Cripta747 is delight to present the outcomes of the projects developed by the composer Lee Fraser (UK, 1981) and the artist Hilary Galbreaith (US, 1989) during their time in residence over the past two months.
Unlike the previous editions there have been some changes in the guidelines and in the application process. This year artists have been invited to submit a research proposal by a wide committee of 15 curators, art critic, museum and non profit art organisation’s directors among the most interesting institutions settled all over the world. The projects were shortlisted by an international jury composed by Barbara Casavecchia, Salvatore Lacagnina and Elena Volpato, appointed Hilary Galbreaith and Lee Fraser.
Trained as a composer in the field of electroacoustic music, since his early works, Lee Fraser has been developing an idea of liminality through sound materials which exist on the boundary of the recognisable and the non recognisable. In recent years his research has taken a new path, focussing exclusively on digital synthesis as a means of generating material and incorporating aspects of experimental psychology, psychoacoustics and acousmatic theory.As part of Cripta747’s Residency Programme Lee Fraser has produced an installation which draws on some of the ideas implemented in his recent pieces, continuing an ongoing concern with synthesised sound objects and complex auditory experiences. He has created an environment resembling a controlled laboratory experiment, where the absence of natural light reduces the presence of visual information and drives the attention to the limits of the human auditory system, illustrating flaws in the way it processes aural information and pointing towards an ontology of sound which exists outside of the human experience. In this work he utilises several psychoacoustic techniques with a view to creating a complex psychological ecology of sound, while at the same time approximating an idea of the sublime in the Kantian sense - that is, an experience whereby rationality performs an act of violence on sensibility. By gesturing towards magnitudes of sound which lie outside the scope of human cognition, Fraser suggests an idea of scale which might be difficult to parse. The installation will also feature subtle visual stimuli which tease ideas of a collective unconscious, using pseudo-esoteric symbolism to dramatise the illusory nature of meaning and human interiority.
Having grown up between Southern California and Virginia, Hilary Galbreaith’s childhood and adolescence was marked by the DIY and “health”culture of California, the San Diego punk scene, traditional crafts from the American South, and the trompe-l’oeil worlds of Disneyland and Hollywood.She draw inspiration from a wide variety of sources such as Youtube tutorials and DIY sites, the “hobby” section of arts and crafts stores, post-punk music, bizarre store window displays, comics, medieval frescos, traditional crafts and costumes, B-movies and horror films, and satirical science fiction. Galbreaith creates playfully dark, comedic fictions that address the 21st century body, the way it lives with the ambivalences and contradictions of everyday technologies such as screens, social networks, and digitalized bureaucracy. Systems of control and efficiency are often inextricably linked. What interests the artist is not an objective study of these phenomena, but the manner in which their presence in our lives plays out, often from a feminine or ambiguously gendered point of view. Everyday experiences are the genesis for stories that parody and magnify their original inspirations, at once a bodily interpretation of technological mediation, and the exploration of an interior world.For the open studio, Hilary Galbreaith presents the first showing of Parade, the third installment of her project “Bug Eyes”, a carnivalesque sci-fi saga in which strange and bizarre mutations have begun to spread throughout the world’s population. The installation at Cripta747 presents the video that she created during her residency, and for which she invited the Turin-based experimental jazz collective Pietra Tonale to collaborate to create the soundtrack. For the opening, on October 30th at 7pm, she also presents a live performance together with some of the musicians of Pietra Tonale who will play the instruments built during the workshop BYODIY (Instrument Building for the Party at the End of the World).
A special thanks to Pietra Tonale, for the precious help, the passion and the knowledge shared with Hilary Galbreaith and to the Professor Andrea Valle for his intercession with Studiumlab. Thanks to SMET in the persons of Professors Stefano Bassanese and Andrea Agostini for their memories about the school and Enore Zaffiri and for making Lee Fraser’s meeting with the students possible.
Using primarily found and recycled materials, Hilary Galbreaith invites participants to create instruments and sound objects. These instruments will be some of the primary tools used to compose the music for “Parade”, the third installment of “Bug Eyes”, a darkly comic story of fantastical mutations and their consequences in a hyper-connected, late capitalist society. The recorded sounds could then be looped and edited with software, tapes, loop pedals, etc.
The participants are provided of a collection of found materials that the artist have gathered in her studio at Cripta747 during two months of residence, as well as a piezos, a jigsaw, 2 drills, screws, nails, a sander, a hand metal saw and a carbon disc metal cutter, a sewing machine, and supplies for making papier-mâché – but they can bring anything that inspires them or that they think could be useful (scrap wood and metal, old or broken guitar/ violin/cello/ukulele chords, pieces of plastic, cereal boxes, old clothes, rubber bands, motors, tape players, chains, pottery, combs, any recording devices, etc etc etc.) It is especially interesting to combine the artist’s practice with people experiences and knowledge to create new and unexpected things. No previous artistic experience or knowledge is requested, just figuring out how to build objects, make weird sounds and bang on things with sticks.
The only imperative is that the end result be danceable. It can be weird, dark, industrial, stupid, cartoony, traditional, goth, … but there has to be a danceable beat in order for the performance to work. The spirit of this workshop is experimentation, fun and knowledge sharing.
Trained as a composer in the traditional sense at Dartington College of Arts in UK with Frank Denyer, Fraser went on to study electroacoustic music at MA level with Denis Smalley, at City University London. During this time, he attended a lecture by the American composer John Chowning on the subject of one of his most important works, “Stria” (1977), which was composed entirely through digital synthesis. Inspired by the creative freedom of this working methodology, Fraser began using Csound, a programming language for audio, developing complex sonorities from the bottom up in a bid to overcome the inherent referentiality of recorded sound. He then went on to study a Phd in electroacoustic composition at the University of Manchester.
Here, Fraser began exploring the idea of liminality, working with physical models of recognisable sounds and stretching characteristic features of those sounds to the limit of recognisability, as in “Ply” (2011), which is based on a phenomenological analysis of a struck harpsichord note. Another work from this period which was also presented by the artist is “The Visions of Ezekiel” (2012). Taking its title from the biblical account of the 7th century b.C. prophet Ezekiel, whose symbolic visions point towards a realm outside the physical space in which the narrative is set, the work weaves a thread between the strange and the familiar, locating points of alterity in the uncanny spaces in-between these poles. This kind of interplay illustrates an enduring tension in Fraser’s work between an acceptance of interiority and the speculative pursuit of an Outside. In the lecture Fraser went on to discuss his recent work, which further develops notions of exteriority, utilising certain psychoacoustic techniques to point out flaws in the human auditory system and hinting at a non-anthropic ontology of sound. The lecture ended with a presentation of a piece from 2017 called “Reliq Ens”, which was commissioned by BBC for Cut & Splice Festival in Manchester.
Cripta747 is pleased to present the 2019 edition of Cripta747 Residency Programme.
Unlike the previous editions, there have been some changes in the guidelines and in the application process. This year, artists have been invited to submit a research proposal by a wide committee of 15 curators, museum and non profit art organisation’s directors, artists and professors of Fine Arts Academy among the most interesting institutions settled all over the world. This in order to assure the spirit of openness, the representativeness of the contemporary researches and languages and, at the same time, to support independent thought and emerging artists’ career.
Participants were asked to present a proposal that outlined the specific topic and research interests they intend to carry out while in residence, showing how this experience may benefit them, their practice and their project at a very early stage of development.
The projects were shortlisted by Cripta747’s curatorial team that, together with an international jury composed by Barbara Casavecchia (writer, independent curator and educator), Salvatore Lacagnina (art critic and curator) and Elena Volpato (art historian and curator at GAM – Galleria d’Arte Moderna of Turin), appointed Hilary Galbreaith (US, 1989) and Lee Fraser (UK, 1981).
The jury has appreciated the specificity of their project proposals, the artists’ mature methodological approach, the transdisciplinarity of the researches and their potential to involve different institutions and people in town and to deepen some perspectives and events that have contributed to define the social, artistic and cultural history of the city in the last decades.
Cripta747 Residency Programme is a project by Cripta747 realised with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo, Regione Piemonte and Città di Torino.