Cultural Identities in Sound Art - Report on the workshop

Daisuke Ishida being interviewd by Sabine Sanio

Cultural Identity...this is a topic one can approach pretty widely.
That´s kind of what happened last saturday at ACUD Macht Neu in Berlin. The organizers Berlin Artist Program from DAAD and Deutschland Radio Kultur - Klangkunst let the discussion pretty open and many interesting thoughts came out of it.
I was writing all the time and wanted to share with you some issues that have been spoken, but as I don´t have the permissions, I won´t write names.

Take a deep breath and...here it goes:

sound travels easily
radio travels easily
the concept of belonging to a culture or a nation is totally obsolete
sound and video and soundscapes
making sound art not using it as an identity
using cooperations without signifying new identities

coming from soundscapes recording prespective with working with musiciains
leaving the listener the context
african masks if there isn´t any sound art in africa?
maybe not in the galleries, but on the street, in front of your home, the guy who´s doing your shoes uses his instruments to make music
lagos influences me more to make sound art
can´t sleep here because it´s too quiet
maybe berlin will make me listen differently
provoque very loud and very quiet sound

we never discuss about cultural identitites
tuff words
reading a poem in japanesese is the same as singing
basho: drop on the bowl, the sound of it inside the liquid
the sound in japanese culture he has been aware of it and it has been like this for ages

creating an environment without any clear source
ordinary place and a sound coming from somewhere
everyday life´s consciousness
doing the same routine
being confronted with something in your routine
making art bringing confrontations, intervenience
sound art technology poiesis
creating something
tracking the city
japanese pottery when you get the crack gap in the golden locker you emphasize the crack
fixing the pottery is as a very personal way the surface is named landscape in japanese
to fix it emphasizing the crack to make it more personal
finding your own crack in the city
bottom up activities
try not to control, but it is clear what i want
eating alone
a website collecting pictures of people eating alone in a restaurant
big table with playful situations
when you flip the beer something´s coming up
it doesn´t have to be sound art
after this internet thing
still therefore we´re still living in this situation
on normal streets, i am physically present
not a question of cultural identity but of everyday life
it´s me or not me
everyone with his/her own life

round table

1. visual or sound – contrast
2. relationship between everyday life cultural identity
3. is it possible to change what sounds stands for
4. what kind of a perception is sound
5. political and economical power behind this possibility to move between different cultural identities
6. cultural identity or artistical identity – is it important?

2 gigs in asia
french institute – unpolitical, entrance fee, elitist, no one interested in music
diy – political – inviting people from the neighborhood

politicians are not interested in art, are not curious
problem is also in the politics of the art, that you have to present a result
what is art for us?
haus der künste
to be widely open is producing problems
if you include so many things in this discussion like traditional music you can end anywhere
art is based on legitimation
present ourselves something useful
sound art comes from visual art
allow certain people to question
is art a product?
if somebody has an approach based on listening, if the result is traditional music, why is it not sound art?
not in traditional chinese art, not based on listening
to break the routine in sound is and european approach
why would ishida´s work not work in africa?
what is africa?

curators round table
how international is experimental music today really?
very international, because of internet, people are creating networks, subculture is growing big out of mainstream

if we consider sound art in the berlin sense,
are african artists and artists from non-mainstream countries reaching europe?
sound art is not as much sold as visual arts

sound art white male middle upper class?
i´m not interested in the sound art term
here in berlin yes
but in turkey there are lots of turkish artists
so why are they not here?
people not getting visa to fly to europe
but otherwise the societies are not so white
book about the turkish scene
it was like this in the 70es that turkish people were more integrated to the punk and noise scene

why do you travel?
first frustration
people telling that in africa or in asia there was nothing
i decided to go there and bring lots of music and make people listen to it
even people in the places ignore what people in the neighborhood were doing
people in china didn´t know a thing about vietnamese art
or in tunesia about nigeria
so i was wanting to connect them
to me internet is not enough
if you have a vynil, a cd or a tape,
you listen to it
like a book
artists in asia
how do they deal with the cultural market?
are they avoiding traditions positions?
i´m not interested in sound art as a medium, but in sound as a carrier of approaches
the other one brings his curiosity and organizes things on spot, not importing artists from the outside but using what´s there with new point of view
to create other kinds of rhythm in reality, a kind of arrhythmia
to bring in some thrive

there are different ways of understanding art
in Island if i say i´m an artists no one is asking me what kind of art i do

as a curator, what´s going in the nerves
china for instance
people are stopping doing art and doing entertainment instead because it gives money
the chinese state injects money only to get an image,
but for other countries there is no state funding, and only private
expectations, challenges of curating
challenges: finding the finances, creating the concept, mediation, communication between the works

as an artist I spend 80% of the time working on applications
how can we explain to the politicians how important is it what artists are doing?

i cannot pretend to make a big project in africa
it is the question of making it work in the reality
an invitation of an academic body means that you are already used in the moment you are there

applying for cultural funding is having to fit in the frame
i think the frame is very elastic
yes you can do big projects in africa

i dont´think it is a good idea to do everything conform

explore the area of crowdfunding
the work of an artist is to reflect the imperfections
and i see now different imperfections now as the time i was in iran
recorded in a refugee camp in germany
person singing is from algeria
a folcloric arabic singing
if i had two haearts i would leave one behind and bring one with me
reflecting the situation of being forced to move
how is it for you to be from mexico being here,
are you more here or in mexico?
the contrast of living in these 2 places is what interests me more
you have reality, visual materials and sonic materials,
you want to confront us with the reality?
produce entropy, the negative, the black whole
confront with the situation and the meaning is not important
like being in front of a wild animal, that´s stronger than you
the work with the bell
exhibited lying on the floor, not sounding
and after the exhibition being destroyed
a bell means a sound
you can buy itit for a private gallery
but if you buy it you would have to accept that the object itself will be buried under a church of the 16th century in mexico

where people where buried alive centuries ago
i´m not interested in this discourse in first person
art practice is an ethical position
art practice adressing his own person is egoist
bowles travelled in marroko 1959 with the idea of preserve it recording savage sounds
i see there potential of working with this
ahwach music and poetry in marokko
bowles positioned himself as an invisible expectator
trying to give a detailed description
he never sees himself as an observator
a kind of a lack of criticism on one´s own position
trying to rediscover a story behind the making of this archives

what stays from the first topics of the day
finding ways to work around difficulties can be very empowering
raising the question of what is sound art or not is important
who does the sound belong to

how is it, to record cultures and make sound art with it?
for me it´s over,
i think it is important to separate sound art and ethnological work
mapping sound is interesting for historic reasons
the concept of landscape in art at least 200 years old
the concept of soundscape in sound art is at the most 50 years old
soundscape is objective and not subjective
sound is phenomenological, you have to be there to experience it
problem of sound mapping is most of the time you access it in a compressed file
possibility to be in areas where you cannot be, remote areas
my problem with urban areas, most of the times it becomes this touristic postcards
playing deutsche bahn in mexico or of a market in mexico in germany
the artists do they work and most of the times, the artist is wrong
if you want to understand different realities the frame must be smaller
it depends of the intention from who is recording
maybe the problem is not the material but how i put my position clear

i don´t think i have to bring something new or provoking
when i play field recordings my goal is to please myself and hope that the audience will feel good

for me there is a difference between handcraft, art and creativity
i try to allow myself to get surprised
i think it´s impossible to say you haven´t heard nothing new in the last 10 years
there is a lot of stuff that happened before and haven´t been heard

i think he doesn´t mean something good
one wants to make the audience feel good
and the other want to provoke, to confront people with the work

for me as a sound artist
i can use any sound material but what is my sujet?
if i use sound of praying people it could be a problem for this people

i´ve been to a field recording festival,
that´s not sound art for me
but almost a kind of journalism

we can record if we want to
there are things you can only things when you´re there
i don´t wanna see your vacation photos,
i want to be there
luc ferrari is incredibly personal in farthest land

i don´t see the benefit of saying something is over
what do you mean by field recordings, what kind of practice, etc
this is not a perfect representation of places where you´ve been

About the workshop

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