Panel – musikprotokoll @ ARTikulationen

Whodentity – Self and Other in Artistic Collaborations

How is identity defined and questioned in collaborative artistic and artistic research contexts? Between composers and performers, between performers or improvisers in an ensemble, and between artists in transdisciplinary work, creative proximities, distances and frictions arise out of underlying social identities. In this panel, musicians, artistic researchers, and scholars discuss creative conflicts in artistic work and research with a particular focus on collaboration, and how (and whose) identities might be questioned, changed, abandoned, or found in engaging with others. The panel is a collaboration between ORF musikprotokoll and ARTikulationen.

Panelists: anthropologist and performer Caroline Gatt, double bass player John Eckhardt, composer and sound artist Miya Masaoka, and composer and artistic researcher Pia Palme. Moderation: Hanns Holger Rutz

Caroline Gatt

Caroline Gatt is Senior Postdoctoral Research, Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, University of Graz and Co-Investigator on the project ‘(Musical) Improvisation and Ethics’ funded by the Austrian Science Fund.

Gatt is an anthropologist and performer focusing on ontological politics, laboratory theater and song, co-design, and collaborative processes. Her publications include ethnographic and theoretical texts, practice-based multimodal essays, and experimental and collaborative projects exploring the potentials of printed ‘books’. Her book ‘An Ethnography of Global Environmentalism: Becoming Friends of the Earth’, published by Routledge, based on her doctoral research is the first in-depth ethnographic study of an international environmental organization. The book presents an account of the daily life and the ethical strivings of environmental activist members of FoEI, exploring how a transnational federation is constituted and maintained.

As a trained laboratory theater practitioner, Gatt developed a research project entitled ‘Crafting Anthropology in Practice’ (a subproject of ‘Knowing from the Inside’, Tim Ingold PI, European Research Council). In collaboration with Valeria Lembo, Gatt organized the panel ‘Knowing by Singing’ at the Royal Anthropological Institute biennial conference 2018, and is currently editing, also with Lembo, a special issue for American Anthropologist entitled ‘Knowing by Singing: Ontological Politics, Logocentrism, and the Other-Than-Human’, which will include written as well as multimodal contributions.

photo © Katrin Bethge

John Eckhardt

As a double bassist in contemporary music, in manifold personal projects from solo to installation, or when working sound systems with his bass guitar or a set of turntables – John Eckhardt is continuously involved in today's music. He has developed diverse acoustic and electronic solo projects, and collaborated with a wide range of artists: composers such as Lachenmann or Boulez, outstanding groups as Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien and musikfabrik, improvisers like Evan Parker, Elliott Sharp and Peter Evans, up to the youngest generation of new blood in a wide field of current music.

He has premiered hundreds of works and recorded on over 40 releases, among them five solo-records released in special one of a kind editions. These share a special interest in „Bass, Space & Time“ - in low-frequency and spectral immersion, spatial depth and evolutionary process. He presented his double bass solo „Xylobiont“ in by now 50 international recitals. His bottom-heavy work with bass guitar and electronics is released under his monikers Forresta and Fatwires.

Driven by curiosity and passion, he is unfolding a bass cosmos of unusual dimensions. As Basswald, he presents DJ-sets and podcasts dedicated to sound system culture. Recently, he was increasingly involved in the creation of sound installations dealing with low frequencies and phenomena of room resonance, such as „48k“ released by Touch in 2021. In 2019, Westwerk Hamburg presented his exhibition project „BASS / WALD“, combining Eckhardt's large-format forest photography with a sound installation. He is currently working on a series of works based around themes of sustainability and self-decolonisation.

photo © Reuben Radding

Miya Masaoka

Miya Masaoka is a 2021 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and 2023 Rome Prize fellow. A composer, sound artist and musician, her work explores bodily perception of vibration, movement and time while foregrounding complex timbre relationships. She has created a body of work that encompasses interdisciplinary sound art, hybrid acoustic/electronic performance, improvisation, music composition, research, sound installations, listening, and interactive media. She creates instruments, three-dimensional scores, wearable computing, and sonifies the behavior of plants. She uses sound, gesture, temporality and diverse materials such as clay, ink, paint to create scores and installations.

Her work has been presented at the Venice Biennale, MoMA PS1, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Toronto Biennial, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, the ICA, PA and commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony, EMPAC and the Library of Congress. The BBC Scottish Orchestra, Jack Quartet, Bang on a Can, Del Sol, Dal Niente, Ostrava Days, S.E.M. Orchestra, Glasgow Choir, Either/Or Ensemble, Momenta, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) have performed her work. She was a Studio Artist for the Park Avenue Armory, and has received a Doris Duke Artist Award, a Fulbright and an Alpert Award.

She is an Associate Professor at Columbia University and directs the Sound Art Program in Visual Arts. Her critical writing has been published by TDR (The Theater Review) including her essay, “The Vagina is the Third Ear,” and she has a forthcoming essay in an anthology edited by Douglas Kahn and Pia van Gelder.

photo © Jussi Virkkumaa

Pia Palme

Pia Palme (Vienna) reconceives her work within the disciplines of composition, performance, and research as an ecosystem. She is known for her radically ecofeminist and posthumanist ideas. In her pieces, sound interacts with the entire environment, including other disciplines and non-human agencies. The backbone of her work is the physicality of performance, a theme she regularly revisits as a musician with her bass recorders.

From 2019–2022 she directed the artistic research project On the fragility of sounds (PEEK AR537 Austrian Science Fund FWF) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Centre for Gender Studies, an exploration into experimental forms of music theatre at the intersection with feminist practice. In this project, Palme cooperated with musicologist Christina Fischer-Lessiak and theatre scholar Irene Lehmann as well as with institutions and artists worldwide. Her recognitions as an artist include the Outstanding Artist Award of Austria (2015), scholarships from the state of Austria, the City of Vienna, and Sound and Music UK; residences from the Konen Saari Residence in Finland (2022), the Örö Residence Programme Finland, the q-o2 Workspace Bruxelles, or from the The Banff Centre of the Arts, Canada.

Recent book publication: Sounding Fragilities. An Anthology, Irene Lehmann and Pia Palme, editors (Hofheim: Wolke Verlag).