an interactive series of installations inviting you to listen.
homotopy is a deconstruction of the body into its axes — a reduction simmering at absolute zero.
This project is an excavation of the soma as an acoustic artefact. It is an exploration of sound that will dive deep into the provenance of identity, and the intersections of mind-body dualism; how could something as intangible as memory and consciousness affect the way we feel?
Our bodies remember scars, pressure, heat, intimacy, and emotion. Neuroscientists have postulated that the human consciousness could merely be modalities of vibrational frequencies. Our brain encodes both the vibrations we hear, and feel, in the same way; it is an ancient sensory seismograph that persists as an inheritance from our human ancestors. It is the evolutionary precursor to how we listen.
Can you travel through time with an ear to your heart?
homotopy has three main objectives:
- To foreground sound design as an expansion of existing habits and boundaries in performance making;
To liberate the virtual and corporeal body as receptacles of personal identity;
To highlight multidisciplinary interrelationships, and how syntheses of knowledge could contribute to an intimate understanding of human narratives.
The concept of this research work-in-progress is the recreation of sonic / haptic stimuli to extract memories, impressions, and unconscious rituals (i.e., muscle memory) from and for living bodies. With a starting point at absolute zero — where all particles cease movement, and return to silence — we aim to devise a deconstructive process that would establish a dialogue between ontology and experience. Through the use of reactive sound design and isolated spatiality, homotopy will be an ongoing concretisation of possible modalities that engage the audience and performers introspectively — all within a communal act of listening.
In this project, we will design an incubation arena for tonal impulses / vibrations to emerge and resonate with concepts from analogous subject areas; some of which include geometry, cognitive neuroscience, quantum mechanics, augmented reality, and documentary / physical theatre. This arena of experimentation will revolve around the human body in all of its diversity. We would like to enable the correlations between these seemingly disparate paradigms to externalise and intertwine — in a genuinely exciting process that we look forward to honing. In grounding acoustic principles and aural physiology as the basis of our research methodology, we hope to have a broader understanding of how our physicality intersects with cognitive phenomena; which would in turn unearth new approaches to performance creation and dramaturgy in our work.
Some individuals and pieces of work that we would be referring to throughout the process include the sound art piece 'I am sitting in a room' by experimental composer Alvin Lucier, the 'Generation Loss Project' (where ‘generation loss' is defined as a reduction in quality between subsequent copies of data), the composer Robert Ashley’s album 'Automatic Writing', and Ghanaian-American singer-songwriter Moses Sumney.
There are recurrent motifs of resonance, inheritance, and temporality that we are focusing on. How are these ideas relevant to a generation full of questions, uncertainty, and pluralities in Southeast Asia? Our bodies are essential to locating, claiming, and documenting our place in society. How can we inspire conversations with individuals about who they are, their origins, their dreams of the future, and their relations with the landscape around them? homotopy endeavours to emphasise the lesser-known ubiquities of sound, and to encourage invigorating personal discoveries and extrospections.
This project is a collaboration with a diverse team of artists across multiple disabilities, queer identities, and ethnicities. It features the contributions of sound scientist / composer Ada Adhiyatma as part of the core team, with theatre-makers Ness Denoga, Su Paing Tun, Rajkumar Thiagaras, Melva Lee, and dancer / filmmaker Ammar Ameezy. This was made possible with the generous support of Dance Nucleus as part of their ARTEFACT#4 creative residency. A video documentation of the process can be found here, and an archival event page can be accessed here.
audience / collaborators' feedback:
"It was very eye-opening and I felt a strong and
newfound connection with my body. The internal buzzing in my body that I so often ignore felt stronger to me as I went through the exhibition..."
"homotopy gave me new insight into my relationship with sound; it made me realise there are so many more ways that I am aware of sound, not just in audio form. It exists in many other states as well and I think in daily life we often neglect to tune ourselves into the other ways of realising that we coexist with sound... I could literally still “feel” the vestiges of the sounds (whether in their audio states or other forms, perhaps tactile, visual or even as just-formed memories) that I had encountered accompany me to watch the projection in the next part of the room. It really felt like the sounds were not just following me but leading me into exploring these pieces which the
collaborators had brought into existence. I would like to see further iterations and expansions of this project, as each collaborator and artmaker’s ways of making meaning have truly been engaging and insightful to me."
"A change of pace. Acquainted me with new rhythms... Reminded me of the work of Bagyi Aung Soe."
"Overall, it was a liberating experience for me. You and Ada have created a highly collaborative space where I feel safe yet challenged to explore my artistic and personal boundaries. Boundaries meaning since this is my first artist-collaboration upon graduation and this is highly experimental. It really expanded my spectrum of possibilities. For instance, it opens the new door to thinking about science artistically... This project merged my interests in practice-as-research."
"I LOVE IT! As someone who works in the museum sector, I am always familiar with consuming arts or being in touch with my emotions visually and literally. Understanding the impacts of sound and vibrations is very new and interesting for me."
"The exhibition was a journey! I felt that it aligned with other events in my life — more specifically, that just yesterday my mom and I were talking about sound therapy for the muscles, for my grandfather."
"It was a very exploratory kind of exhibition that brings us into different interpretations of sounds. The score piece resonated with me, it took me a while to understand but when I did, it was such an interesting way to convey a piece of music / sound."
"I loved how free-flowing and open the explorations were. I really loved how much research was involved and the
connections to physics and biology."
"It was very accessible and offered rich food for
thought, especially with additional explanations by the artists. I really enjoyed the variety of ways we could interact with & experience sound. It really provoked a deep reflection on how sound is experienced in my life. I like the transducer installation especially."
"I had a great time during this process. It opened a new way of devising work with many elements such as space, sound (and the thought of) and bodies in space. It was a great opportunity to push my mindset and limits as a new artist!"
"It was interesting. Kept trying to connect everything for myself.
Very poetic and introspective
Space for imagination
Love it when others try the experiments
Sound is an area to explore for meaning & can guide us
Mythos of sound
Felt like therapy in a good way
Embodied hearing, connected physics with it
Other exhibitions were beautiful..."