Mollin + Voegelin

Since 2008 Salomé Voegelin and David Mollin have developed a collaborative practice with words, things and sounds. Their work has a conceptual basis, establishing through texts, voices, sounds and images, conversations and reconfigurations of relationships and realities. Their artistic engagement focuses on invisible connections, transient behaviour and unseen rituals. It re-considers socio-political, architectural and aesthetic actualities and sites through the possibilities of an ephemeral sound, whose invisible mobility invites a semantic inhabiting and brings a participatory engagement to installative and performance based works.

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Selected Works

Kleefeld – Klangfeld

Mollin+Voegelin have been awarded the commission to design and realise a site-specific work for a new replacement build of a primary school in Bern Kleefeld, Switzerland, 2016

 

For this ‘Kunst am Bau’/ ‘Art and Architecture’ commission, rather than producing sculptural objects to be placed within the new build, Mollin+Voegelin are working with the mobile and invisible dimension of sound to bring a different awareness to the site and the architecture, and to make audible the temporary and passing nature of place: how it is inhabited and used by the local community, a very multicultural and mainly immigrant and refugee neighbourhood. 

The regeneration of urban areas necessarily involves the removal of the old. This entails the removal of visible buildings and elements, but it also includes the removal of the invisible traces built up over the years through the living

experience of local residents within those buildings. 

 

A lived-in sense of the environment will have developed its own subliminal timbre, a lived-in texture, which will be removed by an imposed new form upon the local populace. 

 

The engagement with the building through its sound and the making of sound within it and on its site will provide a sense of authorship, and gives the community a stake in the process of their own regeneration while also facilitating ownership and participation.

Mollin+Voegelin have conceptualised a technological infrastructure and will curate a programme of sonic interventions that enables the exploration and transformation of the superstructure of the environment, understood as the architectural, technological and ideological construction of the site, through sound and sonic activities. 

 

The project will activate, intervene in and expand the physical architecture through artist led community based sonic interventions: accentuating, and adding interactions with the sound of the building, its users and its environs, in order to bring the invisible elements - voices, music, everyday sounds, the recess bell, cars, planes, birds, church bells, etc., - that create the social identity and influence notions belonging into play, and allow the neighbourhood to add their own voice to its design. 

         

Sound Art as Public Art: commissioned by the Kunstkredit Kommission Bern and the Hochbau Amt der Stadt Bern to produce a site-specific work for the new rebuild of a Primary School in Kleefeld, Bern, Switzerland, December 2016 (CHF175’000) 

 

The project will involve interventions by Gilles Aubrey, AGF Antye Greie aka poemproducer, Rahel Kraft,

Jan Schacher and Cathy von Eck

They Own The Night

By Mollin + Voegelin

A radio composition for Dokumenta 14, in collaboration with Silvia Ploner and Nicolas Perret YNK #10 on 27 June 2017 

 

Broadcast on: UKW 103.0 MHz in Berlin, UKW 90.4 MHz in Kassel, SW 15560 kHz Berlin, Athens, Kassel. 

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The Glad Circle

By Mollin + Voegelin

 

A radio compositions for Dokumenta 14

Broadcast #17 Saout Africa(s) July 2017

 

This piece brings Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s satirical play Der Besuch der Alten Dame from 1956 into an exchange with Djibril Diop Mambéty’s filmic adaption Hyenas from 1972 and through the conduit of translation, on screen voices and theatrical excerpts points to the fragile communality of all humanity in poverty, greed, love and death: ‘the unity of humankind consists in this common human condition: a wretched, feeble and pitiable existence, marked by uncertainty, insecurity and eventually death.’ (Catherine Lu, 2000). 

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The way I walked the cars went backwards

By Mollin + Voegelin

 

The work engages the internal volume of the site through interviews and conversations with the communications officers who manage the visitor experience, answer questions about work and guide them through the exhibitions. The term volume describes the invisible expanse of the site that is not measured by walls, windows, doors and rooms, but is the space of the environment’s temporal expansion that is grasped through experience rather than measurement and affords a sensorial sense that comes from inhabiting.

Interviews with José Antonio Díaz (Pachín), 

Gabriel Gijorro Chamorro, Sagrario Murillo López

​Interpreter Gabriela Diaz

Aurality and Environment, FASE 6

Tabacalera, Madrid, Spain 

30.11.17-02.02.18

Vocal Site Report

By Mollin + Voegelin

The work engages the site at the intersections and interactions with its external environment as it is delineated by the external walls that circumnavigate it.

​The recordings and restagings of the exploratory sounds produced and heard while circumnavigating the site, meet the narrative of the security guard (Miguel Sánchez López), who has worked in the building both when it was uninhabited and now, years later, that it is an arts centre. His voice produces a report of the site from his walks within the space, looking after the building’s security in its own passing of time.       

 

 

 

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Exhibition text

This exhibition includes a book with a by the artists co-authored essay, Overlapping Environments Made by Moving through Buildings and Paragraphs  in Aurality and Environment, Auralidad y Entorno, Alex Arteaga and Rachel Rivera (eds), Ministry of Sports and Culture, Madrid, 2017.

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A Cartography of Knuckles and Fingertips

By Mollin + Voegelin

 

Exhibited at Interferenze, a collateral event of Manifesta 12, in Palermo, Italy, November 2018. Also exhibited in The Manifesto of Rural Futurism, at Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, Melbourne, Australia, July - October 2019, curated by Daniela d’Artielli, Leandro Pisano and Philip Samartzis.

Knuckles and fingertips dragging along walls, measuring its surface by the friability of flesh, to record in blood and on traces of skin that place the map can’t grasp: The tight and ungiving space between building and body, between material and skin, where simultaneity has physical consequences; where architecture does not house but constructs movements and stillness; and where the skin bears the brunt of the desire to hear what stops the body move and what makes the building hollow.

         Here knuckles and fingertips perform a forensics of the invisible as an aural delineation of place and of body. Together they search for an access point at the site of interaction and sound the determination of their separate design.

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Are we staring down a doomsday clock getting close to midnight or merely looking out of the kitchen window

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By Mollin + Voegelin

 

Sound-Text work, different iterations 2016/ 2017.

Also exists as Text published in THIS I THAT IS ALL OF YOU, Brian Shabaglian 2017.

 

 

The work is a recorded sound walk through woods and heathland somewhere in the suburbs of London. The artist reads from a transcript of an ‘ornithological walk’ undertaken by two would-be ornithologists: one of the artists and a companion. In the original walk the two companions attempt to make sense of what is around them, using a bird guide and their own limited knowledge of ornithology, but sometimes they cannot even see the birds. The birds follow rules and patterns embedded in their neuro-system, which the artists recreate in their navigation of the techne that envelops them in the construction of the work. Through transcription and re-iteration this birdwalk becomes a staged event, following the same linguistic and actual paths taken previously. This re-staged walk is joined by a reading of fragmented pieces of an unfinished essay by the artists, placing Vilém Flusser, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi and Boris Groys among the tangled trees and branches of their own writing.

Factual Dispersion,

Poetic Compression:

Languages of Exile

By Mollin + Voegelin

 

Narrating Transformed, partner project of the 6. Marrakech Biennale 

24 February–8 May 2016. 

Performance each Thursday between 5-8pm. 

Audio only version on Sounding Out! Sound Studies blog 11.02.15 https://soundstudiesblog.com

The work combines the live and recorded recitation of works 

by female Syrian poets with newspaper articles on war forced migration across the Mediterranean, read backwards: With words stepping backwards from the wave of news coverage, 

attempting to retrace a moment or point in time, to go back where things 

began, the innocuous genesis of a single deliberate decision.

The stepping back breaks the habit of our clear factual articulation –a clear factual articulation that, in its fact, becomes ignorable as it 

satisfies the need for fact and its pincer click of tiny precision. This articulation is now carrying other words, carried forward from the 

reversal of the day’s date stamped so firmly and authoritatively 

on the facts, as if justification itself. Stepping backwards 

and moving forwards with the words of female Syrian poets, whose poems are oddly and noticeably not dated in the books recovered in translation 

from the British Library.

The necessary compression of meaning within each sentence of this poetry 

is in turn counterpointed against the fact of legal journalistic accuracy and 

its subsequent dispersal: its general thinning out, particularly in the face of 

reported death.

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Poets cited

 

Mona Fayad

Hala Mohamed

Maram Masri 

Saniyya Saleh

Aisha Arnaout

Ghada Al-Samman

Salva Al-Neim

 

 

 

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During the Night the Crops will still Grow (unless the player sleeps)

By Mollin + Voegelin

 

A sound work that started with a recording made by one of the artists looking at Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles Apartments, an edition of 25 black and white photographs, at the Basel Kunstmuseum in Switzerland. The artist can be heard, along with a small number of other visitors, moving slowly from photograph to photograph within the particular hushed surroundings of the Museum's special exhibitions room. The artist then showed the catalogue of the exhibition to his blind mother at her house in Barry, South Wales, describing and discussing the photographs, while listening to the recording of the exhibition together.

 

For the exhibition at the Kunstraum Riehen, in addition to this the artists sent each day an image/text via twitter for display, made with the installation in mind, thereby completing the mental loop that began with the audio recording of Ed Ruscha’s photographs, via the artist’s mother’s mind’s eye, and back.  @mollin+voegelin

Nietzsche, Cyclists and Mushrooms

Kunst Raum Riehen, Switzerland

23 May - 28 June 2015

The Cyclist and the Mushroom

By Mollin + Voegelin

 

A sound installation based on the meeting between a cyclist and

a car that explores the different worlds inhabited by both at the moment of impact. It takes as its points of reference the writings

of Terence McKenna, and in particular his interest in the meetings of different worlds through his experimentation with the hallucinogen DMT, and of the English geneticist J.B.S. Haldane, who acknowledged that ‘the universe is not only queerer than we suppose but queerer than we can suppose’. The worlds in question are the single-minded world of the cyclist, the distractedness in the cabin of the car, and the police report that attempts to make sense of it all, much in the way road markings attempt to bring order to the chaos and keep these worlds apart while also allowing them

to work in conjunction with each other.

The sound installation revolves around a sonic roundabout and includes a text that visitors are invited to print out, incorporating into this circular procession the printer’s own circular, but fatally distracted sonic route; bringing the production of text into potential collision with other ‘queer universes’.

As part of this work, the artists blacked out 7 minutes of the catalogue.

 

 

 

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This exhibition includes a catalogue with two texts by the artists, The Cyclist and the Mushroom, During the Night Crops Will still Grow, in Nietzsche, Cyclists and Mushrooms : Language in Contemporary Art, Heidi Brunnschweiler ed.Kunst Raum Riehen, Switzerland, 2016.

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Writer's Habits

By Mollin + Voegelin

 

Performance with various iterations, 2016/17

 

This piece is a text sound piece, loosely based on the idea of an artist’s talk, performed jointly by David Mollin and Salomé Voegelin as part of a recent exhibition entitled Nietzsche Cyclists and Mushrooms curated by Heidi Brunnschweiler at the Kunst Raum Riehen, Switzerland.

It comprises of a text based on writers’ written anecdotes, taken from the internet, on how they write, Hindu numerology, and the particular numerological time structure of the virtual environment of the computer game interjected by other concerns about words and texts.
The stage for the talk was initially provided by the physical space of one of the artists’ installations shown in the exhibition, into whose soundtrack the talk was embedded, borrowing its pace and circularity.

Later iterations created new contextualisations.

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A transcription of the performance was published in Journal for Reflections in Sound, Iris Garellfs ed., Issue 4, 2015 pp. 60-85,  https://www.reflections-on-process-in-sound.net/issue-4/

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The Dustcatcher

By Mollin + Voegelin

 

3 min. sound work as album track for The Ear is a Brain Compendium by Liquid Architecture, Melbourne 2014

 

Dustcatcher is a term used by Stephen King in his novel Bag of Bones to describe his books stored under the bed gathering dust, in relation to the death of the author of these books.

This work is based on this idea of a dustcatcher in relation to archive footage viewed on youtube. In this case the dustcatcher is the computer screen and the dust becomes the only visible sign between the reflection of the present and the footage of the past – in this case footage of a brief meeting between Peter Sellers and the Beatles on the Twickenham film studions in 1969.

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Drafts

By Mollin + Voegelin

 

Stereomix of 44 channel piece produced for Fermata a group show at Artisphere Gallery, Washington DC, US, 24.04 -10.08.2014

 

Drafts is a sound work based on actual drafts of letters discovered in a drawer of a de-sanctified church being renovated for sale as apartments in Gospel Oak. These letters appear to have been written by a volunteer member of the Church committee. In these letters the Church committee member complains of various perceived injustices and slights at the hand of the other church members and the minister.
Reminiscent of certain stories from M R James and Arthur Machen this work charts an individuals accumulating and gradual descent into complete distraction.

The 44 letters is read individually and diffused through 44 separate speaker channels in the gallery, becoming a looped cacophony of unregistered complaint.

https://brightestyoungthings.com/articles/fermata-artisphere

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Barry Echo

By Mollin + Voegelin

 

Magazine, Bregenz Kunstverein, Austria, 2007, played continually through the existing tanoy system of the Pfänder Gondola in the Alpine-town as it made its passage up and down the mountain. 

The work was later released on CD by Gruenrekorder https://www.gruenrekorder.de/?page_id=3927

and published in transcript in Playing With Words, Cathy Lane ed., RGAP publishing, UK, 2008.

The piece consists of 104 stories from the current editions of two Welsh Newspapers, the Barry Gem and South Wales Echo, read in the Tesco café at Culverhouse Cross, a shopping centre near Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales, by one of the artists to his mother, who is registered blind. For her part, the artist’s mother corrects any bad pronunciation of Welsh place names whenever they occur during the reading of the texts. 

 

D: Wales’ first solar panelled church is to be blessed by the Archbishop of Wales next week. Saint Joseph’s church in… oh dear, Cum Wamam, Cum Mamam, Cum Aman - C - W - M

Mother: Cwm

D: Aman

Mother: A - M - A - M

D: Cwmamam…

Mother: Cymamam Sounds alright

D: … Cymamamadare was fitted with 30 solar panels as part of a 750’000 pound grant funded refurbishment programme.

 

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© 2019 Salomé Voegelin