British Council Canada supported Liaison, an exchange between the MUTEK International Festival of Digital Creativity and Electronic Music in Montreal and the Convergence festival in London, as part of the Quebec-UK Cultural Cooperation Fund, awarded by the Québec Government and the British Council. The UK-based artist collective AUDINT were invited to present an experiential sonic installation, film and discussion at the PHI Centre in Montreal, Quebec as part of the MUTEK International Festival of Digital Creativity and Electronic Music. We caught up with them to discuss the exhibition and their future projects ...
Q. Who are AUDINT and how did the collective form?
Originally formed in 1945, AUDINT currently consists of Toby Heys, Steve Goodman (Kode9) and Patrick Doan, who investigate the ways in which ultrasonic, sonic, and infrasonic frequencies function and impact psychological and physiological states.
Q. Tell us about your recent projects...
Recent performances and installations have taken place in Berlin, New York, and Germany and documentation of these projects, such as recordings, writings and illustrations have been published as Martial Hauntology – a project that brings together a mix of the unsound into an audible journey. Physically it is presented as a package containing a book, vinyl record, and six 'Dead Record Archive' cards.
Q. How did you get involved with MUTEK Festival?
In 2012, AUDINT participated at the New Forms Festival in Vancouver, where Toby Heys and Steve Goodman were introduced to MUTEK’s Patti Schmidt to discuss the North American premiere of their short film Delusions of the Living Dead (which recently premiered at London’s Tate Britain in 2015). MUTEK was a favorable and highly conducive framework for AUDINT’s concepts, as it is one of the most established and innovative electronic music and arts festivals in North America. The members of AUDINT have developed a strong relationship with the city of Montreal, having participated at the last edition of MUTEK. Additionally, Goodman has played numerous shows in the city and Heys has been a member of Hexagram research centre at Concordia. Therefore it was not a surprise that AUDINT’s projects received a positive response in Montreal.
Q. Tell us about your project at the PHI Centre...
AUDINT’s exhibition at the PHI Centre presents two multisensory environments that use film, ultrasonic speakers, a tactile bass system, woodchips and hard candies to continually impact the five senses. Each environment, which switches every 30 minutes, references a side of the vinyl record in the 2014 Martial Hauntology project. Side A, titled Delusions of the Living Dead consists of a 20 minute animated film that contains both a sonic and infrasonic score. Meanwhile, Side B fills the gallery space with a 20 minute sonic documentary called DRNE Cartography, which employs a tactile bass system and directional ultrasonic speakers.
The exhibition at the PHI Centre opened on Tuesday May 26th and ran for two weeks, with a special screening and panel discussion with theorists Brian Massumi and Jonathan Sterne on Friday May 29th.
Q. How did the opportunity to perform at MUTEK impact your work?
In the present economic state of austerity, it is becoming increasingly rare to find spaces that allow the presentation of this type of research, as a large amount of temporally-based events get stripped of their funding.
The opportunity from MUTEK and the PHI/DHC Art Centre provided a threshold for a project that exists at the intersection of art, music, science-fiction, conspiracy theory, and academia. It also acts as a facilitator for new strains of research to be developed for upcoming projects, such as AUDINT’s Mix Tate project and the cassette release on the Reel Torque label. The cassette will present archival material from former AUDINT member Magdalena Parker, who produced looped sequences on analogue synthesizers and tape machines between 1964 and 1972.
Written by IREX2* the artificial intelligence that initially recruited Goodman and Heys to join AUDINT in 2009.