how does the world breathe now? | Wednesdays


MaerzMusik: Let Sonorities Ring – Julius Eastman | March 16-26


That, Around Which The Universe Revolves | Düsseldorf Chapter | March 23-26


MaerzMusik: Let Sonorities Ring - Julius Eastman

March 16-26, 2017

Recommended Donation: 5 EUR

© Chris Rusiniak, taken at Griffis Sculpture Park in the summer of 1975

March 16

6 pm “Live Ammunition! Music for Clapping, String Quartet and Live Electronics” - Performance by Hassan Khan

7.30 pm “ALLGEGENWART (OMNIPRESENCE document 1)” - Performance by Jace Clayton

March 22

7:00pm “Yes, Own Axis” - Performance by Mwangi Hutter

March 17-26

Daily 2-7 pm: Documentation Centre and Listening Station

Produced by SAVVY Contemporary and MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues.

From 17th to 26th of March, the space of SAVVY Contemporary will become a documentation centre dedicated to the oeuvre of Julius Eastman (1940–1990). Archival material including original recordings, video footage and scores will be made available to the public. Live Acts by Jace Clayton, Mwangi Hutter and Hassan Khan, will contribute beats and sounds to the program, widening and imaginatively deepening the perspective on Eastman’s work. “Let Sonorities Ring” is the first chapter in a one-year research project focusing on the life and works of the Afro-American composer, vocalist and performer that will culminate in an exhibition and a “Julius Eastman Festschrift”.

"For a political artist, which I feel is really any artist who makes a point of being aware of the extensions of control within themselves and their practice, the gesture of resistance has to be put into question again and again, most definitely beyond the easily recuperable referential relativisms that pervade our postmodern moment…” -- Sam Shalaby, Liner Notes, in Dreams and Music: Hassan Khan, Revolver Press, 2016

With these words, composer and musician Sam Shalabi introduces the musical work of Hassan Khan but it is precisely this political and aural liminal space that all artists in this project inhabit. Artists and musicians who speak or respond to Julius Eastman’s practice, with new or old works, by focusing on his music, vocal experiments and performances more than on his biographical story. Khan’s practice spans the visual arts, writing and music, in a tentacular approach where every aspect informs the other. In the music scene through different guises since the early 90s, and a musical autodidact, Khan’s electro-acoustic compositions and live performances defy classifications and have been extremely diverse in structure, in references and in narrative. In some of his pieces, pop culture and the history of music and popular movements in Egypt, the city of Cairo and its soundscapes, can certainly be considered important influences. In one of his latest pieces for example, titled “Taraban” (2014), Khan takes two early twentieth century Egyptian songs by Youssef El Manialawy as a point of departure, working with classical Arabic melodic patterns and instruments such as the Oud, the Qanoun, and the Riqq, but completely reformulating their sounds. In the context of “Let Sonorities Ring – Julius Eastman” Khan will present “Live Ammunition! Music for Clapping, String Quartet and Live Electronics” (2013), a 40 minutes piece in which different layers of string quartets and clapping patterns are used as "instruments" to produce a musical horizon. One in which structure regulates the emotional engagement with the piece, one that attracts and distances the audience at different times. A piece that is interested in suspension, and a dramatic yet subtle dialogue between its contrasting parts as well as with the listening audience. This is how the artist himself loosely defines the work: “on the shores of a new ocean - there are no resolutions only undercurrents and potential".

Also Jace Clayton moves between different contexts, working as an artist, a musician, a software designer and a DJ. Through his work as DJ/rupture, Clayton has travelled half of the world and has engaged in many different collaborations, ranging from Norah Jones to the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra via low budget touring throughout Colombia. Clayton’s work, as in his own words, focuses on how “sound, memory, and public space interact, with an emphasis on low-income communities and the global South”. He has an interest in how sound creates social meaning and in how to manufacture new electronic devices for producing music that defy western conceptions of sound. Eastman’s work has been an important reference for Clayton, who produced one of the earliest pieces dedicated to his oeuvre: the “Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner”, a 70-minute performance piece for grand pianos, live electronics, and voice. For “Let Sonorities Ring – Julius Eastman” Clayton will present a new piece “ALLGEGENWART (OMNIPRESENCE document 1)” a new choral work written in response to harsh night-time police lighting in his Harlem neighbourhood. Understanding the bright lights as a manifestation of institutional hostility towards blackness, the choir will sing to them, creating a space of contemplation that engages with the history of choral music as sacred praise to a higher power and simultaneously re-purposes the carceral infrastructure. For “ALLGEGENWART”, Berlin’s PHØNIX16 ensemble performs an excerpt from “OMNIPRESENCE” as a public concert, the recording of which Clayton will then rework into an hour-long radiophonic composition for voice and electronics.

Performers of the PHØNIX16’s ensemble are: Sirje Aleksandra Viise (soprano), Eva Zwedberg (soprano), Vanessa Chartrand-Rodrigue (mezzo), Michael Taylor (countertenor), Magnús Hallur Jónsson (tenor), and Oskar Kozio?ek Goetz (baritone).

Mwangi Hutter is an artist duo made up of Ingrid Mwangi and Robert Hutter. Since 2005, the two have worked side by side on numerous projects as a merged artistic entity. Working with video, sound, photography, installation, sculpture, painting and performance, they use themselves as the sounding board to reflect on changing societal realities, creating an aesthetics of self-knowledge and interrelationship. Ingrid Mwangi’s voice and body often appears in their performances. In works like “Drastic” (2014) for example the sole voice of Ingrid Mwangi performs a rich array of uncanny tonalities, that gradually span from emotional moments of laughter and despair to quasi-mimicry of natural and animal sounds, creating a fervent composition. For “Let Sonorities Ring – Julius Eastman” Mwangi Hutter will present “Yes, Own Axis” a work thought as an affirmation of an artist’s inherent creativity and potential. Circular motion, simplicity and repetition are determining factors of the action of the piece, which over time can gain a mesmerizing quality. The subject is to be completely immersed in the present moment and to draw from inspiration, memory and inner knowledge, allowing voice to be expressed. The object is to rise above opinion and concepts of what is acceptable. Through letting go of the narrative and illustrative meaning, a more profound comprehension can be gained about the nature of creation and the impact societal expectations can have on an individual seeking to be free.


Spatialization by Lorenzo Sandoval

Curatorial team: Antonia Alampi, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Berno Odo Polzer & Elena Agudio

Research curator: Lynhan Balatbat Helbock

Conceived by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung & Berno Odo Polzer

Produced by SAVVY Contemporary and MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues.

Hassan Khan’s contribution has been supported by ZK/U – Centre for Art and Urbanism.


That, Around Which The Universe Resolves. On Rhythmanalysis of Memory, Times, Bodies in Space

Düsseldorf Chapter

March 23-26, 2017

FFT KAMMERSPIELE | Jahnstraße 3 | 40215 Düsseldorf

Rehema Chachage. Kwa Baba Rithi Undugu (Still)

A Collaboration of SAVVY Contemporary with Gintersdorfer/ Klaßen, Q-Dance, Njelele Art Station, Hebbel am Ufer, FFT Düsseldorf and Kampnagel Hamburg

2016 – 2018 in Lagos, Düsseldorf, Harare, Hamburg and Berlin

Everywhere where there is interaction between a place, a time and an expenditure of energy, there is rhythm. - Henri Lefebvre. Rhythmanalysis

The research, performance and exhibition project That, Around Which The Universe Revolves brings together visual artists, urbanists, photographers, performers and theorists to investigate the interrelations of space and time, memory, architecture and urban planning through Henri Lefebvre’s concept of Rhythmanalysis.

The cities of Lagos, Düsseldorf, Harare, Hamburg and Berlin will be engaged in a network that investigates their specific urban epistemologies and histories. The cities will serve as laboratories of an investigation into the temporal and spacial dimensions of everyday urban life, seen through the interrelations between the body, rhythm and urban structures.

The second chapter invites artists to engage with Germany's colonial past through the locale of Düsseldorf. Photographer Adéola Olagunjú and actor Lloyd Nyikadzino are invited for a 3-week residency to critically engage with rhythms of history within the city, by questioning how heritage is produced, reshaped and unmade as an archive of rhythms.

The artists Nathalie Mba Bikoro, Jan Lemitz, Christian Nyampeta and Rehema Chachage are invited to join them for the presentation and performance of works together with Gintersdorfer/ Klaßen at FFT Düsseldorf as well as in public space.



Further details on the PROJECT PAGE and at FFT Düsseldorf.

Artistic direction: Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

Curatorial team: Elena Agudio, Anna Jäger, Saskia Köbschall

The project is funded by the TURN fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.


Session N°20: Parallelstraße

Sebastian Lütgert presents Ferdinand Khittl

March 29, 2017 | 7pm

Free entrance - donations welcome

Die Parallelstraße (The Parallel Street) by Ferdinand Khittl (1962, 83min, German with English subtitles)

< how does the world breathe now? > is a 52 week film series at SAVVY Contemporary inviting artists, thinkers, activists, poets, scientists, curators and other practitioners to select movies of our nows* | MORE INFO HERE

"Die Parallelstraße" is Ferdinand Khittl's only feature film, and it remains an absolute outlier in German cinema. Released in 1962 to an almost non-existing audience, and only recently rediscovered, it manages to transform a two-year journey around the world into an impossible, globe-spanning travelogue that treats the fragmentary form of its own material with constant suspicion and great irony. About a third of the film's runtime is devoted to a group of analysts who, in a thoroughly absurd setting and increasingly desperate mood, are trying to make sense of the images they are presented with. What makes their task even more hopeless is that Khittl's footage marks a radical departure from the tradition of European ethnographic cinema, as he persistently refuses, or sometimes intentionally fails, to transform the people and places he encounters into objects of reflection. Instead, Khittl, whose background in industrial film shines through in many of his shots, and whose camera does not discriminate between the mysteries of chemistry, religion, labor, architecture or color, delivers an equally distanced and delirious monologue in which the centuries of colonial history that his narration traverses -- the extraction of natural resources, the construction of transportation networks, the self-perpetuating crimes of war and the never-ending rituals of love and death -- retain all their horrors, as horrors.

Sebastian Lütgert is the co-founder of Pirate Cinema Berlin and the 0xDB movie database. He lives and works in Berlin as an artist, writer and programmer.