Timo Kahlen (*1966), media and sound artist based in Berlin, recently nominated for the German national “Sound Art Prize 2006” (Deutscher Klangkunst-Preis 2006), has been invited to take part in “Manifesta 7”, European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Trentino, Italy from July 19 to November 2, 2008.
(left:) Timo Kahlen: Media Dirt, 2004. Based on interfering, ephemeral radio waves. Glass cylinders, enclosed loudspeakers, sound. KIASMA National Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki / Finland, ISEA 2004
(right/below:) Timo Kahlen: Swarm, 2008. Concept for site-specific sound installation based on the sound of bees , metal, 800 x 100 x 100 cm, Fortezza fortress / Alto Adige. Courtesy Manifesta 7 / Italy. Copyright Timo Kahlen / VG Bild-Kunst, 2008 (both images)
For Manifesta 7, Timo Kahlen will realize a prominent, site-specific sound installation, entitled “SWARM” (2008) for the main courtyard of Franzensfeste / Fortezza fortress, one of the four main venues of Manifesta 7.
“The sound sculpture SWARM emits an altered, abstracted, recomposed sound of bees, encased within a metal construction. Humming calmly, then becoming distorted, slightly agitated, progressively more aggressive, the installation creates acoustic chaos and even a perceptible vibration from inside the encasement, before returning to a softly buzzing hum. The military function of the fortress is mirrored in the exact positioning and the construction of the sculpture. Its shape is defensive, armored with riveted sheets of steel, evoking the form of an object of warfare. Its potential for aggression and its aura of alertness reflects the color and consistency of the granite stone and monochrome roof tiles of the 19th century fortress. The subtle – and at the same time irritating, confrontational – sound installation becomes integrated into the site. During the exhibition, rust will gradually change the metal surface of Kahlen’s sound object.” (Manifesta 7 Guidebook available)