Sonic Garden #3 River Time and Fog Refrains / Anna Friz, Barbara Benish
Date and time
13. 7. 2023, 5 pm
Barrier-free entrance: basement and ground floor.
Anna will discuss audio and radio art works that explore earth elements such as fog, the land transformed by fire, and the parallels between human and more-than-human transmissions. Focusing on states of change (such as condensation, evaporation, incineration, recuperation), these works listen across cycles of drought and flood, consider risk and regeneration, and tell a few ghost stories along the way. How can listening, understood as a quality of attention, reflect on the changing land in this time of urgent climate crisis? Together with field recording practices, she composes observation-based scores in response to the real-time movement of the fog or the rhythm of tides at the mouth of a river, and uses an eclectic instrumentation of electronics, voice, found objects such as lung-powered boat horns, and radiophonic instruments. The talk will include excerpts from recent durational radio art works including Fog Refrain and Water Line/Estuary Almanac.
“The environmental crisis we are experiencing calls for immediate action, as if the ship was sinking. Planet Earth is our home ship, and she needs all citizens to take action to save her. The nautical flags used on ships to communicate symbolize a visual messaging that transcends countries, boundaries, and governments. We need tools to communicate to and with our surrounding nature to understand our role as humans to steward this Ship.“
Prepared in cooperation with ArtMill, CENSE (Central European Network for Sonic Ecologies) and Mlok Association
Anna Friz is a Canadian sound, transmission and media artist, and media studies scholar. Her work reflects upon media ecologies, infrastructure and environment, time perception, radio and transmission art histories, and critical fictions, with a focus on listening, improvisation, site-specificity, and repurposing technologies. Since 1998 she has created self-reflexive radio for broadcast, installation or performance, where radio is the source, subject, and medium of the work. She also creates large-scale audiovisual installations and composes for film, theater, and contemporary dance. Her most recent works include the outdoor transmission sculpture Solar Radio (with Absolute Value of Noise) at Wave Farm, NY; the 22-hour live radio performance Fog Refrain, and We Build Ruins, a series of media art works expressively considering mining and industrial corridors in the high altitude deserts in northern Chile. Anna Friz is currently Associate Professor in the Film and Digital Media Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Barbara Benish is a California-born artist, who moved from Los Angeles to Prague in 1992 as a Fulbright scholar. She founded ArtMill (est. 2004) in rural Bohemia, an international eco-art center. From 2010-2015 she served as Advisor for U.N.E.P. in Arts & Outreach, and since 2015 is a Fellow at the Social Practice Arts Research Center of University of California, Santa Cruz. She has taught at universities for over 30 years, including co-founder of the Experimental Graphics Atelier at the Academy in Brno, Czech Republic. Benish has co-authored two books on art and the environment (Routledge), and has an upcoming visual collaboration book with political philosophers Michael Shapiro and Sam Opondo (University of Manchester Press, 2024). Her mixed media work has critiqued historical tropes that have kept unsustainable systems operating, and most recently reflects and celebrates non-human living systems. Benish’s art has been shown in hundreds of international exhibitions including alternative spaces, galleries and museums such as P.S.1 in New York, the Getty in Los Angeles, Stadtgeschichtliche Museen in Nürnburg, Germany, and the National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic.