HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts
19 April – 7 May, 2023
A new audiovisual artwork presenting the results of Esmeralda’s artistic research on Artificial Intelligence (AI) as part of the festival “31. Dresdner Tage der zeitgenössischen Musik” (“Dresden Days of Contemporary Music”) (April 19 to May 7, 2023) at HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts.
During Esmeralda’s 2022 residency at the Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden, dealing with Artificial Intelligence and sound led her to explore the places where personal data is stored, the vast and often hidden server farms which contain the sonic traces of our digital footprints. Institutional server farms are usually inconspicuous, industrial-looking buildings whose outer shell reveals nothing about their interior. However, their infrastructure is complex and the servers work incessantly, their smooth operation only possible with sophisticated ventilation systems maintained by dedicated staff. Our data is invisible and not physically tangible, yet at the same time the data centers buzz, hum, and groan around the clock seemingly “24/7”.
The installation occupies the usually inaccessible subterranean orchestra pit of HELLERAU and centres around the relationship between humans and technology. “24/7” amplifies and draws attention to the overwhelming volume of personal data which is generated daily when we all interact online. Visitors are invited to explore the underground installation and physically experience the strange sounds of server farms combined with recorded human voices.
On May 7 there will also be a unique live event featuring operatic singer Arturo den Hartog, the Bürgerchor at the Kulturpalast Dresden and members of Esmeralda’s own “E Ensemble” which will take place within the Great Hall at HELLERAU. This performance blurs the boundaries between performer and audience and is intended to portray the sound of big data on a human scale. Ethical questions of how knowledge is shared is expressed as a solo performance in an aria sung by counter-tenor den Hartog.
24/7 is a project with Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden in co-production with HELLERAU. Supported by the British Council and the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony.
For further information and to book tickets please click here
Artistic concept and music: Esmeralda Conde Ruiz
Lighting Designer: Marty Langthorne
Sound Designer: Jan Brauer
Producer: Eira Szadurski
Curators: Elisabeth Krefta, HELLERAU, and Gwendolin Kremer, Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden
Performers: Arturo den Hartog, Ben See, Janice Lyayuka, Yasuno Miyauchi, Bürgerchor at the Kulturpalast Dresden, TU Dresden staff, E Ensemble, Bürgerchor at the Kulturpalast Dresden
Conductor, Bürgerchor at the Kulturpalast Dresden: Gunter Berger
Choir Manager, Bürgerchor at the Kulturpalast Dresden: Nadia Kramplova
Hellerau team: Moritz Lobeck, Michael Lotz, Elisabeth Krefta, Jakob Schneider, Peter Fiebig , Patrick Lauckner, Falk Dittrich, Helge Petzold
Field recording engineers: Ugur Can Akkaya , Martin Fischer
3D scanning: Robin Boeltzig, Kelsang Mende, Zhongyuan Yu, Matthew McGinity
Scientific research partners:
Prof.in Dr. Orit Halpern, Professor for Digital Cultures and Societal Change, TU Dresden
Jun.-Prof.in Miriam Akkermann, Professor for Empirical Musicology, TU Dresden
Prof. Dr. Ercan Altinsoy, Professor for Acoustics and Haptics, TU Dresden
Fellows of Schaufler Kolleg@TU Dresden, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden
Photography: Mischa Haller