Caves, Dwelling & Vibration

Caves, Dwelling & Vibration

This weekend, Ignota has been invited to contribute to the two-day event Caves, Dwellings & Vibration, which is conceived as a sensorial exchange across research, mediation and performance in response to the exhibition Hollow Earth: Art, Caves & The Subterranean Imaginary. The show highlights Nottingham’s extraordinary condition as a city built on a network of caves - being the UK’s largest network over 800 hidden beneath. Caves, Dwelling & Vibration aspires to look closely into the poetic and artistic knowledge and wisdom caves carry, to deepen and complexify our understanding of geologic and deep time, archaeo-acoustics and the uses of caves as spaces of dwellings but also as spaces of upheaval.

The programme includes contributions by Laura Emsley, Ella Finer, Louis Henderson, Emma McCormick-Goodhart, Frances Morgan, Flora Parrott, Frank Pearson and Kathryn Yusoff among others. The programme is curated by Canan Batur, assisted by Philippa Douglas.

Each day ends with listening sessions and sonic meditations inspired by the work of Pauline Oliveros and the publication Quantum Listening (Ignota Books 2022). Performances by Evan Ifekoya, Paul Purgas and Lucy Railton will unfold in The City of Caves, underneath Nottingham Contemporary. This event is programmed in collaboration with Canan Batur and Susanna Davies-Crook of Ignota Books. It forms part of Ignota's QUANTUM LISTENING season of events that will explore the roots and legacies of Deep Listening™ with a broad curiosity toward vibration, resonance and altered states.


Zeynep Bulut is a Lecturer in Music at Queen’s University Belfast. Prior to joining Queen’s, she was an Early Career Lecturer in Music at King’s College London (2013-2017), and Research Fellow at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry (2011-2013). She received her Ph.D. in Critical Studies/Experimental Practices in Music from the University of California at San Diego (2011), M.A. in Visual Arts Visual Communication Design from Sabanci University (2002) and B.A. in Sociology from Bogazici University, Istanbul (2000). She also studied opera in the State Conservatory of Mimar Sinan University (1996-1999), and ethnomusicology in MIAM (Centre for Advanced Studies in Music) at Istanbul Technical University (2003-2005). Situated in the fields of experimental music, voice and sound studies, Zeynep’s scholarly and creative work examines the emergence, embodiment and mediation of voice as skin. Inspired by the non-linguistic voice in experimental music and the notion of “skin-ego,” as proposed by French psychoanalyst Didier Anzieu, she first pursued the idea of voice as skin in her PhD dissertation, titled La Voix-Peau: Understanding the Physical, Phenomenal and Imaginary Limits of the Voice Through Contemporary Music (2011). Taking her initial cue from La Voix-Peau, and drawing on the nonverbal voice in experimental music and media art, she is currently completing her first manuscript, titled, Building a Voice: Sound, Surface, Skin. Building a Voice theorizes voice and speech as emergent, exploratory and shared, without being limited to human body or mediums of verbal language.

Evan Ifekoya’s work in community organising, installation, performance, sound, text and video is an extension of their calling as a spiritual practitioner. They view art as a site where resources can be both redistributed and renegotiated, whilst challenging the implicit rules and hierarchies of public and social space. Through archival and sonic investigations, they speculate on blackness in abundance. Strategies of space holding through architectural interventions, ritual, sound and workshops enable them to make a practice of living in order not to turn to despair. Their ongoing investigation considers the somatic experience of listening, the healing potential of sound and spiritual ecologies.

They established the collectively run and QTIBPOC (queer, trans*, intersex, black and people of colour) led Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.) in 2018. They have presented exhibitions, moving image and performances across UK Europe and Internationally, most recently: an immersive installation for Lagos Biennial (upcoming 2023); a solo exhibition at Migros Museum Zurich and a moving image commission with LUX in collaboration with University of Reading (2022); Herbert Art Gallery and Museum as nominees of the Turner Prize (with B.O.S.S. 2021); Gus Fischer New Zealand (2020); De Appel Netherlands (2019) and Gasworks London (2018).

Paul Purgas is a London based artist and musician working with sound, performance and installation. Originally trained as an architect, he has presented exhibitions and performances with Tramway, Kunstverein Gartenhaus, Camden Art Centre and Spike Island and he is currently a resident of Somerset House Studios in London. His written output includes essays for the Unsound:Undead collection published by Urbanomic/MIT Press and the radio documentaries Electronic India and Krishnamurti in England for BBC Radio 3. He is one half of the electronic music project Emptyset working with electroacoustic and computer music, broadcasting and spatialised sound. Emptyset has presented work at the Architecture Foundation, London, the Roberts Institute and Tate Britain’s Performing Architecture programme, performing recently with Sonic Acts and Berghain for Transmediale 2020.

Lucy Railton is a cellist and composer who has lived and worked in London, Boston and Berlin since starting her performance practice in 2004. Her own music making studies the interaction of sound (tone, colour, intonation, timbre), space and perception, drawing on tuning practices and long-durational form to explore the limits of our sensory abilities as listeners and receivers of sound. In performance, the cyclical event of emitting and receiving sound simultaneously raises questions around the coexistence of inspiration and reciprocality, and how the listener plays a collaborative role as they deal with their ability to shape and influence sound by their presence and engagement. In addition, the physical space also takes on an active role as resonator and container of its own histories and language. Within it, Lucy’s guided performance will aim to honour these relationships and name listening as our most precious tool to sense, absorb and empathise with our surroundings and with each other.


Image: Lydia Ourahmane, Tassili, 2022, excerpt. 4K video, 16mm transferred to video, digital animation, sound. Courtesy: Lydia Ourahmane.

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