Treppauf, Treppab- Situated Now, Donna Haraway

48 + 3 channel Audio, Duration ~23mins

Temporary sound installation for:Auditorium & Theatre (Showrooms Ultd)Underground station Heinrich-Heine-Allee, Düsseldorf19 June - 21 July 2019

Composer Marcus Schmickler uses the so-called 'Shepard Tone' in many of his compositions, which goes back to the psychologist Roger Shepard. It is an acoustic illusion in which a tone continually rises or falls, but its pitch never seems to reach a limit. The sound is in permanent motion, but seems to arrive nowhere; a process that could go on forever and in the visual arts can be compared to works by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher.
The pioneers of electronic music such as Jean-Claude Risset, Karlheinz Stockhausen and James Tenney already knew this effect. Schmickler proceeds differently, dividing individual Shepard tones into arpeggios, condensing and purifying them, accelerating or slowing down their tempo, interlocking them with other electronic particles and thus developing complex acoustic contexts whose architecture, despite its logical structure, is not always comprehensible and produces a psychoacoustic illusion.

How is it conceivable to remain true to the real world in a world in which the technical generation of virtual worlds shifts the boundaries between illusion and reality ever further and crosses them imperceptibly - and whose metaphysical speculative implications become increasingly unrecognisable, but therefore not necessarily ineffective? The subtitle of the composition designed for two of the three sound corridors of the Heinrich-Heine-Allee subway station goes back to Donna Haraway's famous essay 'Situated Knowledges'. The central thesis of the much-discussed script is to view the object of knowledge as an actor and agent and not as a projection screen. What is important in dealing with positions of knowledge is above all the repeated critical review, deconstruction and interpretation of the dominant knowledge. At the core of "Situated Knowledges" is a fundamental contextual approach to all research questions.Thus, not only for Haraway does loyalty to reality combine with the recognition of the reality-constituting meaning of illusion, but at the same time with the question of the communicability of the world. At the moment, of course, when reality is no longer bound to representation but to communicability, the question of representation takes on a new meaning in many respects. Thus the question of the production of a binding reality under the conditions of new media techniques presents itself as a search for better representations of the world - whereby 'better representations' means more precise, conscious ways of making the world communicable.

Generously supported by Kunstkommission Düsseldorf.
Photo: Achim Kukulies