Chairs, Speakers, sparse Light is based on the idea that sound can be an artistic material. In the context of exhibition spaces, sound thus should not be downgraded as a byproduct of an installation or be pushed into fringe events such as concerts. Therefore, the question at hand is not if, but rather how sound can be presented in an exhibition space.
To examine this question Swiss artist Martina Lussi and zweikommasieben-editor Remo Bitzi have commissioned seven international artists to compose a sound piece: Australian composer, media artist, curator and Room40-boss Lawrence English, Golden-Pudel-affiliate Nika Son, Swiss sound artist and former professor Franziska Lingg, Thrill-Jockey-signed artist and musician Koen Holtkamp, Cairo-based artist Hagar Masoud (of Egyptian Female Experimental Music Session, among others), Swiss talents Shayu + Sfairiko, and French artist, composer, poet and label owner (Shelter Press) Félicia Atkinson.
From field recordings at the intersection between “the living and the lived in,” as English describes his own piece, over to a haunting and gargling composition by Nika Son, to a grime-y excursion by Shayu + Sfairiko, the commissioned pieces represent a wide range of “sound art.”
The seven pieces originally were presented during an evening at Lucerne’s sic! Raum für Kunst in May 2018, where the setting in the space was reduced to the max—to chairs, speakers, sparse light. In December 2018, Präsens Editionen presented six of the seven original pieces on a website designed by Amsterdam-based graphic designer and programmer Luca Napoli:
The pieces are available as files for download as well.