Take me, Bring me
Participatory 5-channel sound installation, 2018
Military stretcher, army backpack, sleeping mask, transducers on wood, plastic and metal, open-ear headphones with bone conducter techonology.
'Take me, bring me' is a reflection on the vulnerability of our senses and position of helplessness. Using a 5-channel system of surface transducers this sound installation takes visitors on a sonic trip. It encourages listening through your body mediated through the choice of individual sleeping positions.
In 2017 I took a train from Kyiv to Sloviansk, a small town in Donetsk Oblast. The nearest local airport in Luhansk was destroyed in 2014, in the conflict between the Ukrainian forces and the separatist groups from Eastern Ukraine supported by Russia. The battles over that airport were all over the news and YouTube, captured by mobile phones of conflict witnesses. The airport is still in ruins. But there is an old post-soviet night train instead. It takes 11 hours to do that journey, most of it you should be sleeping.
The reality is different. The banging and groaning sounds of carriage metal parts were so severe that I could feel material vibrations with my whole body. For me, that journey has become a painful symbol, a reminder of the destruction that political and military conflicts bring into the normal flow of life. Laying on a train shelf, feeling the resonance of metal parts banging against each other, I was carried away by the force which was too big to resist.
Later on, the sound recordings I made on the train became a metaphor for the violent conflict, a soundtrack that uses no words. To create a space where the listening experience happens, I acquired a decommissioned military stretcher from NATO supplies.
The original field recordings from the train and audio bits extracted from the videos published on YouTube by the witnesses of the conflict in 2014-2015 are edited together in a multilayered way. Reinforced by the tactile aspects and physical noises created by the audio transducers attached to the stretcher and outside of it on various materials (metal, wood, hard plastic). For this sonic experience, I keep the ears of the participants open, so that the installation audio could be fused together with the accidental sounds shaped by the acoustics of the exhibition space and the audience, creating an immersive total experience.
video documentation, AIR 'Manufactuur' in De Bijloke Muziekcentrum (Ghent, 2018).
'Take me, bring me' can be experienced in one-on-one listening sessions and as a public performance. Set in the shape of a sonic installation, it is performed for each visitor individually. Within this installation I take a role of a host, greeting every participant and guiding them through the choice of sleeping positions, as well as an after talk by the end of the session.
Besides the participant level, this work also has qualities of public performance: when the audience listens to the sounds coming from the installation while observing a human body laying on the stretcher in a dormant mode.
Modern Body Festival 2018: ALIEN BODIES, The Hague, NL
Documentation from De Bijloke Muziekcentrum, Ghent, Belgium
Museum Night 2018, De Appel Arts Center, Amsterdam, NL
The development of this installation was possible thanks to technical advising and support from Overtoon (Brussels) and De Bijloke Music Center (Ghent). This project was generously supported by Mondriaan Fonds.