The Engine Room 2019 exhibition opens at IKLECTIK
The 2019 Engine Room exhibition, featuring the shortlisted finalists from this year's international sound art competition, has now opened at IKLECTIK Art Lab.
This year's exhibition marks the eighth year of The Engine Room, Morley's platform for experimental music and sonic art, and the fifth year of operation for IKLECTIK. The competition, now in its fourth year, was open to emerging sound artists worldwide and invited entrants to submit original works of art that make use of sound and other media with this year's exhibition featuring pieces that make use of film, interactive technology, and live performance.
Ahead of the exhibition's private view on 4 October, the finalists were judged by a panel of expert judges that included sonic artist Scanner (Robin Rimbaud), field recording artist Kate Carr, and IKLECTIK curator Eduard Solaz, as well as Morley staff Matti Gardner and Camilo Salazar. The winners were then announced at the private view, with First Prize going to electronic duo Andrej Cebski and Davide Baldazzi for their audio work BIID Elisea, Second Prize to Stijn Demeulenaere and Jan Locus for their short film Murmur, and Third Prize to the philosophical installation Zeno's Paradox by Max Baraitser Smith; Max also demonstrated the concept behind the piece as part of the private view.
"The piece is made according to Zeno's Paradox, which is where you're trying to get somewhere and you walk halfway there, then half of that, half of that, half of that, but you never really get to the end," Max says of his piece. "I've been researching sensitivity, and I was buying second-hand metal plates and discs, hitting them and hearing them ring. I wanted to devise a solution to keep the ringing going, and in the end, I decided to fake it by using software to time stretch it.
"I've been working on Zeno's Paradox since early this year. I hadn't heard of The Engine Room before I found out about the competition, but it seemed like a nice, light opportunity. I've only shared it once with people before now and it's a great opportunity to be showing it now. I'm very happy to be here."
Stijn, who recorded the audio for Murmur, says that he and Jan were inspired by the urban history of Brussels. The city, which grew from a village that was built on swampland, still has one small area that is still officially a swamp; it was there that the audio and video for Murmur was recorded. "We're both very interested in how sound and image relate to space, and how space relates to humanity," he says. "And the swamp is like a forgotten space. You go down there and you're in the city, but you're not; the drone from the city is ever-present, even in the middle of the night, yet there's also birds and things rustling underground.
"We started work on Murmur in late Autumn, early Winter last year, and The Engine Room is the world premiere of the film. It's great to be showing it at IKLECTIK, because it's also like a hidden space."
Speaking at the private view, project leader and Morley Radio and Studio Manager Camilo Salazar said, "we had over 160 submissions this year, and it's always interesting to see how people approach certain topics, certain compositional techniques or creative techniques, but also how the political landscape also shifts, and how that is reflected in the pieces. I'd like to thank all the artists for all their hard work, and for producing these beautiful pieces."
The Engine Room International Sound Art Exhibition 2019 is open now and runs until 24 October at IKLECTIK Art Lab. To find out more about the Sound Art courses available at Morley, click here.