Occulto Fest :: A two day festival. A series of sound performances. A video screening. A workshop :: March 12-13, 2011 :: Ausland, Lychener Straße 60, 10437 Berlin ::
At the end of the 1970s Sam Wagstaff put together an extensive collection of photos taken between 1870 and the 1930s, including Mumler’s ghost portraits, Kirlian’s experiments, Darget’s “thoughts photographic pictures” and other pioneering photographer’s works attempting to demonstrate the reality of certain supernatural phenomena. These pictures, beside the historical and ethnographic interest, are strongly suggestive abstract pieces, and Wagstaff explained that the he had collected them to satisfy his own desire to contemplate and explore the “pleasure to see, as when we see people dancing from a window.”
With somehow similar hopes and fears, several people tried to start a communication within a non-human dimension, experiment known as Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), voice-like sounds not resulting from intentional voice recordings or renderings. They have been claimed to derive either from paranormal events, or from a kind of materializing of the subconscious (apophenia, or auditory pareidolia), or to be simply hoaxes.
In his short novel “It Belongs to the Cucumbers”, William Burroughs traces a similitude between his own writing technique of cut-up and Raudive’s “ghost voices” recordings, intentionally creating a mysterious aura around the subconscious process of creativity. Acousmatic music could be seen to be treading the same path; and maybe the same could be said for most creative exploration.
Artistic and musical research often brings results that are surprising not only for the viewer/listener, but also for the artist as well. Unexpected changes, distortions and deviations are a lively part of any creative and intellectual process; but sometimes they are also intentionally part of the project from the beginning.
In his debut as a director Shadows, John Cassavetes let the actors free to improvise on a scenario, something accustomed in the Italian Comedy of Art, but quite unusual in Hollywood. Besides exploring the issue of interracial relationships in a very simple and enlightened way, he also offers one of the best family rows in the history of cinema.
Occulto Fest involves artists and musicians that often focus on unusual, creative and diverted ways to collect and use data, be they recorded sounds, scientific data, legends, computer programming languages, novels, circuits or images found on the web. But this is not the full story; they also do so with wit, utilising well developed skills and with the critical and challenging approach which has always been the best part of any DIY philosophy.
Occulto Fest proposes an exploration of something between scientific experimentation, wonder, hoax, subconscious suggestions and physical reality, using music, videos and other media.
For more information: http://www.ausland-berlin.de