Performance / The Room Above
- Abstract: The Room Above is an electroacoustic piece developed during an art residency in Genoa in the second pandemic lockdown. The central element of the composition is an organ situated in the church above the residence. The work was conceived in the moment without a written score, and after long walks in the surrounding nature. The church contains an intrinsic architectural sonic spatial identity. The recordings of the organ and its reverberations in the architectural space were then sampled and reworked. The addition of the sonic spaces, those initially recorded, those of the future concert venues, and those present in the mental imagery of the listener during the concert, shall lead to a sonic moiré, a polyphony of spaces. The conceptual idea of the sonic moiré is an auditory perception of several layers of space and comparable to that which emerges visually from Marcel Duchamp’s rotoreliefs. Such perception exists between the work and the spectator, and here between the work and the listener. The sonic moiré changes according to the typologies of each concert venue, and its ultimate goal is to produce an illusion of cinematic experience for the mind of the listener. The artistic research process combines our experience in the sonic arts and our scientific expertise in the cognitive neuroscience of perception to explore the mutual interactions between visual and auditory stimulations for the mental elaboration of illusory or hallucinatory precepts. The objective is to accompany the audience to reach a state of dedicated listening, leading to a focused attention to the experienced sensations and perceptions, in order to magnify mental imageries. To leave room for such ‘auralization’, visuals should thus not entirely capture the attention of the audience. We explore ways to merge or alternate the stimuli and specifically address the role of rituals for this goal.
- Biography: Luca Forcucci, artist, scholar and guest professor, observes perceptive properties of the first person experience through large scale installations, compositions, video, photography and writing. The research investigates mental imagery of sonic architectures. The works were held at Ars Electronica Linz, Biennale del Mediterraneo Palermo, Museo Reina Sofia Madrid, Centro Hélio Oiticica Rio de Janeiro, The Lab San Francisco, Rockbund Museum Shanghai, MAXXI Rome, or Akademie der Künste Berlin. His plateform UBQTLAB.ORG develops art and science encounters.
Bruno Herbelin is senior researcher in virtual reality and cognitive neuroscience in the laboratory of Prof. O. Blanke at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. He was deputy director of the EPFL Center for Neuroprosthetics (2012-2019), and Assistant Professor at the Medialogy Department of Aalborg University, Denmark (2005-2009). He obtained his PhD at EPFL School of Computer and Communications in 2005 for his research work on virtual reality exposure therapy.
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