Tomás Saraceno: Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions
Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions at NTU CCA Singapore is a new production by Tomás Saraceno commissioned by the centre that brings his long-term research on spider webs into the realm of sound. The artist uses spider webs as musical instruments embodying the incredible structural properties of the spider’s silk, but also the spider’s sophisticated mode of communication through vibrations.
Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions is a pioneering investigation by Saraceno and his studio in Berlin that involves a range of collaborators from various universities and disciplines. The exhibition space is turned into an interactive sound and visual installation, a process-driven laboratory for experimentation that pushes the boundaries of interspecies communication.
As an extension of the exhibition, a dedicated website (www.arachnidorchestra.org) will operate as a research platform and playful hypertext of musical tuning.
Curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director and Anca Rujoiu, Curator, Exhibitions.
This panel will be an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Tomás Saraceno’s new production, Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions and how it situates in his wider investigations of the spider webs. Participants include: Tomás Saraceno, artist, Argentina/Germany; Peter Jäger, arachnologist, Germany and Elizabeth A. Povinelli, critical theorist and filmmaker, United States.
Moderated by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, Anca Rujoiu, Curator, Exhibitions, Magdalena Magiera, Curator, Outreach & Education, NTU CCA Singapore.
Dr. Peter Jäger received his doctorate from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and is current Head of Arachnology at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. He has discovered more than 300 species of spiders and is the Co-Editor of the World Spider Catalog, the most used internet tool in the field of Arachnology.
Elizabeth A. Povinelli teaches in anthropology and gender studies at Columbia University, New York City. She was previously editor of Public Culture and a founding member of the Karrabing Film Collective. Her writing and filmography focuses on the conditions of Late Liberalism.
Performed by Brian O’Reilly, this is the first session in a series of live performances that will activate the spider instruments created for Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions and test the possibilities of inter-species communication through the means of sound. Introduced by Peter Jäger, arachnologist, Germany.
Brian O’Reilly is a Singapore-based musician and a lecturer at LASALLE’s School of Contemporary Music. He works within the fields of electro-acoustic composition, moving images, and noise music. Currently he is performing audio and visuals solo and in the groups Iron Egg & Black Zenith.
Live performance by arachnids and Bani Haykal, artist, Singapore. Introduced by Joseph Koh, arachnologist, Singapore.
*Part of Art Day Out! at Gillman Barracks
Entitled variations on hello, Bani Haykal’s performance pursues Saraceno’s idea of a feedback mechanism between spiders and humans as a form of interspecies communication. The work will incorporate a set of materials to transmit vibrations to the spiders, in the attempt that specific frequencies and rhythmic patterns will trigger a response.
Bani Haykal is a member of OFFCUFF and b-quartet, as well as the Singaporean avant rock band, The Observatory. A former Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore, Haykal was a recipient for the Young Artists’ Award (2013) and has been selected for the 2015 President’s Young Talents exhibition currently presented at the Singapore Art Museum.
Joseph K. H. Koh has been documenting Southeast Asian spiders outside his previous duties as an ambassador and senior government official since 1972. His research has led to several scientific papers describing new spider species from Singapore and Brunei, a pictorial field guide of Singapore spiders (1991) and another on Borneo spiders (2014). Mr Koh retired in 2012 as the Singapore High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam. He is currently an Honorary Research Affiliate at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum of the National University of Singapore.
Live performance by arachnids and Joyce Beetuan Koh, musician (Singapore). Introduced by Etienne Turpin, philosopher (Indonesia)
Joyce Koh’s performance is informed by the image of the spider web as a sonic canvas, where the spider travels and leaves traces of its musical footprints. By mapping the movements of the spider as it is constructing its web with a three-point visual capture, Koh will interpret the data set as musical articulations and create a musical score for three musicians.
Joyce Beetuan Koh is a Senior Lecturer and Vice Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts since January 2014. She writes concert music, works in dance collaborations, creates sound installations and multimedia productions. Her music has been performed by BBC Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Australia Song Company, amongst others. She participated at major festivals including Birmingham Frontiers Festival, Biennale Musique Frances and Concertegbougw Netherlands. Her recent multimedia works included Future Feed and Moving Sketches.
Etienne Turpin is a philosopher studying, designing, curating, and writing about complex urban systems, political economies of data and infrastructure, aesthetics and visual culture, and Southeast Asia colonial-scientific history. He is member od SYNAPSE International Curators’ Network of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, where he is a co-editor of the intercalations: paginated exhibition series as part of the Das Anthropozaen-Projekt. He lives and works in Jakarta, where he is director of anexact office and co-director and co-principal investigator of PetaJakarta.org.