MAKU: Maia Urstad and Anton Kats in residence at Lighthouse
31 May 2019
MAKU is the collaborative project of artists Maia Urstad (Bergen, Norway) and Anton Kats (Berlin, Germany), combining their shared practices and interests in communication technology, radio transmission and ways of listening.
The focus for Maia and Anton’s residency at Lighthouse (14 – 22 June) begins with thinking about how radio practices can respond to site-specific needs in useful and collaborative ways. As new forms of communication technology open up and others become obsolete, the possibilities to use these technologies for our own means and to find different ways to listen and programme also expand. But, who transmits for whom, what is being transmitted and for what purpose?
In addition to radio as a transmitter and receiver of content, Maia and Anton are interested in its sensory, listening experience. The richness of sound signals we each pick up in everyday life, often subconsciously, also give a picture of technical development and the different communities that form around it. As radio technology changes, how does listening to the technology itself – its errors, interruptions, geographical limits and communication signals – help form our memories and understanding of a place?
At Lighthouse, Maia and Anton will re-purpose equipment from around the building to create a temporary radio lab and listening space. As Lighthouse starts to think about redeveloping the physical architecture of its building, Maia and Anton will meet groups in Brighton who are using non-physical radio spaces for programming, meeting, and communicating, to think about how re-development can be a collaborative process approached from a practice of listening.
Join Anton and Maia for a discussion about the different ways of working with radio, Tuesday 18th June, 6-8.30pm, sign up here.
Anton Kats is an artist, musician and dancer born in the Ukraine and now based in Berlin, Germany. His practice derives from informal everyday relationships from growing up in a vibrant neighbourhood in Kherson, Ukraine, complemented through the necessity and pragmatics of seeking self-legalisation in Europe via entering formal institutions of education. In his work, Kats explores radio through concepts of ‘narrowcast’ and ‘concrete listening’, engaging with structures of self-organisation and self-education. His projects often unfold in the form of collaborative interventions, installations and sonic sculptures, performances, learning sites and public programs, and have been present in venues including the Serpentine Galleries, Tate, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Showroom gallery, London (UK) and documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel.
Maia Urstad is an artist based in Bergen, Norway working at the intersection of audio and visual art. She was a member of ska/new-wave group ‘Program 81’, releasing 4 records and touring between 1979-84. Technological progress and communications technology are pervasive themes in her projects, using radio as a key audio, visual and conceptual element, commenting on the temporary nature of present technology, and what traces and stories we leave behind when new inventions enter our daily lives. In 2017, she was appointed as City Sound Artist of Bonn 2017, and throughout 2018 exhibiting ‘Time-Tone-Passages’, a 40-channel site specific sound installation based on material from the radio archive of Deutsche Welle, Germany. She is part of the international sound art collective Freq_out curated by CM von Hausswolff, and a co-founder of Lydgalleriet, Bergen.
MAKU are at Lighthouse as part of Curator in Residence Eva Rowson’s six month programme ‘Who’s doing the washing up – where’s the sink?’ exploring the role of hospitality in organisations. The project is a response to Lighthouse’s aim to create spaces to host new ideas, practices and communities and a shared understanding amongst local groups and independent organisations that these spaces are disappearing elsewhere in the city. Drawing on ideas of world-building and feminist science-fiction, modes of communication and organisational practices, the programme takes different forms including workshops and interventions as well as re-imaginings of the uses and workings of the Lighthouse building itself.
The programme title ‘Who’s doing the washing up – where’s the sink?’ is used to address questions that so often go unasked by institutions and grant-makers when imagining ’radical’ new models of organising and hosting: How are different types of work – from the artists to the cleaning – valued in these futures? Who gets to have a voice in these imaginings? And how do we actually change the infrastructures we’re working in so we don’t just reproduce the same models, narratives and values?
Part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
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