ISM Hexadome @ MUTEK 2019
The Institute for Sound & Music, as part of the Wunderbar Together program, brings its 360° audiovisual installation ISM Hexadome to the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) for a 3-week stretch beginning on August 13 to September 2. Nine immersive works were specially composed using the Hexadome’s advanced 52-channel Meyer Sound speaker configuration and 6 screen visual projection architecture, designed by digital media studio Pfadfinderei.
Image credit: MUTEK
For its 20th edition, MUTEK commissioned a new work RETINA, by local audiokinetic sculptor Herman Kolgen, which 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. Two special live performances of the installation will be presented on August 25.
In addition to Kolgen’s installation, a special screening of Darren Aronofsky’s controversial environmental parable Mother! has been 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 peculiar set of the film, placing the viewer inside the movie as the screens wrap around 360 degrees. A one-off truly unique immersive cinematic experience.
“Projects like the ISM Hexadome are important ambassadors for the Wunderbar Together initiative. They show us how international cultural co-production boosts creativity, diversity, and innovation.”
Andreas Goergen, Head of the Culture and Communications Department at the German Federal Foreign Office
RETINA will be an intentional work-in-progress, with Kolgen, who has developed a new technical language at the intersection between a diversity of visual and sonic media, performing various tweaks inside the installed Hexadome during the exhibition.
Concerning the work, Kolgen explains:
“Using the human camera of our iris, traces of light are transmitted to our brain, where they are potentially encoded in our memory. We are dependent upon light to interpret fragments of our world at every moment — how many images has our visual perception registered, processed and compiled throughout our lives?
What remains of these diffracted moments and ephemeral flashes that result from the constant bombing of photons and optical frequencies? Are they blurred memories or clear ones? Do they create a retinal amnesia or a permanent imprint?
Through this biological filter of sight, I am exploring 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.”
Image credit: Herman Kolgen
MUTEK’s Alain Mongeau continues:
“The timing was great: as MUTEK is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, we have been looking for special projects that could help us underline the type of artform the festival has been promoting over the years. Hexadome is perfect in that sense. It’s an immersive set-up that commissioned short-format works by many artists that have already performed at MUTEK - complemented by others that could be tagged as MUTEK-ready, so there’s a first level of connection there. ISM’s goal to bring digital artforms into the museum environment and, by extension, to the larger public, is also totally in line with MUTEK’s mission to democratize and to help our field of practice gain a wider recognition.”
“Herman has been part of the festival’s trajectory since the beginning. We’ve showcased and premiered most of his works, so that over the years he has become one of the best ambassadors illustrating that MUTEK is all about innovation and cutting-edge digital creation. Herman recently decided to highly reduce touring in order to focus more on creating new works that will need to find different ways of being disseminated. We felt the Hexadome format was thus a perfect outlet for him.”
In addition to Kolgen’s installation, Little Cinema & ISM are proud to present a special audiovisual adaptation of Darren Aronofsky's groundbreaking 2017 psychological thriller Mother! within the ISM Hexadome’s immersive environment.
Photo: © 2017 Paramount Pictures
This contemporary, allegorical reminder of the dangers created by modern society’s destruction of our planet gets a detailed adaptation projected onto 6 screens and through 52 channels of sound.
Shot inside an octagon-shaped house, the architecture of the ISM Hexadome literally mirrors the unique set of the film placing the viewer inside the movie as the screens wrap around 360 degrees.
Little Cinema’s adaption will see all 6 screens activated with film detail and audiovisual effects highlighting narrative and the distressing soundscape of this masterpiece. A one-off truly unique immersive cinematic experience.
For over a year I’ve been toying with how to creatively present this very important and artistic masterpiece. The penny finally dropped when I was introduced to the ISM Hexadome. It’s unique shape mirrors the architecture of the single location house in the film. It’s immersive sound and visual capabilities present an opportunity to take the viewer out of the film and place them into the house itself by adding additional narrative and fx with the surrounding screens.
Little Cinema, Jay Rinsky
About Little Cinema
Little Cinema is a NYC based visually stunning, cross-disciplinary, immersive audiovisual production company dedicated to re-imagining films and presenting them in ever new and creative ways.
It has gained a cult following through a series of immersive events and collaborations with House Of Yes, Brooklyn Museum, Meow Wolf, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and more.
About Institute for Sound and Music
The Institute for Sound and Music is a Berlin-based non-profit organization dedicated to the culture of sound, immersive art, and electronic music, with the intention of creating a permanent home for state-of-the-art, immersive, multi-disciplinary technological ingenuity, combining visual and sonic media. In addition to the continued development of this nascent cultural institution during the North American tour, immediate plans include a unique and limited edition binaural vinyl record with 6 of the 9 ISM Hexadome installation pieces recorded live at the Gropius Bau in Spring 2018, including a selection of stills taken from the visuals of eight of the artists. More information on availability will be forthcoming.
This North American Tour of the ISM Hexadome is part of the part of the Wunderbar Together initiative, celebrating a year of German-American friendship. Wunderbar Together is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut and supported by the Federation of German Industries.
ISM Hexadome MUTEK Montreal runs from August 13th to September 2nd and further information is available here.
Header Image Credit: Beth LaBerge
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