November 15, 2017 - Kunsthalle Wien - Florian Hecker. Hallucination, Perspective, Synthesis
November 15, 2017

Kunsthalle Wien

Florian Hecker, FAVN. Processed performance still. © Florian Hecker. Original photography © Alte Oper Frankfurt, Norbert Miguletz, 2016.

Florian Hecker. Hallucination, Perspective, Synthesis
November 17, 2017–January 14, 2018

Opening: November 16, 7pm
Concert: Florian Hecker live: November 18, 10pm

Kunsthalle Wien
Museumsquartier, Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna
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Florian Hecker is an artist who creates acoustic works using synthetic sounds and the visitor’s auditory processes as material. His computer-generated compositions dramatize psychoacoustics as well as objective-physical stimuli and their individual, psychic, and physical impacts. Complex multi-channel installations unfold sculptural shades that shake the idea of a coherent, continuous world of identifiable coordinates and points of reference. Retreating from linguistic description and categorization, the exhibition Hallucination, Perspective, Synthesis, is a performative, resonating space and stage for sound events that propel psychophysical ambivalences and encourage listeners to explore their own perception of fluctuating acoustic realities through algorithm-driven processes of sound generation.

Positioned in the center of the exhibition space, Resynthese FAVN is an extensive elaboration of FAVN, an abstract work that draws upon and evokes late-19th-century psychophysics, Stéphane Mallarmé's "L'après-midi d'un faune," and Debussy's musical adaptation "Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune." Both Mallarmé's poetry and Debussy's symphonic masterpiece trace the blurry boundaries between reality and imagination, sensory perception and hallucinated event.

Departing from these notions and coordinates, Resynthese FAVN is the product of a minute, computer-controlled analysis that transforms and resynthesizes Hecker’s original piece. During the exhibition, different versions can be heard in the course of a day—and with each rendering, the work becomes gradually more crystallized, acquiring a sharper and more defined outline with each iteration. The quantification of the senses and an explicit exposition of timbre (elements embodied in Debussy's work) are revisited, reformulated, and conceptually intensified in Hecker's compositional formulation.

Problematizing the notion of singular or self-contained perception, the complex sounds of Resynthese FAVN are presented as untraceable to a known, definable source. Set against the backdrop of a stage stripped down to its essentials, the piece allows auditory perception to decode the resonances as sensory objects originating from different locations.

Affordance (2013)—with its rising arpeggios, distorted glissandos, entirely static tones, and eruptions of noise—similarly focuses on the question of what sort of intensities are triggered in the recipient's brain-ear by what type of auditory stimuli. Synthetic, and founded on a highly formalized tuning system, the work is literally based on sounds that are “unheard” of, thus creating a musical ontology that no listening process can fully fathom.

With their rigorously formal staging, Hecker's works intensify a sensory space—one that disrupts the structural cohesion of experience and opens itself up to what Mallarmé called a "hallucinatory" occurrence of something that cannot be pinned down by way of a clear verbal description. Hecker’s scenarios invite consideration of, and an engagement with the individual's entire tonal and psychoacoustic spectrum. Viewer involvement and subjectivization of the objective given—namely, perspective and situation—are examined, tested, and occupied in the intricately elaborate frameworks that Florian Hecker creates.

Florian Hecker (*1975 in Augsburg) studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, as well as Computational Linguistics and Psycholinguistics at Munich University. Hecker is currently Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.
Selected solo exhibitions and performances: Florian Hecker – Synopsis, Tramway, Glasgow (2017); Florian Hecker – Formulations, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main (2016); Florian Hecker – Formulations, Culturgest, Porto; Künstlerhaus Graz; Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2015); Sadie Coles HQ, London; Galerie Neu, Berlin; Articulação, Lumiar Cité, Lisbon; documenta 13, Kassel; Nouveau Festival, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2012). Florian Hecker’s work FAVN was presented at Alte Oper Frankfurt, in cooperation with the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main (2016). His collaboration with Reza Negarestani, A Script for Machine Synthesis, was presented at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and at Maison de la Radio, Paris (both in 2015); Formulation (FLV Project) at the opening exhibition of Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2014).

Selected discography: A Script for Machine Synthesis (Editions Mego, Vienna, 2017); Articulação Sintetico (Editions Mego, Vienna, 2017); Hecker Leckey Sound Voice Chimera (Pan, Berlin, 2015); Articulação (Editions Mego, Vienna, 2014); Chimerization (Editions Mego, Vienna, 2012); Speculative Solution (Editions Mego, Vienna, 2011); Acid in the Style of David Tudor (Editions Mego, Vienna, 2009).

Curator: Vanessa Joan Müller

Florian Hecker live
Saturday, November 18, 10pm
A coproduction of Kunsthalle Wien in conjunction with Wien Modern
Kunsthalle Wien and Wien Modern present the Austrian premier of Florian Hecker’s text-sound pieces Chimerization (2011/2012) and Synthetic Hinge (2014–16).

Florian Hecker: Chimerization (2011–12) – 32:30 minutes
Libretto by Reza Negarestani. Featuring the voices of Javier Anguera, Joan Jonas, Anna Kohler, Stephen Prina. Voices recorded by Florian Hecker at the Sensory Communication Group, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, as well as at the Bose Corporation, Framingham, MA.

Iannis Xenakis: S.709 (1994) – 7:03 minutes

Florian Hecker: Synthetic Hinge (2014–16) – 28 minutes
Libretto by Reza Negarestani. Synthetic voice developed by Rob Clark, Centre for Speech Technology Research, University of Edinburgh / original voice: Joan La Barbara, recorded by Florian Hecker at the Hearing Science Laboratory, City University of New York, NY.

Stay connected:
Please check our website for regular updates on our program.
For further information please contact: Katharina Murschetz
T +43 (0) 1 5 21 89 1221 / presse [​at​]

Kunsthalle Wien
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