Movement prolongation

Essay about ‘Sound in May’, STUK + ‘Oscillation festival’ from Q-O2
May 2019

The performance of Aki Onda, Rie Nakajima and Akio Suzuki incessantly questions the spatial experience, which infuses time and space, hence, movement. Their practice represents a resonating box for the state of matter of experiencing sound-art today.

The listener is free to move around to explore the space. In this sense, the listener’s movements influences its perception while retracing auditory expressions.

Within notions of the ‘Time-domain’1, the expansion of the time could be found at the beginning of a stretched cord, in a diagonal from the ceiling and its unfolding when the performance is over. It could also be found in the action of pulling drums with cords as a bodily gesture that re-contextualized the instrument as an object.

Marking time by movement could slightly echo Wassily Kandinsky’s theory from the essay ‘Dance Curves and Point and Line to Plane’2. We recognized neat lines, points and shapes, replacing patterns through physical movements. During their performances I was asking myself where the “negative space” is created throught their actions ?

(In Labozaal, Leuven, and in the 4-hour durational performance at LaSenne in Brussels)

Where the body generates its next motion? What leads the composition? Is it lead by light transitions and reverb from the other performers’ movements?

Then it seems as a continuation from one body to another, as a ‘movement prolongation’ by the fractions between these sound units that are constantly created in the space.

Their actions in this site-specific performance came into being through the participatory presence of the visitors. Often it feels as if the public holds the impression, that some of the singular sounds produced by the performers are equally new to the performers, as they are to the audience. As they are building a specific archive of stimuli and possible future sounds, that could remain inconspicuous at first sight, they actually catalyze and filter entire sonic possibilities.

These almost-disposable sounds refer to the editing process as a live-composition through mixing the moves as they are visible and not only audible. It’s a sort of metaphorical interlacing that could embody the fade-out effect through the actual physical act.

With different approaches of structure, each of the performers edit the space with ever-changing details. It’s about how the objects’ manipulation reacts with the spaces’ acoustic texture.

A constant edit montage of sonic actions in the space...

This process seems condensed, maybe out-of-structure, unto “serendipitous movements”. As John Kelman wrote once:"Like many other moments during this often intense spatial-temporal audioscape, serendipity reigned!"3

It is a secret sort of latent listening to the whispers of architectural instructions. As if invisible feedback from the outline of the walls embrace the concentration of the spectators.

Below, two photographs showing the trace of movement prolongation. (By Diederik Craps)

Will the resolution on the aftermath of the performance arouse questions about the status of visual traces of the performance? Could it be helpful for a re-enactment/a future score?

Where doest the performative act remain in relation to documentation and archival means of time-based-media artworks?

Still, sound is running away from giving the material matter a form, which might be transmittable to the future.

It’s an attempt to once again slow down the processes of image-making, constructing meaning, introspection.

Maybe the potential of remaining could be only fulfilled by being captured in the inner ear of the listener...


1 Inspired by mathematicl theory and the book ‘Micro-sounds’ by Curtis Road

3 From AllAboutJazz.com, Victoriaville May 18, 2007