September 22, 2017 - Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) - Victory over Death!
e-flux Architecture
September 22, 2017
September 22, 2017

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)

Lev Termen playing his invention.

Victory over Death!
Победа над смертью!
Sieg über den Tod!

An experimental opera inspired by ideas found in Russian Cosmism 
October 3, 2017, 8pm

Combined ticket (concert and exhibition) EUR 10/reduced EUR 8 

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin
Germany
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 11am–7pm

T +49 30 397870
F +49 30 3948679
info@hkw.de

www.hkw.de

Victory over Death!
Победа над смертью!
Sieg über den Tod!

An experimental opera inspired by ideas found in Russian Cosmism 
October 3, 2017, 8pm

Combined ticket (concert and exhibition) EUR 10/reduced EUR 8 

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin
Germany
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 11am–7pm

T +49 30 397870
F +49 30 3948679
info@hkw.de

www.hkw.de

HKW is pleased to present Victory over Death!, an experimental opera inspired by ideas found in Russian Cosmism. Dorit Chrysler (theremin, Sprechgesang) and Carsten Nicolai (sampled ANS synthesizer) will perform this new work along with a digital translation of its sound into visual patterns. 

In the era of the Russian Revolution, new discoveries encouraged artists as well as scientists to produce groundbreaking works. Two of today’s most compelling composers and musicians, Dorit Chrysler and Carsten Nicolai, will use various instruments, sampled sounds, and images to create a performance relating to this history of invention. The theremin, one of the first electronic instruments, was created by Soviet scientist Léon Theremin and patented in 1928. For Victory over Death!, Chrysler will be playing two customized theremins, one based on the Moog Theremini and one left handed Hobbs theremin. To explain the theremin: the loop antenna on the left controls the volume while the upright antenna controls the pitch. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.

Nicolai will operate sampled sounds generated by the legendary ANS synthesizer, a photo-electronic musical instrument developed by the Soviet engineer Evgeny Murzin and named after avant-garde composer Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin (A. N. S.). The technological basis of Murzin’s invention was the method of graphical sound recording used in cinematography (developed in the Soviet Union concurrently with similar US technologies), which made it possible to generate an image of a sound wave, as well as to realize the opposite goal—synthesizing a sound from an artificially-drawn sound spectrogram. The sound produced by the ANS will be familiar to Tarkovsky fans: composer Edward Artemiev created the iconic music in Solaris using this synthesizer.  

Taking on the history of the “Gesamtkunstwerk,” the opera also includes melodeclamation (Gesang für Sprechstimme / Sprechgesang). In addition to playing the theremin, Dorit Chrysler will perform the Biocosmist Manifesto written by the Futurist poet Alexander Svyatogor in 1922: “The questions of immortalism and interplanetarianism must not be viewed independently or linked automatically. They both result from and complete one another, constituting a single organic whole united under a single term—biocosmism.”

Victory over Death! is being presented in conjunction with the exhibition: Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism.

Russian Cosmism called for physical immortality for the living, material resurrection of the dead, and travel to outer space. Its tenets—combining Western Enlightenment and Eastern philosophy, Russian Orthodox traditions, and Marxism, with the enthusiasm for science and technology—inspired many key Soviet thinkers until they fell victim to Stalinist repression and the movement became largely forgotten. Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism looks at this daring utopia and its echoes in art, science, and politics. The exhibition links works by the Russian avant-garde from the Costakis Collection—selected by Boris Groys—with contemporary contributions: films by Anton Vidokle and an installation by Arseny Zhilyaev reflect on the philosophical, scientific, and artistic concepts of Russian Cosmism. The exhibition will end on the night of the performance.

Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism is part of 100 Years of Now, which is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media due to a ruling of the German Bundestag. Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as well as by the Federal Foreign Office.

 

Dorit Chrysler was born in Graz and is currently based in New York and Austria. Chrysler is best known as a theremin virtuoso, sound artist, and composer. As the cofounder of the NY Theremin Society and creator of KidCoolThereminSchool, the first school of theremin, she has developed a curriculum for early electronic music education for children. Other upcoming appearances include the premiering of new works at Ars Electronica, as well as a Styrian Herbst Festival commission, and a sound performance at Den Frie, CPH as part of “Sisters Academy.” Artistic collaborations include projects together with Jesper Just, Philippe Quesne, Anders Trentemøller, Cluster, Sasha Waltz, Elliot Sharp.

Carsten Nicolai aka Alva Noto is one of the most renowned artists working at the intersection of art and science and is infamous for his minimalist approach. Born in 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt (today Chemnitz), he is part of an artist generation who works intensively in the transitional area between music, art and science. In his work as a visual artist, Nicolai seeks to overcome the separation of the sensory perceptions of man by making scientific phenomenons like sound and light frequencies perceivable for both eyes and ears. His installations have a minimalistic aesthetic that by its elegance and consistency is highly intriguing. After his participation in important international exhibitions like documenta X and the 49th and 50th Venice Biennale, Nicolai’s works were shown worldwide in extensive solo and group exhibitions. His artistic oeuvre echoes in his musical outputs. Under the pseudonym Alva Noto he leads his sound experiments with a strong adherence to reductionism into the field of electronic music creating his own code of signs, acoustics and visual symbols.

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