sonic art - caterina tomeo

Sonic Arts – Between perceptive experience and active listening

“Sonic Arts. Tra esperienza percepettiva ed ascolto attivo’ (Between perceptive experience and active listening) curated by Caterina Tomeo, at the Civic Museum of Viterbo.

The initiative – which will be held at the Museo Civico di Viterbo – stems from a 2019 editorial project of the same title, in which the curator, Caterina Tomeo, lecturer and RUFA coordinator of the Master of Ars in Multimedia Arts and Design, intended to illuminate advanced experimental sound research through a historical-artistic mapping of the phenomenon, illustrated by many figures belonging to different fields of investigation and speculation on sound.o.
The choice of the term “Sonic Art” is closely related to Christopher Cox’s concept of “Sonic Flux” – referring not only to sound arts, which have been recognised by the art system and institutional spaces since the 1990s, but also to all those more recent practices and forms of expression in which the sound dimension is connatural to a visual and/or spatial presence, and in which these elements are inseparable from each other. That is, not only to environmental sound installations, sculptures and sound paintings, but also to all those digital sounds that originate from a particular aesthetic but are then expressed by means of different media: from sound spatialisation to live performance, from soundscape to field recording, and even radio art.

In December, an exhibition will be held in collaboration with RUFA, through the active involvement of students from the two-year course in “Multimedia Arts and Design”.


RUFA student Martina Carbone will present the installation “Where am I?”, a sound reading of Walter Russell’s cosmogony publishing his theory on the origin of the universe according to which matter is waves. A promenade guided and altered by frequencies that reproduce the energy balance illustrated by Russell in his periodic table of elements. Where am I? is an immersion in the vibration of an energy that follows the path of the Russellian spiral, whose force constantly compresses and releases waves. The emission of cosmic vibrations resynchronises us with the universal energy inertia, returning us to perceive ourselves as one with nature. The stimulation of active listening is necessary to restore the ability to cross a space consciously, an ability that we are slowly losing also due to an overabundance of frequencies and sounds that distance us from the regular natural flow of which every creature is a part.

The interactive installation ‘Martino è caduto nell’etere’ (Martino fell into the ether) by RUFA student Martino Cassanelli, set up in the museum’s cloister, consists of special microphones that pick up electromagnetic fields within the space, such as artificial, natural and human sounds. Each change is recorded and transformed into a musical composition. The resulting sound element is used to create interference on the video signal of the cathode ray tube television, which plays back ‘Home Video’ material consisting of amateur footage shot between 1991 and 2008. The invisible world of electromagnetic fields (or Ether) is thus made visible to the viewer.

Multimedia Arts and Design students Daniele Imani, Lucrezia Mariotti, Francesca Battaglia, Simona Lauro and Karina Sanchez will also participate in the Makers’ Night – at the active space of Lazio Innova – where they will present the final projects of their first year, in which they experimented with new programming codes and advanced technologies.

January will see the performance project featuring the work of authoritative figures from the Italian scene, including Fabio Perletta and Attila Faravelli – who will alter the traditional boundaries of perception, creating profound and transcendental experiences in the historical spaces of Viterbo. The spectators will be transported through the artists’ performance into a universe, consisting of sounds and gestures, that will reach a level of spiritual drift and at the same time a level of liberation from content, which is desirable in an authentic perceptive, synaesthetic and sensorial experience, “freed from the imperatives of knowledge and open to transcendent expansion”.

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