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workspace for experimental music and sound art
23/05/2022 - 18/06/2022

Sonic ecologies of whips


“As we entered another lockdown our embodiment of the obligations of mobility and immobility draw us towards other ways of knowing. The Q-O2 residency is an opportunity to reclaim a productive space of artistic research, capacity building and the imaging of alternative worlds. My aim is to study, record and compose with the sound of whips, a long term research and wish of mine.


“An unconventional device for sound production, turned-into instrument, I crack and swing whips as an investigatory sonic mapping device to activate obsolete, peculiar and sometimes derelict architectures and sites. The whip crack produces a sonic boom, a polysemic act alongside the semiotics of the whip and its placement in contemporary mainstream culture and our histories. I grew up in the Italian Alps where there still exists a strong tradition of whip cracking as a herding method and sport and where whip cracking is to this day strongly linked to folklore and used in seasonal rituals, carnivals and other pagan traditions. A visceral phenomenon, cathartic and often overly fetishized extension of the body and listening machine, I want to play and document a variety of scenes during the residency to capture and sculpt a whips’ sonic ecology. The embodied interplay of the swinging and cracking sounds of whips with a sonic boom as a portal to listen to our precarious and uncommon times, the residency could finally allow me to plan and record a catalogue of sounds/samples/sound blocks to compose an immersive sonic landscape which I can document, present and openly discuss during a closing event. ( I’m professionally trained to handle whips indoors and outdoors and happy to discuss this further upon request) With an emphasis on the whip as object and instrument, the project combines a series of sonic inquiries/live interventions with whips and other materials/instruments/objects. Selecting particular spatial settings to undertake these recordings, will allow me to draw and sculpt a sonic map and model of the object featuring this acoustic phenomenon in an entirely new environment; reducing this composition to the sole sonic use of the whip and the surfaces, space(s) and air(s) it reverberates on as a basis to produce an ambitious sound work.


“I’m inspired by Maryanne Amacher’s compositional approach to sound in space and psychoacoustic illusions and influenced by the feminist and anticapitalist writings of Silvia Federici, amongst many more, and believe there is a deeper meaning rooted in this ephemeral acoustic ritual of whip cracking. In my practice I’m interested in how urban, rural and now virtual infrastructure intersects with socio-political narratives and cultural practices, and how this informs debates around the impacts of globalisation, capitalism and precarious labour.


“I approach my sonic research (independently and as part of my postgrad research at the Bartlett School of Architecture) with an interdisciplinary lens and am particularly invested in creating immersive experiences for audiences to access sonic practice. The sound of whips inflicts a sonic agency and power I feel I was not able to capture yet in its eclectic entirety and I would welcome this opportunity to develop this idea further at Q-O2 and capture this inquiry and research in the form of a sonic event with the acquired materials and findings.”

Sebastian Dingens - WALKS
Pavel Tchikov 29/11/23
Nika Son - Scatter

Q-O2 is supported by the Flemish Community, VGC and the European Union
Koolmijnenkaai 30-34
B-1080 Brussels