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Elevate Arts - the art programme of Elevate Festival 2020 at a glance
From church bells to the Schlossberg Lift - Elevate Arts goes public space
Saturday afternoon the Mariahilferkirche becomes the scene of an extraordinary performance. In one of his rare carillon concerts, Charlemagne Palestine will make the chimes of the church sound. In his predominantly improvisational and hypnotic concerts, rhythmic patterns and sound figures are repeated as often as necessary until the sounds begin to vibrate into each other and overtones to reveal themselves.
At the same occasion organ of the Mariahilferkirche will be played by Katharina Klement. Graz-originated Musician and composer Katharina Klement and composer inhabits the space between composition and improvisation. The piano is her main instrument, and she explores its tonal spectrum with a myriad of extended playing techniques. Klement also often integrates electronics and extra-musical materials into her pieces.
In "Grounding", a performance by Finnish artist, Roi Vaara, the city itself becomes a sound generator. Equipped with a Fender Stratocaster and a guitar amp, Vaara will move through the streets of Graz. But instead of playing the guitar, he will slowly drag the instrument over different surfaces of the streets. The result will be as poetic as it will irritate. Since the early 80s, Vaara has been providing controversial performances and is considered one of the most recognized Scandinavian performance artists.
For the first time this year the lift of the Schlossberg will also be used as a venue. In a permanent sound installation inside the Schlossberg elevator, Finnish musicians Jimi Tenor will present his version of elevator music. The eccentric artist whose musical work ranges from shrewd disco funk to big band jazz to quirky electronics and self-deprecating Muzak, has produced music especially for the occasion, designed to spread good vibes whilst moving up and down with the elevator.
Sound Art - Fundamental research and trendsetting
One of the central collaborations of the festival takes place this year as part of the Creative Europe Project Re-Imagine Europe between the IEM (Graz’s own Institute for Electronic Music) and renowned Parisian institution, INA GRM. In this context composer François Bayle in the 1970s created the Acousmonium, a loudspeaker orchestra consisting of up to 50 individually controllable loudspeakers. In compositions developed especially for this purpose, it is now possible to model sounds accurately and to distribute them in space. This original Bayle-designed Acousmonium is now to be used for a special event in the Györgi Ligeti Hall of the Mumuth in Graz.
A series of specially developed compositions and live concerts will feature international stars of the contemporary electronic and improv-scene, including minimal electronics engineers Jan Jelinek and John Chantler, advanced cellists Okkyung Lee and Lucy Railton, sound hardliners Stephen O'Malley and Peter Rehberg aka KTL, experimental electronics duo utrumque, and also the curator of the programme, François Bonnet himself (aka Kassel Jaeger).
These events are made possible by the Creative Europe project Re-Imagine Europe.
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Musicians Dorian Concept and Zanshin also carry out some basic research with their commissioned work, entitled "Half Chance", artistically approaching one of the prototypes of the synthesizer: the Max Brand Synthesizer. While synth wizard Dorian Concept tampers with the keys and pedals, Zanshin will be operating the controls of the sound generator.
The instrument used in the installative performance "TORSO" by musician and sound artist Peter Kutin is similarly eccentric. In his installation, which won the Golden Nica in 2019, Kutin deals with psychoacoustic effects, referencing works such as Brion Gysin's "Dreamachine". In doing so, he blurs the boundaries between synthetic and human sound production.
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Immersive VR worlds and digital activism
During the festival, the basement of the Forum Stadtpark will be converted into an exhibition space for two VR installations. Installation "end(O)" by Spanish artist Alba G. Corral combines aesthetic concept with technical research. Together with the musician Alex Augier, Corral explores the possibilities of synesthetic experiences using generative software.
The VR project by artist duo Depart is similarly immersive. In their installation, "The Entropy Gardens", they deal with one of the most archetypal arts of mankind: garden art. "The Entropy Gardens" builds a virtual garden as a poetic ecosystem and positions itself in the field of tension between experimental film, media art and computer games.
In cooperation with the esc laboratory for media arts, a residency has finally awarded. In the highly explosive project ad.watch, Indian artist Nayantara Ranganathan and Spanish artist Manuel Beltrán deal with political advertising in social media.
For this purpose, data sets of political advertisements on Facebook and Instagram are collected, analyzed and made available to the public. An interface will make it possible to evaluate the ads placed by country, population stratum, orientation and invested budget and to investigate their use. ad.watch will be experienced as an installation.
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