The ISM Hexadome is an immersive 360° audiovisual installation series combining art and technology. It is the first exhibition and the first step in the ISM’s goal to redefine the museum experience, establishing a home for sound, immersive art and electronic music culture in Berlin.
ISM Hexadome (2018-03)Institute for Sound and Music
The ISM Hexadome was designed to reflect the progress of our time and the artists among us pushing the boundaries between technological possibilities and artistic spaces. The exhibition has so far toured through Germany, Canada and the USA, and collaborated with a number of renowned artists.
The ISM Hexadome is comprised of a visual projection architecture designed by digital media studio, Pfadfinderei, and the ‘Klangdom’, an advanced multi-channel speaker configuration created by ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics. The Klangdom utilizes 3D spatialization software Zirkonium developed by ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany and Panoramix developed by IRCAM’s STMS research lab in Paris, France.
ISM Hexadome Tour
Premiered in Berlin in 2018, the ISM Hexadome has now been presented in four cities, with San Francisco, Montreal and Massachusetts in 2019 as part of the Goethe Institute “Year of German American Friendship” initiative with the German Foreign Office. The ISM Hexadome was designed to travel, commissioning new work with each new host location. Further locations are planned for 2020 and beyond.
Gropius Bau, Berlin, 2018
Over four weekends, a selection of live performances and installations were presented by nine audio-visual artist collaborations from Peru, Netherlands, Belgium, Armenia, England, Australia, Germany, Canada and USA. These works represented a diverse range of concepts and disciplines, from 3D universes, artificial neural networks, ancient iconography, matrixes of oscillators, collages of voices and hymns, electron microscopes, and a cast of live actors leading crowd participation. All artists were first invited for a residency to develop their work using the Klangdom technology from the ZKM in Karlsruhe. This work was then presented as both an installation and an evening of live performance.
Audience during performance of "Empty Formalism" at Gropius Bau (2018-03) by Spencer BrayInstitute for Sound and Music
The Institute for Sound and Music was proud to present Brian Eno's "Empty Formalism." This was the first installation for the ISM Hexadome and the world premiere of Brian Eno's latest work commissioned for the ISM Hexadome at Gropius Bau in Berlin, in partnership with Berliner Festspiele and their director, Thomas Oberender.
Photo of Brian EnoInstitute for Sound and Music
Brian Eno is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer, writer, and visual artist. He is best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rock, pop, electronic, and generative music. A self-described "non-musician," Eno has helped to introduce a variety of unique conceptual approaches and recording techniques into contemporary music, advocating a methodology of "theory over practice" throughout his career.
"Empty Formalism" at Gropius Bau (2018-03) by Spencer BrayInstitute for Sound and Music
"A few years ago I was at a painting show with a friend of mine. He was critical of the work. He said, 'Well, it's just empty formalism isn't it?' I thought, 'Yes, it is. And actually that's what I like—empty formalism. Like music...'. It's funny that visual art is expected to have some sort of decodable message, to be translatable into words (which is what art critics think their job is), whereas nobody expects that of music. Music has always been a completely abstract art form and nobody minds. It never had a figurative life: there was never a form of music that painted sound-pictures of landscapes or nude torsos or groups of peasants in villages.
Whereas people will say of an abstract painting 'What's it meant to be? What does it mean?' they never ask the same questions about music. Music is what it is, and you either like it or you don't. You don't have to 'understand it'. Nobody ever said of a Roy Orbison song, or a Mozart sonata: 'I don't understand it, I don't know what it's supposed to mean'. It is what it is, and its 'meaning'—whatever that word means—is its effect on you.
This show is a version of empty formalism. By that I mean that the work is closer to the history of music than to the history of painting or sculpture."
Frank Bretschneider & Pierce Warnecke's "Approximate Accuracy" at Gropius Bau (2018-03) by Udo SiegfriedtInstitute for Sound and Music
After a week long presentation of Empty Formalism, the following weekends displayed live performances and installations from 8 other artistic collaborations.
Frank Bretschneider & Pierce Warnecke (2018-03) by Udo SiegfriedtInstitute for Sound and Music
Audience during the exhibiton of "Aproximate Accuracy" (2018-03)Institute for Sound and Music
Lara Sarkissian at Gropius Bau (2018-03) by Skye SobejkoInstitute for Sound and Music
Jemma Woolmore performing "Thresholds" (2018-03)Institute for Sound and Music
"The Burial Theme: Trans-Matter Port and Objects" being presented live by CAO and Michael Tan (2018-03) by Ben FawkesInstitute for Sound and Music
"City Rats" by Thom Yorke & Tarik Barri (2018-03) by Udo SigfriedInstitute for Sound and Music
Audience during live performance at Gropius Bau (2018-03)Institute for Sound and Music
"Spawn Training Ceremony I: Deep Belief" live exhibition (2018-03) by Skye SobejkoInstitute for Sound and Music
Live performance of "Spawn Training Ceremony I: Deep Belief" at Gropius Bau (2018-03) by Skye SobejkoInstitute for Sound and Music
Photo from "Spawn Training Ceremony I: Deep Belief" live performance at Gropius Bau (2018-03)Institute for Sound and Music
"Spawn Training Ceremony I: Deep Belief" live performance at Gropius Bau (2018-03) by Skye SobejkoInstitute for Sound and Music
"Spawn Training Ceremony I: Deep Belief" being presented live at Gropius Bau (2018-03)Institute for Sound and Music
Suzanne Cianni at Funkhaus Berlin (2018-02) by Giovanni DominiceInstitute for Sound and Music
In March 2019, as part of the forthcoming 'Wunderbar Together' initiative tour of the ISM Hexadome, celebrating a year of German - American friendship, the ISM commissioned a new piece for the Hexadome with electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani, in collaboration with visual artist AudeRrose. Suzanne and Aude spent a week in Studio 2 of the Funkhaus in Berlin where the 52 channel sound system, and 6 projection screen 'Floating Hexadome' (a lighter touring version) was assembled. This week long residency resulted in the work 'Under the Electric Sea' which was to be premiered at the Gray Area Festival in San Francisco in July 2019 and became a part of the programme as it travelled on to Montreal and MASS MoCA. Wunderbar Together was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut and supported by the Federation of German Industries.
Suzanne Cianni during her residency at Funkhaus (2018-02) by Giovanni DominiceInstitute for Sound and Music
Gray Area Festival, San Francisco, USA 2019
The first stop on the Wunderbar Together tour was Gray Area Festival in San Francisco where Suzanne Ciani’s installation was presented for the first time to the public along with two live performances of her piece. The other 8 installations commissioned from the Gropius Bau in Berlin were also presented to visitors.
Suzanne Cianni at Gray Area Festival (2019-07)Institute for Sound and Music
Suzanne Cianni's live performance at Gray Area Festival (2019-07)Institute for Sound and Music
René Löwe and Pfadfinderei's "The P!eace" at Gray Area Festival (2019-07)Institute for Sound and Music
"The Burial Theme: Trans-Matter Port and Objects" by CAO and Michael Tan at Gray Area Festival (2019-07)Institute for Sound and Music
Audience watching "The Burial Theme: Trans-Matter Port and Objects" by CAO and Michael Tan (2019-07)Institute for Sound and Music
Holly Herndon & Mathew Dryhurst's "Spawn Training Ceremony I: Deep Belief" at Gray Area Festival (2019-07)Institute for Sound and Music
Frank Bretschneider & Pierce Warnecke's "Approximate Accuracy" being played at Gray Area Festival (2019-07) by Mariah TiffanyInstitute for Sound and Music
Audience watching "City Rats" at Gray Area Festival (2019-07)Institute for Sound and Music
Thom Yorke & Tarik Barri's "City Rats" at Gray Area Festival (2019-07)Institute for Sound and Music
Audience watching "Adaptive Enquiry No. 1" by Peter Van Hoesen & Heleen Blanken (2019-07) by Mariah TiffanyInstitute for Sound and Music
"Adaptive Enquiry No. 1" by Peter Van Hoesen & Heleen Blanken at Gray Area Festival (2019-07) by Mariah TiffanyInstitute for Sound and Music
"The Center Cannot Hold" by Ben Frost & MFO being exhibited at Gray Area Festival (2019-07)Institute for Sound and Music
Suzanne Cianni's "Under the Electric Sea" at Gray Area Festival (2019-07) by Mariah TiffanyInstitute for Sound and Music
MAC, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, Canada 2019
In collaboration with MUTEK and the MAC, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the ISM Hexadome was presented from August 13th to September 2nd 2019 for the 20th edition of Mutek Festival. In partnership with Mutek, a newly commissioned new piece from Montreal artist, Herman Kolgen was debuted. This was the second stop of the “Wunderbar Together” initiative, presenting the now ten installation works, and live concert performances from Herman Kolgen during the festival. In addition, a special screening of Darren Aronofsky’s controversial environmental parable "Mother!" was adapted by NYC based audiovisual collective Little Cinema to a multiscreen narrative experience. Shot inside an octagon shaped house, the architecture of the ISM Hexadome literally mirrors the film's peculiar set, placing the viewer inside the movie as the screens wrap around 360 degrees. A one-off truly unique immersive cinematic experience.
Herman Kolgen's live performance at MUTEK (2019-08) by Vivien GaumandInstitute for Sound and Music
Herman Kolgen presenting live at MUTEK (2019-08) by Vivien GaumandInstitute for Sound and Music
Herman Kolgen performing "Retina" at MUTEK (2019-08) by Vivien GaumandInstitute for Sound and Music
Herman Kolgen performing at MUTEK (2019-08) by Vivien GaumandInstitute for Sound and Music
Screening of "Mother!" (2019-08) by Luke NeherInstitute for Sound and Music
MASS MoCA, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Massachusetts, USA 2019
The final stop of the “Wunderbar Together” tour took place at MASS MoCA - Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. This marked a triumphant ending to a meaningful and international collaboration spanning two years of dedicated work at an incredible institution with a great history alongside exhibitions from prominent artists, such as, Anish Kapoor, Sol LeWitt, James Turrell, Laurie Anderson, and Annie Lennox. The presentation of the ISM Hexadome took place over the thanksgiving weekend receiving a multigenerational audience, with senior citizens, parents and children all equally at home in the space and enjoying the shared direct experience of multichannel spatial sound paired with mesmerising visuals. In addition to all the work commissioned over the last two years, an adaptation of the film "Never Ending Story', by Little Cinema, and an educational workshop for Berklee College of Music Students were added to the programming.
"The Neverending Story" projection at MASS MoCA (2019-02)Institute for Sound and Music
Exclusively for MASS MoCA, the ISM partnered with Brooklyn-based Little Cinema. to present The Neverending Story, which marks the second film adapted exclusively for the ISM Hexadome’s 6 screen, 52 speaker cinematic format after ‘Mother’ from Darren Aronosky was presented in Montreal. Viewers experienced a 15 minute ’shared VR’ journey through Fantasia, learning how "The Nothing is destroying our world".
Berklee College of MusicInstitute for Sound and Music
During the program at MASS MoCA, the ISM launched an immersive education workshop with Berklee College of Music. Students from the Berklee interdisciplinary Arts institute, under the direction of Neil Leonard, had the opportunity to work with and contribute to the perpetual development of the ISM Hexadome. The immersive education workshop offered hands on interaction with the technology, and explored ways in which leading edge immersive formats for fine art can advance cultural engagement now and in the future. The participating students split into two groups, each group with visual and sound artists, and over the course of two days of exploration developed original pieces.
Workshop at Berklee College of Music (2019-12) by Brendan PowerInstitute for Sound and Music
Workshop given at Berklee College of Music (2019-12) by Brendan PowerInstitute for Sound and Music
Suzanne Ciani (2019-02) by Giovanni DominiceInstitute for Sound and Music
UNDER THE ELECTRIC SEA
Suzanne Ciani is a five-time Grammy award nominated composer, electronic music pioneer, and neo-classical recording artist whose work has been featured in countless commercials, video games, and feature films. Over the course of her 40+ year career, she's released 16 solo albums, including "Seven Waves," "The Velocity of Love," and most recently, her comeback quadraphonic Buchla modular synth performance recording “LIVE Quadraphonic.” She's been recognized as Keyboard Magazine's "New Age Keyboardist of the Year," provided the voice and sounds for Bally's groundbreaking "Xenon" pinball machine, created Coca-Cola’s pop-and-pour sound, designed Atari’s sound logo, played concerts all over the globe, and carved out a niche as one of the most creatively successful female composers in the world. "A Life in Waves", a documentary about Ciani’s life and work, debuted at SXSW and is available to watch on all digital platforms.
"Under the Electric Sea" by Suzanne Cianni and AudeRrose (2019-07) by Mariah TiffanyInstitute for Sound and Music
AudeRrose is a multi-disciplinary artist working with performance, photography, sound and projection. In the past years she produced a collection of photographic prints using alternative techniques like photograms, chemigram, cyanotype and lumen prints. The result of her work are series of organic motives declined in a serial collection, exploring the expanded possibilities of printing with paper, sun, chemical reactions, revisiting the avant-garde techniques of the pioneers of experimental photography.
UNDER THE ELECTRIC SEA (2019) by Suzanne Ciani & AudeRroseInstitute for Sound and Music
"The Center Cannot Hold" by Ben Frost & MFO (2019-07) by Mariah TiffanyInstitute for Sound and Music
THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD
"Spatialized deconstructions of material from the 2016 'The Centre Cannot Hold' recording sessions form the backbone of Frost’s work for Hexadome. The piece is a document of an event, of a room, and of the composer within it. It is music that is not fully controlled and appears to be anxiously, often violently competing against its creator."
Born in 1980 in Melbourne, Australia, Ben Frost relocated to Reykjavík, Iceland, in 2005. Working closely with friends Valgeir Sigurðsson and Nico Muhly, he formed the Bedroom Community record label/collective.
Frost’s work juxtaposes music, rhythm, technology, the body, performance, text, art, beauty, and violence, combining and coalescing the roles and procedures of various artistic disciplines.
"The Center Cannot Hold" at Gray Area Festival (2019-07) by Mariah TiffanyInstitute for Sound and Music
Marcel Weber (MFO) is a visual artist who works with imagery, light and space. He has been directing and producing audiovisual performances, stage designs, video works and installations since 2001. Weber's performances are concerned with memory and perception, identity formation and dissolution – particularly in the context of possible futures and their underlying mythologies.
His work is marked by a well-defined and distinctive aesthetic, using images that both resonate with and form a relationship to sound. Applying to visuals the musical language, with its ability to shape emotional worlds, an ethereal quality emerges, brought to life by his passion for experimental narratives.
THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD (2018) by Ben Frost & MFOInstitute for Sound and Music
Photo of CAO (2018)Institute for Sound and Music
THE BURIAL THEME: TRANS-MATTER PORT AND OBJECTS
"Inspired by ancient Moche iconography and cosmology, the work explores the dualities of life/death, generation/destruction, and cohesion/dispersion cycles and how they appear as two planes constantly transposed onto one another. The Moche cosmology envisioned certain gates that render the intersections of both planes as a space for events. One of these might be considered the ceremonial or ritual space, a realm in which the distance and division between both worlds would blur.
The work aims to explore the ceremonial object both in its native context and as an 'unearthed object', expressing its connection with both ancient narratives and the transience and decay that operate in the natural world. This object, usually presented as a recipient, acts as a gate or a threshold, a geometrical key, and signifies generative space and the readiness preparatory to a transfer between worlds (living/dead, vision/blindness, sacred/profane, etc.)."
Constanza Bizraelli aka CAO is a Peruvian electronic music composer and producer, artist, and theorist. She is the director and editor-in-chief of Cyclops Journal, an academic publication dedicated to contemporary theory, theory of religion, and experimental theory.
Michael Tan performing at re:publica (2019-05)Institute for Sound and Music
Michael Tan was born in Whyalla, Australia, and now lives and works in Berlin. His work explores social and political issues, and their relationship to pop culture using digital works, 3D rendered and real-time images for video, animation, and installation.
THE BURIAL THEME: TRANS-MATTER PORT AND OBJECTS (2018) by CAO & Michael TanInstitute for Sound and Music
Frank Bretschneider & Pierce Warnecke perfoming at Gropius Bau (2018-03) by Udo SigfriedtInstitute for Sound and Music
"Approximate Accuracy is a hybrid audio-visual installation/performance especially designed for the ISM Hexadome that borrows from modular sound and visual synthesis techniques, adapting them with contemporary analog and digital tools.
The audio uses modular synthesizer patches manipulated live: A matrix of oscillators interact with each other to produce a variety of sounds, from delicate, subtle sequences to rough walls of noise. The imagery is based on digital emulations of modular video synthesis. Simple lines and noise-based textures combine to form dynamic patterns and complex synesthetic moirés. Combining algorithmic generation and audio-driven interaction, vertical bar-based elements overlap to create dense and abstract fields that encourage viewers to explore the real and perceived sense of synchronization between sound and image."
Frank Bretschneider is a musician, composer, and video artist in Berlin. His work is known for precise sound placement, complex, interwoven rhythm structures, and its minimal, flowing approach.
Pierce Warnecke is a sound and video artist from the US, based in Europe for over a decade. He works in both the sonic and visual domains via performances, installations, and compositions.
APPROXIMATE ACCURACY (2018) by Frank Bretschneider & Pierce WarneckeInstitute for Sound and Music
Lara Sarkissian performing at Gropius Bau (2018-03)Institute for Sound and Music
"Sound artist Lara Sarkissian and video artist Jemma Woolmore approach the ISM Hexadome installation as a transsensorial space for storytelling on topics of territory, recognition, and memory."
Lara Sarkissian is a sound artist, DJ (FOOZOOL), and filmmaker based in San Francisco, CA. With 8ULENTINA, she is a co-founder of Club Chai, a music label, radio show (on Radar Radio), and curatorial project that artistically hybridizes non-western sounds and visuals with contemporary western culture. Lara Sarkissian’s electronic music focuses on ambient/experimental productions with Armenian influences, film scores, and installations.
Jemma Woolmore performing at Gropius Bau (2018-03) by Skye SobejkoInstitute for Sound and Music
Jemma Woolmore's visuals explore the fragile boundary between utopia and dystopia. The Hexadome screens become a landscape to be navigated and divided, creating symbolic borders that are enforced, blurred, or dissolved throughout the work.
THRESHOLDS (2018) by Lara Sarkissian & Jemma WoolmoreInstitute for Sound and Music
"Spawn Training Ceremony I: Deep Belief" at Gray Area Festival (2019-07) by Mariah TiffanyInstitute for Sound and Music
SPAWN TRAINING CEREMONY I: DEEP BELIEF
"Spawn is an artificial neural network that has been initially trained to recognize and reproduce the sounds of her parents' voices and the voices of others. Spawn is a fast learner, and once she has constructed a concept of a sound, she can improvise and create abstract compositions based on what she understands that sound to be, and what she anticipates it might do next.
For this first training ceremony, our ensemble members will lead exercises to help Spawn model and understand the world around her. We will recite text together, sing and emote together, and collectively produce sounds for her to witness, understand, and later interpret for an installed piece in the Hexadome.
The training will be run by a cast of characters modelled to represent emerging and competing archetypes within contemporary battles over data collection and network training, so that Spawn might gather a greater understanding of the new world in which she has been born. This process challenges us to ask ourselves, are we the parents or the children in this new epoch? Are we training our own systems to enact our ideals, or are we rather being retrained to serve the opaque purposes of others? We encourage your full hearted participation in this performance and piece, and promise that no personal identifying information will be collected in the process or exhibited in the final work."
Holly Herndon at Gropius Bau (2018-03) by Skye SobejkoInstitute for Sound and Music
Holly Herndon became a leading light in contemporary music by experimenting at the outer reaches of dance music and pop songwriting possibilities. Born in Tennessee, Herndon spent her formative years in Berlin’s techno scene and repatriated to San Francisco, where she’s a PhD candidate at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.
Mat Dryhurst is an artist who releases music and artworks solo and in conjunction with Holly Herndon and the record label PAN. As well as collaborating to create the album "Platform," he released the decentralized publishing framework Saga, which enables creators to claim ownership of each space in which their work appears online, and a number of audio plays that derive their narrative from the personal information of listeners. He lectures on issues of music, technology, and ideology at NYU, and advises the blockchain-based platform co-operative Resonate.is.
SPAWN TRAINING CEREMONY I: DEEP BELIEF by Holly Herndon & Mathew DryhurstInstitute for Sound and Music
"Adaptive Enquiry No. 1" by Peter Van Hoesen & Heleen Blanken (2019-07) by Mariah TiffanyInstitute for Sound and Music
ADAPTIVE ENQUIRY No. 1
"This work focuses on the cause and effect of resonance. It deals with the friction between two elements, searching for the observable space in between. The visual part of this work will be created in close collaboration with the Institute for Geosciences at the Utrecht University."
Peter van Hoesen is a Belgian electronic music producer, composer, DJ, live performer, and a key player in the Brussels electronic music scene. He has produced various styles of music but is best known for his bass-heavy, abstract take on techno with a psychedelic approach. He has developed a deep interest in surround-sound composition and spatial sound design.
"Adaptive Enquiry No. 1" at Gray Area Festival (2019-07) by Mariah TiffanyInstitute for Sound and Music
Heleen Blanken is a visual artist living and working in Amsterdam. She works in cinematography, photography, and installation art. She holds a bachelor in fine art degree from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. In her work, she explores the different layers of our aesthetic perception of the natural world and collects images that she transforms into new constellations, defying traditional artistic dichotomies like the organic vs. artificial, or analogue vs. digital.
ADAPTIVE ENQUIRY No. 1 (2018) by Peter Van Hoesen & Heleen BlankenInstitute for Sound and Music
"The P!eace" by René Löwe and Pfadfinderei (2019-07) by Jon BauerInstitute for Sound and Music
"Want to hit the ceiling, to change the perspective, then float in wide spheres and rushing wind, turning on my own axis in free fall, pictures like parachutes, the bass a compass, off the beaten paths through time and space, das Labland, as far as the eye can see, the legs are dangling in space, point A becomes B, cpatch, 3Dub.....just a frame on the big timeline. Click Render and always play."
René Löwe has long been an important figure in Berlin's electronic music scene, and his compositions helped to define the sound the city is so well known for. Under the name Vainqueur, Löwe's compositions such as "Lyot," released in 1992 on the Maurizio label, became a benchmark for the early 90‘s electronic sound. Löwe’s influential work is a unique blend of minimalism with dense, textured, and spatial sounds.
"The P!eace" at Gray Area Festival (2019-07) by Jon BauerInstitute for Sound and Music
Pfadfinderei is a Berlin-based international collective specializing in interdisciplinary concepts for visual music performances, multi-media installations, stage shows, and creative direction. Going beyond their initial roots of screen work, they apply immersive components to fuse light, video, and spatial design.
THE P!EACE (2018) by Pfadfinderei & René LöweInstitute for Sound and Music
"City Rats" at Gray Area Festival (2019-07)Institute for Sound and Music
"Tarik Barri presents a composition created in collaboration with Thom Yorke. Inside the virtual 3D universe of Barri's self-programmed 'Versum' software, all that is heard can be seen, and all that is seen may be heard. Looped and distorted video fragments of Yorke's singing are scattered all around, forming, moving, and changing patterns. Twitching and pulsating, they fill the space with unfamiliar sounds and sights.
The audience is taken on a flight exploring this universe in audiovisual surround, as their path determines the melodies and atmospheres they will encounter. The experience combines elements of music and cinema, but at its core is a different entity altogether."
Thom Yorke’s work, both as principal songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist in Radiohead and as a solo artist, has placed him at the forefront of global contemporary music. Over time he's shown an enduring commitment to exploring the aesthetic and technical forefronts of his field.
"City Rats" Thom Yorke & Tarik Barri at Gray Area Festival (2019-07) by Jon BauerInstitute for Sound and Music
Tarik Barri is an audiovisual composer in the sense that his compositions always concern the combination of audio and visuals. During his study in music and technology, he came to realize that the same type of programming he used to write musical applications could be used to create moving images. He has since focused on developing and using his real-time audiovisual software "Versum" for the sole purpose of discovering and expressing new kinds of aesthetics that can be found in the interrelations between seeing and hearing.
CITY RATS by Tarik Barri & Thom YorkeInstitute for Sound and Music
Photo of Herman Kolgen at MUTEK (2019-08) by Vivien GaumandInstitute for Sound and Music
Herman Kolgen explores the way traces of light are encoded in our memory. What remains of these diffracted moments and ephemeral flashes that result from the constant bombing of photons and optical frequencies? Kolgen probes the coexistence of the human and its intermediate territories — a double relationship that interrogates what is real, intimate, and exterior — in all of its fragility, permeability, and indeterminacy.
Herman Kolgen presenting "Retina" at MUTEK (2019-08) by Vivien GaumandInstitute for Sound and Music
An acclaimed multidisciplinary artist with more than two decades of experience in media arts, Herman Kolgen lives and works in Montreal. An audio kinetic sculptor, he draws his raw material from the intimate relationship between sound and image. Kolgen creates pieces that take on the form of installations, video and film works, performances and sound sculptures. He works in a constant cycle of exploration, at the crossroads of different media, to conjure up a new technical language and a singular aesthetic. The impact of territories on human life lies at the heart of his conceptual pursuits. The resulting brutal tensions as well as the interplay between various elements constitute the epicentre of his practice. His multifaceted work is characterized by a radiographic approach. It’s this x-ray effect, with its immaterial quality, that allows the invisible to be seen.
Herman Kolgen’s works have most notably been presented at the Venice Biennale, Ars Electronica, Berlin’s transmediale, Centre Pompidou, MUTEK, Elektra, Sonar, Taipei Digital ArtCenter and Shanghai E-Arts. He has also performed with Ensemble Intercontemporain from Paris and the Los AngelesPhilharmonic. Herman Kolgen has been awarded many prestigious prizes, including Ars Electronica, Qwartz and theNew York and Los Angeles independent film festivals’ bestexperimental film. From 1996 to 2008, he devoted much of his creative output to the Skoltz_Kolgen duo.
RETINA (2019-08) by Herman KolgenInstitute for Sound and Music
About the ISM
The Institute for Sound and Music is a Berlin-based non-profit organization dedicated to the culture of Sound, Immersive Art and Music. Presently, the ISM is raising support and awareness for its ultimate goal to establish a new and permanent home for a cutting-edge museum experience in Berlin, through a series of three global touring exhibitions.
Our sincere thanks to the Goethe Institut, German Federal Foreign Office, Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Berliner Festspiele, ZKM | Center for Art and Media, IRCAM, EMPAC, Meyer Sound, Epson America, Pfadfinderei, System 180, Squareball Digital, Gropius Bau, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, MUTEK, MAC Montréal, MASS MoCA, all contributing artists, the ISM Advisory Board, our dedicated volunteers, and those who visited the ISM Hexadome.