Review / 02.15.2017

Neural: der012

Just imagine a neutral space, such as a large room with a hole in its ceiling. The perimeter of this room is lined with benches that allow viewers to look at the sky as if it was framed, while LED lights surrounding the hole change colours and influence the viewer’s perception. Skyspace such as these have been realised by the American artist James Turrell, while the composer and sound artist Robert Curgenven has developed site-specific field recordings in turn for these spaces. The audio-captures, which were made in the interior of fifteen spaces of this type, situated in nine different countries, are mostly microtonal actions, very quiet, hissing and gradual. Curgenven has not added any post-production overdubs to these recordings. Entitled Climata, the result can be defined for all purposes as intermedia meta-opera and the two CDs that comprise the release have been designed to be played back to back or even together. The overlap and the eternal conflict between the suggestion that the concepts of “internal” and “external” arouse in the viewer – as well as those of “natural” and “artificial” – have been one of the flagships of installation art, avant-garde theatre, performance and performing art since the seventies – oppositions that return in the guise of an even more rarefied and conceptual work. The initial frequencies in fact – cyclical and tonal – are also a by-product of the registration process in the Skyspace, a technique that brings the air within those spaces to “oppose” the outside air, swinging through the ceiling opening. Curvegen himself reminds us that the term Climata refers to the ancient division used “to map the inhabitable world” and fantasising about the coding of information these six compositions published for Dragon’s Eye evoke an evocative and imaginative continuum of space-time.
 – Neural