Collective listening (audio piece), duration: 30 min.

6TH MAY 2022, 6 PM

Meeting point: Badweg 10, CH-8001 Zurich

curated by Zaira Oram

For the new program SOUND TURM, the collective Zaira Oram wakes up the historical and silent Wasserturm (water tower) located in the city center of Zurich. The first event takes place on 6th May 2022 at 6 pm with the collective listening and audio piece Resist! Persist! Maintain! conceived by the Zurich-based artist duo Stirnimann-Stojanovic and composer mfj rulla.

As the physical stage of the nomadic OTO SOUND MUSEUM, the Wasserturm is imagined as a home for sound art, where sonority and voices spread from the inside out addressing the public space directly. Often invisible to most people, the Wasserturm is a symbolic place that resists the waves of modernization, hiding in the urban fabric of the city. It is from the history of this profane place that Stirnimann-Stojanovic and mfj rulla have found inspiration to develop their collaborative work. Indeed, the Wasserturm was born out of the need for water distribution, which saw some citizens sharing a common mission and becoming active participants in the construction of the tower in the early 18th century. This social story led the artists to investigate the literature that relates to actions of self-organization and redistribution of resources in the present time, also one of the central subjects of their own artistic research. They are practices of resistance that belong to a radical imagination capable of activating processes of awareness, survival and procreation in relation to our behavior with the environment, human and non-human beings. What are possible ways to (re)claim the public space? What are possible ways to care for resources in a non-exploitative manner? What are possible ways to maintain collective structures in a rootless capitalist world? The audio piece Resist! Persist! Maintain! (2022) is a collage of existing texts with the intertwining of voice and sound – a fuse that wants to light up and urge action. Composed by mfj rulla, the soundscape accompanies the contents contributing to the transmission of the words’ meaning, and creating a space for the imagination to travel.
The audio work will be presented on 6th May in the form of a collective listening that starts from the Wasserturm and moves to the Old Botanical Garden via wireless headphones. The Wasserturm becomes the symbol of collective values interpreted by sound, while the Old Botanical garden turns into a natural space for reflection.

Sound returns to be the center of a program that also looks at the Zurich avant-garde – leaving the canonical and institutional spaces – to question its social, political and artistic role today.

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