to quietly relay spirited messages from artists and researchers directly to the Ocean itself—within the planet—considered as a sentient type of being, a living, knowledgeable creature. A type of reverse Golden Record of the voyager space craft, Radio Amnion seeks responsible communication with the more-than-non-human world.

Using the calibration system of the telescope, and through a process of ‘Fourier transforming’ artists compositions into frequency space, a complimentary selection of spheres also transmit rhythms of light deep into the abyssal body.

The Radio Amnion Sonic Platform was designed to quietly relay spirited messages from artists and researchers directly to the Ocean itself—within the planet—considered as a sentient type of being, a living, knowledgeable creature.

Ocean Networks

The University of Victoria’s (BC) Ocean Networks Canada is a series of marine and oceanographic monitoring and network stations and infrastructures located at various sites across Canada. ONC operate the NEPTUNE Ocean Observatory in the Pacific Ocean that the P-ONE Telescope is also attached to. The NEPTUNE infrastructure is an 840 km loop of powered fibre optic cable with five nodes or stations, including Cascadia Basin where Radio Amnion transmits. Each node is instrumented with a diverse suite of sensors that enable researchers to study interactions across geological, chemical, physical, and biological processes that drive the dynamic earth-ocean system.

For more details on ONC, please see their website.

For information on the interdisciplinary development of Bioregions, please see Bioregionalism on CascadiaNow.

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Contact

Please feel free get in touch at radioamnion@gmail.com. You can also follow us on Instagram.

Credits

Radio Amnion was initiated by artist and researcher Jol Thoms in 2019, submerged into the Ocean in 2020, and came to operation in June of 2021—all due to a remarkable invitation from Prof. Elisa Resconi of the SFB1258.

Radio Amnion is a partnership with the SFB1258 Neutrino and Dark Matter Group at the Technical University of Munich and in collaboration with Ocean Networks Canada at University of Victoria, British Columbia, CA.

Big thanks to Kilian Holzapfel at SFB1258 for engineering and operations support, and to Petra Riedel and Stefan Schönert at TUM. Thanks to Dwight Owens and Kim Juniper at Ocean Networks Canada.

Thanks to and inspiration from Melody Jue, Astrida Neimanis, Eve Tuck, Karen Barad, Isabel Stengers, Michael Marker, A.N. Whitehead, Stanislaw Lem, & Olaf Stapledon.

Special Thanks to the SFB42 collective at ADBK Munich and to all the artists involved in Radio Amnion.

Radio Amnion acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.

This website was designed and developed with Minkyoung Kim and Marie Otsuka (MK+MO). It is a static site, using a beta variable font version of Magmatic by Occupant Fonts and Publico Text Mono by Commercial Type.

All Sound, Text and Images are copyright of Jol Thoms/Radio Amnion and the respective authors.