Intelligent Artifacts & Breathing Spaces
Modern Body Festival is proud to announce Modern Body Laboratory #2, an exciting exhibition & performance program you do not want to miss! You can visit our immersive exhibition at Broedplaats WD4X from Thursday to Saturday, 8-10 February, and join us for a performance-happening on Friday 9 February at 20:00.
Intelligent Artifacts & Breathing Spaces is the second Modern Body Laboratory edition. In this series we explore emerging themes and ideas in preparation for our next biennial festival edition, and invite you, our public, to brainstorm, experiment and experience with us!
For this event we are very proud to present 4 new commissioned works:
– Cocky Eek explores our research theme ‘Discovering Post-Relational Aesthetics’ with an installation linking human and breathing matter.
– Tivon Rice explores our research theme ‘Artificial Intelligence as a modern body’ with an installation combining Virtual Reality, texts by the AI ghost of J. G. Ballard, sound, and prints.
– Pete Harden and Floris van Bergeijk compose the first sound works made especially for the Hot Listening Booth, our very own traveling concert venue – a 3-person infrared sauna cabin!
To accompany it, we re-mount the interactive WiFi-radar steam sauna The Water Within, by Stelios Manousakis, in collaboration with Ping-Hsiang Chen.
On February 9, we hope you will join for to an explosive night of performances with 4 acts, combining music, dance, light, and architecture. Featuring Kenzo Kusuda / Cocky Eek / Zois Loumakis; Gerri Jaeger; Stephanie Pan with special guest Vitaly Medvedev; we finish off the evening with the thumping techno sounds of MURW so you can dance your heart out!
1 Performance evening
8-10 February 2018
Feb 8: 18:00-20:00
Feb 9: 20:00-01:00
Feb 10: 18:00-20:00
Exhibition visiting hours
Feb 8: 17:00-21:00
Feb 9: 13:00-20:00
Feb 10: 13:00-20:00
Performance Event: 5€
Combined Ticket (Feb 9): 7€
We Are Public: FREE
Broedplaats WD4X, iii workspace
Willem Dreespark 312
2531 SX, The Hague
Modern Body Laboratory
Thursday – Saturday, February 8-10
Commissioned for Modern Body Laboratory #2
Perceiving directly that there is no separation between the environment and us is profoundly different from thinking about it. Working on the coast the last few years I found that the sea has its own strong “local” rhythm of ebb and flow at different sites. Her tidal changes had a profound impact on the perception of participants. I’m interested in local rhythms and work in this piece with inanimate materials, to tap deeper into their rhythmical life cycles. I want to create from seemingly inanimate materials “living” breathing object/spaces and see how deep they can affect us, and how we affect them. For Modern Body Festival I’m interested to make something so ethereal that every movement in the space impacts it.
Cocky Eek’s (NL, 1966) artistic practice has been mainly revolving around lightweight spatial compositions and her favorite media are wind and air. This resulted in floating or flying experiments or large, voluminous pneumatic forms that explore human perception where we don’t move through space, but space moves through us. She has presented her work at V2_’s DEAF – Rotterdam, Ars Electronica Festival – Linz, Le Lieu Unique – Nantes, Oerol Festival – Terschelling, AxS Festival – Los Angeles, ISEA Albuquerque – New Mexico and the Rockbund Art Museum – Shanghai. Besides her own practice she is an active member of FoAM (since 2001) and a core teacher of The ArtScience Interfaculty of the Royal Conservatoire and Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.
Commissioned for Modern Body Laboratory #2
Nandimul X is a ghost living within an artificial intelligence, or more precisely, within a machine learning model trained on the complete works of science fiction author J.G. Ballard. As this language model describes images of mysterious landscapes and structures, it both hallucinates Ballard’s artistic style and recalls his many critiques of modernism and its effects on architecture, urban life, and the natural environment.
Commissioned for the 2018 Modern Body Laboratory, Nandimul X explores the program’s theme of permanence in a post-digital world, and asks: how do histories reside in physical spaces? Can images accumulate a significance over time, different than that of the object within the image? And how may our imaginations of an afterlife be impacted by A.I. systems that are increasingly capable of archiving and emulating an individual’s creative output.
Made possible by The Modern Body Festival, Yukun Zhu, Google Artists and Machine Intelligence, Maxwell Forbes, and the University of Washington Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media.
Voice over by Kevin Walton.
Tivon Rice (US/NL) is an artist and educator working at the intersections of visual studies and technology. Based in Seattle (US) and Den Haag (NL), his work critically explores representation and communication in the context of digital culture. His projects incorporate a variety of materials – both real and virtual – and examine the ways physical environments and mass media create images, and in turn build histories around sites and communities. With recent exhibitions in China, Taiwan, Korea, and The Netherlands, Rice has focused on urban development, architecture, preservation, and visual media as key factors in determining how cities and cultures imagine their past, present, and future. Rice holds a PhD in Digital Art + Experimental Media from the University of Washington, where he is currently an Affiliate Artist. He was a 2011-2012 Fulbright Researcher in South Korea, a recipient of the inaugural 4Culture Tech Specific Grant, and one of the first artists to collaborate with Google AMI – The Artists and Machine Intelligence research group.
Commissioned for the Hot Listening Booth
Did you ever live in a drum?
Well then you aren’t me.
I only dreamt I lived in a drum. Ever since it got dark. Dreaming is hard.
Yes, but with nothing over your head?
No, just light, over my head. And underneath too.
I don’t think I could take it without anything over my head.
Well why don’t you go out and see what’s out there?
I don’t know if that’s what’s out there.
Now that’s a thought.
But still you can say darker and darker. I don’t know what the outside of this thing looks like at all.
I do. It’s dark and murky.
Floris van Bergeijk (NL, 1977) is a composer and musician. He studied musicology and composition in Utrecht. He uses electronics whenever he can because he finds the use of electronics highly entertaining and new. He has composed for different groups, individuals, ensembles and a couple of orchestra’s. Among his better works are a music theatre radioplay, a piece for big band and an opera – blahblah.
Specially prepared for the Hot Listening Booth
The work is an impressionist ode to a dry southern European heat. Scored for and performed by the seven musicians of Sweden’s Norrbotten NEO ensemble with guitarist Jacob Kellerman and conductor Christian Karlsen, it takes its leave from Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto and Miles Davis’ interpretation of that work ‘Sketches of Spain’. The work strips back and makes small mutations to the material of the original composition to conjure a vision of the dreamy calm that a semi-shaded sun-dappled heat can bring, with shimmering chords and occasional fluttering birdsong. The work was commissioned with financial support from the Fonds Podiumkunsten NL.
Pete Harden (UK/NL, 1979) is a composer and musician whose work has been called “intriguing”, “fierce, exciting”, conjuring “a subtle three-dimensional landscape” (De Volkskrant). In 2003, having completed composition studies with Louis Andriessen and Richard Ayres at the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, he helped found Ensemble Klang. As a composer his interest marries conceptually rigorous structures with rich sonic environments. He has had works commissioned and performed by, among others, the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Bang on a Can (New York) and Slagwerk Den Haag. As a guitarist he has performed with Ensemble Klang, ASKO | Schönberg, Red Note Ensemble and i Solisti. For 2017-18 he is curator-in-residence for the Red Sofa Series in De Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam.
The Water Within (Hertzian Field #3) is an interactive wet sauna: an intimate multi-sensory environment, combining hot steam, 3D sound, WiFi sensing, software intelligence, and architectural design (by Ping-Hsiang Chen). The piece re-imagines the form, function, and experience of a bathhouse from a contemporary perspective and within the context of an art exhibition. It creates an algorithmically-driven, hyper-real world of full immersion – an intense reactive space with its own microclimate and evolving soundscape, where you can slow down, disconnect and recharge while engaging with the work and other visitors in unexpected ways. The piece employs a new sensing technique I developed for my Hertzian Field works, inspired by obscure surveillance research and radio astronomy. By capturing ordinary WiFi waves and analyzing their interference patterns, the system maps sound to the flows of water molecules inside the space – those of the steam and those within the bodies of visitors.
Stelios Manousakis (GR/NL) is an artist exploring relationships between time, space, body, system, and sound. His work is particularly concerned with the invisible and the ephemeral, and with shaping sensation, perception and experience in time. His practice lies in the convergence zones of art, philosophy, science and engineering; it extends from performances, to environments and interactive installations, to compositions, fixed media pieces, and film music and has been presented internationally in venues & festivals such as ZKM Karlsruhe, Seattle Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Vigo, IDFA Amsterdam, Dag in de Branding, ICMC, NIME, Rewire festival, and Audio Art festival. Besides his solo work, he has co-founded several groups, and most recently the Modern Body Festival.
Friday, February 9, 20:00 – 01:00
Kenzo Kusuda (movement) and Zois Loumakis (light/sound) collaborate with Cocky Eek in a live performance with ‘Tidal States’.
Choreographer/dancer Kenzo Kusuda (JP/NL) reveals the poetry of the dancing body. Kusuda takes the audience to a world filled with imagination. His work is possessed of a mystic beauty that lies beyond the perception of our physical senses. Simply with the body’s movement on an almost empty stage, he is able to reveal that which is the invisible. In the days he was studying economics and business management and working part-time at the fish market in Tokyo, Kusuda discovered dance as his form of expression and gained almost immediate recognition with his very personal and intense movement language. Kusuda’s work stems from a highly original imagination and aims for a communication with his audience precisely by finding a connection with their imaginative powers.
Zois Loumakis (GR/NL) studied structural project engineering and graduated with first class honours, from the school of fine and applied arts, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He studies at artScience interfaculty MA programme in the Hague and in media technology MSc in Leiden university. He is primarily interested in compositions made by the use of light, sound, space and custom made software and is currently working with generative algorithms, and audiovisual installations. His work has been shown in Greece, Turkey, and the Netherlands.
Have Robot Dog, Will Travel is a song cycle for the technological age. In between pop music / classical voice / chaos / noise / improvisation, the performance reflects digital aesthetics and sensibilities with the irregularity and imperfection of analog instruments and the human voice. An ode to abstraction, the song cycle explores the ambiguity of being and perceiving in a blurry world.
Stephanie Pan (US/NL) is a vocalist, performance artist, maker, multi-instrumentalist and producer currently based in The Hague, the Netherlands. At the root of her work is the notion of pure communication; her work is visceral, passionate and intense, and often explores the limits of the body and voice. She has performed extensively throughout US and Europe, and presented work in venues and festivals as varied as CTM Festival Berlin, Young Vic Theatre London, La MaMa Theater NYC, Amsterdamse Stadsschouwburg, IDFA, Beursschouwburg Brussel, and Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. She is the cofounder of Modern Body Festival. Ms. Pan holds a Masters in Theatre from DasArts (AHK), a BA from UC Berkeley in Music and Applied Mathematics, and First Phase Diploma, with distinction, in Classical Singing from Koninklijk Conservatorium, The Hague.
Vitaly Medvedev (RU/NL) is a percussionist and performer, and co-founder of SonoLab Duo. He also works actively with Slagwerk Den Haag and has performed with many ensembles – such as Klang, Silbersee, Asko|Schoenberg, Cappella Amsterdam, David Kweksilber Big Band, Orkater, and Ragazze Quartet – in important festivals and venues, such as November Music, Holland Festival, Spring Festival, Oerol, MaerzMusik Berlin, and Operadagen Rotterdam. Continuing to develop as a musician and a performer, Vitaly’s practice includes collaboration in theater, dance, movement, visual and performance art, and aims to challenge the audience’s perception of contemporary percussion, music and performance. He holds a Bachelors in Percussion from Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory St. Petersburg and Prins Claus Conservatorium Groningen, and a Masters from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
Percussionist Gerri Jäger (AT/NL) is known nationally and internationally for his many diverse groups, ranging from free-improvisation, alt-rock, experimental electronic club music to avant-pop. He has played with Fred Firth (Brian Eno), Eirikur Olaffsson (Mum, Sigur Ros), Shahzad Ismaily (Tom Waits, Bonny Prince Billy), Graduale Nobili (Björk), Joachim Badenhorst (Carate Urio), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle), Han Bennink, and Jasper Stadhouders among many others. Currently active bands include Knalpot, Naked Wolf, Poker and Rooie Waas.
Gerri is interested in playing in different ways to expand boundaries in music and its genres. His solo-performance is based around semi-structured improvisations, using drums, percussion, electronics, vintage keyboards and synthesizers. Gerri uses his drum-set to trigger analogue synthesizers and manipulates it by wiring it onto a bunch of effect pedals originally made for guitar players. For every concert he prepares a new set of music.
MURW is Floris van Bergeijk’s solo electronic music project. Initially rooted in the impro no-input/noise, currently murw’s music has transformed into a more structurized rhythmical form – although improvisation is still a big part of the work, especially when performed live.
About Modern Body Laboratory
Modern Body Laboratory is a new platform from Modern Body Festival. The events showcase local makers and explore emerging themes and ideas in preparation for our next biennial edition. This year’s Modern Laboratory themes are:
• Artificial Intelligence as a modern body
• Discovering Post-Relational Aesthetics
Our first Laboratory event, Alan Turing: Artificial Intelligence and Immortality, took place in 15 November 2017, and was in collaboration with Artek Foundation.