Društvo LJUDMILA, Slovenska 54
OSMO nadstropje, Avtotehna

pošta: Rozmanova 12
SI-1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia
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pon,tor,čet,pet 9h-14h
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Loops in Transmission

Staš Vrenko: Loops in Transmission
Interactive sound installation

27 & 28 December 2018 and 4, 5, 9 & 10 January 2019 @ osmo/za, Ljubljana

181227 Stas Vrenko Zanke v prenosu 010nzgank.jpg With the project Loops in Transmission Staš Vrenko continues his exploration of hardware and software processes of recording, storing, processing and transmitting of sound that was already the basis of his past works Connective or Adoption Techniques.

The project deals with technical media that are capable of constructing specific modalities of measuring and recording time while also creating unique technology-based temporalities. Interactive sound installation Loops in Transmission is based as an interactive system of three identical sound devices or tools intended for processing of sound and logical signals. The foundation of each tool are smartphone applications developed for this specific purpose, extended with a selection of analogue-digital modular electronic circuits. Through a system of (electromagnetic and data) feedbacks in individual devices and through feedback on the level of communication between devices via LAN connection, Loops in transmission resonate and sonify the microtemporal processes of analogue and digital tech media that are otherwise inaccessible to human perception.

Timeline

  • Opening: 27 December 2018 at 7PM
  • RADART 28 December 2018 at 8PM
  • Talk by Robert Bobnič: In Search of Machine Time 4 January 2019 at 6PM
  • Closing and talk with Voranc Kumar and Staš Vrenko 10 January 2019 at 6PM

Concept

Loops in Transmission continues Staš Vrenko’s exploration of hardware and software processes of recording, storing, processing and sound transmission. These were already the basis of his past works, namely Connective and Adoption Techniques, whereas in the latest project his interest for sound occurrences expands also to sonicity. As defined by German media theorist Wolfgang Ernest, sonicity denotes the oscillation events and the frequency domain as an epistemological object and is referring to unheard events in the field of the analogue and the digital, the vibrational and rhythmic. It represents a juncture of time and technology.

Technical media that are, besides measuring and recording time, also capable of time axis manipulation, and creation of unique technology-based temporalities are defined by Ernst as time-critical media. The temporalities of these technologies can only be understood in their processual time operations through the exploration of technical signals of algorithmic processes, not through the analysis of cultural signs. Their temporalities therefore disrupt the human perception of time and separate the time of human culture from the time of technical media (the tone from the frequency).

Time-critical media represent an implementation of physical and mathematical laws and are therefore not merely cultural products. Mechanical storage media (phonograph, cinematography, magnetic tape …) and electronic transmission media (radio, television….) are based on analogue processes that introduce particular discontinuities by enabling storage and re-play of sounds. In the 20th century these technical media caused crucial shifts in the field of music that was (in Western tradition) based on the symbolisation of sound (notation) until then.

The temporality of digital devices, which transform sound signals into numeric (binary) form - once again a particular symbolised one -, is linked to the material characteristics of analogue components (e.g. RC oscillator that generates the operative frequency of digital devices). Mathematised sonicity is also present in certain electronic sound synthesizers, in which digital signals function as trigger and gate signals or as square-wave sounds. The transition from the analogue to the digital paradigm also represents a shift in procedures of temporal processing from the use of signal delay lines to micro-temporal calculated time windows. These make the digitally calculated real-time fundamentally dynamic: »The computer was never as time-critical [...] [T]he necessary connections corresponding to the commands coded in working memory are only established when needed, which results in greater flexibility in the time-critical field.« 1

The interactive sound installation Loops in Transmission explores the unperceivable time processes of technical media – specifically their implicit sonicity – through a system of three identical sound devices. These three are dedicated to sound and logical signals processing both on the software and on the hardware level; the basis of the individual devices’ processes are custom built applications running on smartphones, enhanced with a selection of electronic circuits based on analogue-digital chips. The processing of electro-magnetic signals (in wave forms) intervenes with the temporality of digital media (smartphone or mobile applications). The circuit enables direct intervention in the digital output signal, which is being processed according to analogue and digital principles. Another intriguing “shift” in the circuit however is the transition of the electric signal into the form of sound on a minimal physical distance between the speaker and the microphone which are both integrated within the circuit.

The key level of the instruments is the system of (electromagnetic and data) feedback loops in individual devices and loops on the level of communication between the devices through a LAN connection. The function of feedback loops in Loops in Transmission can be thought through the prism of Alvin Lucier’s work I am sitting in a room (1969), in which the play and record feedback of speech amplifies the resonating frequencies of the space and blurs words into rhythmical sonority. This procedure transforms sound into a »chrono-poetic event where the true chrono-poet is the recorder itself«.2

Similarly, through self-resonating of the technical media itself, and with series of real-time signal amplifications, the dynamic feedbacks in Loops in Transmission inevitably also amplify the latencies which, in the interaction with technology, brings to the forefront the vast quantity of micro-temporal configurations needed for successful media operations. The system of feedback loops enables an indirect sonification of the micro-temporal processes of analogue and digital technical media. Therefore, Loops in Transmission can be at once understood as a sound and a measuring tool, an instrument based on a specific (media archaeological) method that is not »just a human mode of understanding technology, [but] is also a form of technical perception in which the technological device itself turns into a listening organ.« 3 This said, the ‘technological message of the media’ also becomes its musical substance.

Maja Burja

1Wolfgang Ernst, Chronopoetics: The Temporal Being and Operativity of Technological Media, Rowman & Littlefield International, London 2016, 88.
2Wolfgang Ernst, Sonic Time Machines: Explicit Sound, Sirenic Voices, Implicit Sonicity, Amsterdam University Press, Amstredam 2016, 39.
3Ibid, 31.

Events

Robert Bobnič: In Search of Machine Time (lecture)

Date: 4 January 2019 at 6PM

Through the project Loops in Transmission the lecture will follow the path of media-archaeologic and its techno-epistemological understanding of a operability of time within technologically mediated and automated processes of sonicity. On this basis, we will then try to specifically contemplate on the recursive and affective (time) economy of digital cultures and aesthetics. In addition, the concept of a loop will be conceptualized as a potential uncontrolled affection.
Robert Bobnič (1985) is a Ph.d. candidate of Media Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana, editor, and writer. Since 2017 he has been a member of the editorial board of the magazine ŠUM, and in the past worked as editor of the Department for Culture and Humanities Radia Študent (2013-2016) and as editor-in-chief of Tribuna (2011-2012). He is a member of the collective ŠOP Records.

Voranc Kumar & Staš Vrenko (talk)

Date: 10 January 2019 at 6PM

At the closure day of the interactive sound installation Loops in Transmission, Voranc Kumar (ŠUM) will lead a discussion with author Staš Vrenko on a series of questions that characterize the artist’s practice.
Voranc Kumar (1990) holds the master's degree in sculpture and is a Ph.d. student of philosophy at the Faculty of Arts (UL FF). He works as scenographer and video artist for theatre productions, visual artist and writer and editor. Since 2011 he worked on more than twenty theatre productions in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, and Italy. Since 2013 he took part in various group exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad, and presented his work at two solo exhibitions in Škuc Gallery and P74 Gallery. Since 2018 he works at ŠUM – a journal for contemporary art and theory as writer and editor.

About the author

Staš Vrenko (1991) born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, where he is continuing his master studies at the Sculpture Department. His interdisciplinary artistic practice combines exploration of various artistic fields with process orientated research, uncovering many different technological and medium- related specifics of the material he is working with, while focusing on innovative and original approaches in various aspects of sound, sound design, field recording, kineticism and segments of performative arts. Beside his independent work in the field of sound art, he is also a member of the audio-literary group nevem nevem.

He often collaborates with other artists, producing sound designs for videos and installations and has worked as a set designer for theatre shows. He has exhibited at several group exhibitions: at the international Lighting Guerilla Festival at the Vžigalica Gallery (2012), at the exhibition 4.4. in Ljubljana's Škuc Gallery (2013), at the U3 | 7th Triennial of Contemporary Art in Slovenia | Resilience at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova in Ljubljana (2013) and at the STIK/H exhibition for Days of poetry and wine at the Fürst house in Ptuj (2013). He presented his audio-visual performances at AKC Metelkova Mesto in Ljubljana and Sokolski dom in Škofja Loka (2014), at the Ljubljana's Strictly Analog festival (2015) and the Lighting Guerrilla Festival (2016). He has held solo concerts at the Young Rhymes Festival in Menza pri koritu (AKC Metelkova mesto Ljubljana), held a live radio-concert for Radio Student (Ljubljana) and has held solo concerts at Pritličje and Modri Kot in Ljubljana (all in 2015).

Author: Staš Vrenko
Curator: Lenka Đorojević
Text and co-curating: Maja Burja
Production: Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory (Tina Dolinšek) and Projekt Atol Institute (Uroš Veber).
Credits: RogLab, Luka Frelih, Daniel Iglesia and Uroš Veber

The project is being realized in cooperation with the ŠUM magazin and is supported by MOL – Department for Culture and Slovene Ministry of Culture. It is part of EASTN-DC Network, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

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