We are excited to announce the winner of our open call for proposals to produce an artistic documentary during the final phase of the ECAS project.
The winning proposal, Sounds Fragmenting Our Present Tense, was submitted by Nathan Budzinski and Theo Cook. Their response to the brief has presented us with many interesting questions which go beyond the stories of the individual ECAS festivals. We found Nathan and Theo’s approach to using mixed media and formats appealing, and their piece has potential poetic qualities about it. They wish to imagine a future world which is organised by the logic of music and sound. The documentary will also explore the tensions between festivals and music culture at large and is not afraid to look inwards from a critical viewpoint.
“Sounds Fragmenting Our Present Tense (working title) is an audiovisual docufiction work looking and listening to the nine different ECAS festivals. Narrated by a chorus of different voices, female and male, from different nations, ages and even historical moments, Sounds Fragmenting Our Present Tense reflects upon the current state of music, national borders and identity, imagining what Europe, and the world, would look and sound like if they were organised using the logic of music.
Music festivals simultaneously address the past, present and future. They are indebted to the past, receiving and emanating echoes from music’s histories. From this, music festivals try to dream up new worlds, reenergising their noisy past for the future. Sounds Fragmenting Our Present Tense focuses on the third temporality of a music festival, the present, and how this is taken up in a particular way by each of the ECAS (and ICAS) festivals – that they are unique in using their present-times to speculate on the future, not retrench into the past and nostalgia, as so many festivals do. Specifically, the ECAS festivals purposely sit askew, strategically out of joint from their own times, they offer temporary pauses, accelerations, reverses, and fractures from their present.
Festivals like those that are part of ECAS offer states of in-between-ness for us to reflect on the past and present, and speculate about, if not create, the future. They sit at the centre of new, aesthetic creation and the audible and visible exercise of cognitive power and our world as it is – offering fragments of what was, is, and will be.
Sounds Fragmenting Our Present Tense imagines a future world where power is understood as a predominantly musical phenomenon: improvised and always shifting, borders and nations become scores, thoughts become sounds, migration becomes song, institutions become choirs.”
We take this opportunity to thank everyone who took the time to submit their proposals, which totaled an impressive of 87 submissions from 26 countries, and addressed the call’s themes and challenges from a wide and interesting array of perspectives. We would like to mention three very strong proposals received by the following artists and that were discussed in the last selection round: Petra Hermanová (www.fiordmoss.cz/petra), Christopher Thomas Allen / lightsurgeon (http://www.lightsurgeons.com/) and Ursula Böckler & Georg Graw / grawböckler (www.grawboeckler.de).
About the artists:
Nathan Budzinski and Theo Cook are London based artists and producers. Over the past few years they have collaborated together on several artists’ film projects with the Auto Italia South East artist collective, including the production of a live broadcast as part of the Institute Of Contemporary Art’s Remote Control exhibition in 2012, among others. Budzinski also works as Online Editor at The Wire magazine and regularly writes about art and music for a variety of publications. Cook regularly works on artist’s films and multimedia, including productions for Artissima Art Fair, Tate Modern, The Space, Nowness & Wallpaper.
About the jury:
The jury was comprised of representatives from four of the ECAS partner organisations and two external invited jury members who all met in Riga, Latvia to conduct the selection process:
Susanna Niedermayr (Musikprotokoll) Susanna studied fine arts and political sciences. From 1995 to 2000 she was a member of WochenKlausur, a Vienna-based international group of artists who have made sociopolitical interventions at the invitation of art institutions and cultural organisations since 1993. She has been working as an editor, presenter, web designer and curator for theORF (Ö1, FM4) since 1996, amongst others as a presenter of ORF Ö1 Kunstradio. In 2002 she set up line_in:line_out. Since 2007 she has co-curated the ORF festival musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst. Since 2008 she has been one of the two editors-in-chief of the new music program of ORF Ö1, and as a part of this also co-producer of the radio series ORF Ö1 Zeit-Ton, for which she has been working as an editor since 2000. She has published in various publications and has worked as an advisor and curator for Wien Modern, Wiener Festwochen and Turning Sounds (Warsaw), among others. She is co-author of European Meridians – New Music Territories, PFAU, 2002/2003. Susanna Niedermayr lives and works in Vienna.
Antje Weitzel Antje Weitzel works as curator and project manager in Berlin. Since 2007 she runs the Berlin project space uqbar, that was awarded by the Berlin Senate in 2013; Since 2012 she is working in the artistic office of the Berlin Biennale. Among her latest projects: Tagore’s Post Office, nGbK, Berlin (2014); Kritik und Krise – Spectres of the Future, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin (2013); Berliner Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki Theater and other venues, Berlin (2013); Maria breit den Mantel aus. Von Wunderglauben und rätselhaften Erscheinungen, Galerie im Körnerpark, Berlin (2013); Right-To-Left. Arabic and Iranian Visual Cultures, Studio 1, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin (2012); Desertmed - A project about deserted islands of the Mediterranean, nGbK, Berlin (2012). For the program of uqbar see: www.projectspace.uqbar-ev.de
Michael Duffield (FutureEverything) Michael is responsible for the administration of innovation projects at FutureEverything and supports the delivery of the annual festival in Manchester. He joined the ECAS project in 2012. Arts and culture is at the core of what Michael does.
Rihards Endriksons (Skanu Mezs) Rihards joined the Skaņu Mežs association for adventurous music and film art in 2008, and to this day continues to produce and curate exhibitions and concerts under the Skaņu Mežs brand. Has also collaborated with Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art concerning separate projects. Beyond his activities as a curator and culture worker, he has also worked as a journalist, copywriter and translator (Latvian-Russian-English). Attended the Riga Stradiņš University where he studied journalism and history of film. As of 2009, Endriksons has been contributing articles to local arts, fashion and culture magazines, including “VETO Magazine”, “Kultūras Diena” and “Mūzikas saule” as well as numerous internet media. He has also written music criticism for the now-defunct Latvian underground music webzine “Cita mūzika”, hosted his own radio show and translated literary texts by Michael Gira and John Lurie.
Christian Hollingsaeter (Insomnia) Director at Insomnia Festival, Christian Hollingsaeter is also an ambient/techno musician (under the name Le Petit Garçon), living in Tromsø.
Peter Kirn (Created Digital Music) Peter Kirn is an electronic musician and audiovisual artist. Classically trained as a pianist and composer, he now produces experimental/ambient music and live techno and teaches and writes about creative technologies. He’s known as a creative tech journalist and editor of CDM (createdigitalmusic.com), which for ten years has been a hub for covering expressive technologies for music and visual performance. He is co-creator of the open source MeeBlip synthesizer hardware (meeblip.com). He makes live and improvisatory techno music solo and with NERK as NERKKIRN (V-Records). He is also co-curator/co-founder of the audiovisual event unrender and produces MusicMakers Hacklab at CTM Festival.
Moderator: Oliver Baurhenn (DISK / CTM) Oliver Baurhenn lives in Berlin. He works as freelance curator, and has been organising CTM – Festival for adventurous music and related visual arts (formerly known as club transmediale festival) since 2002. He studied Comparative Literature, Romance Languages and Literature (French and Spanish), and Cultural Studies at the European University Viadrina at Frankfurt/Oder (DE). He is one of the founding members of several associations including DISK – Initiative Bild & Ton e.V. (Sound and Image Initiative), and the project space General Public. Since mid-2010 he is also Project Head of the 5-year project “ECAS-Networking Tomorrow’s Art for an Unknown Future” that is funded by the European Commission – Culture Program. He is also co-owner of the DISK Agency.