sacrificial mirror

Interactive Sound Art Performance

Performed at:

  • Ibsen Festival 2016, Jaeger Club, [Norway]
  • OFF EUROPA-Festival 2017, Leipzig, LOFFT – Das Theater [Germany]
  • OFF EUROPA-Festival 2017, Dresden, Societaetstheater, Gutmann-Saal, [Germany]
  • Shadows of the Dawn, Artaud Performance Center- Brunel University London 2018/ supported by the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies / Arts & Humanities. 

About the work

Sacrificial Mirror is a solo physical sound art performance in which the performer amplifies different sounds from his body with the help of microphones and sensors.
The performance is an attempt to create an auditory mirror image of the social norm by focusing on ritualistic and sacrificial acts.

Let’s take a moment to think of clubs as performative spaces that regulate the symbolic commodification of sound in modern society and therefore organize political order in music. For Jacques Attali (1985) music has always signified, even prior to the cultural/economic codification which eventuates with music’s entry into the market economy and subsequent commodification which destroys its ritualistic use value, abstracting it into exchange value. Before exchange, in ancient societies, music operates according to a code that Attali calls sacrificial. Music, given meaning by the codes of the sacred, forms, domesticates and ritualizes noise. Music is not innocent but, through ritual, structures power relations, enforcing and legitimizing the dominant code.

The work under discussion reproduces ritualistic gestural signifiers through which the performer crosses the border of the symbolic and reaches a semiotic space where the human body articulates forces of ruptures. The idea here is to reverse Lacan’s theory of the Mirror Stage which says that we resolve ourselves as an I and function as a subject in response to a reflected image of ourselves. Claude Bailble argues that the sounds occurring through the body to body contact of the fetus and mother (heartbeat, breathing, voice etc) establish the subject’s consciousness of its other. The child learns to be in response to sonorous rather than visual cues. Sacrificial Mirror engages Baible’s argument and transforms interactively the visual ritualistic gesture into a sonorous meaningful code. Thus, the visual kinetic symbolisms recreate an auditory mirror image of the political order of music in the social space.