duendepr.com news Antoine Bertin, Listening to the living

Antoine Bertin, Listening to the living

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Protocell, Antoine Bertin’s immersive performance presented during the latest Nemo Biennial in collaboration with artist NSDOS, invited the audience to question the borders between the living and non-living: A small crowd of 100 people, connected through wireless luminous headsets were guided by narration and explored the night, discovering the capacity of inorganic materials to act as living through electrostatic or heat impulses. Over the past 5 years the sound artist Antoine Bertin has been listening to friction, to rifts, to the invisible and other wonders with a desire to render them palpable and to crystallise them in space. Next April he will unveil Species Counterpoint at STRP Festival in Eindhoven and in May he will install his human burrow in Kielder forest in the UK. 

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Species Counterpoint, STRP Festival 2020.  In a room with no performer, a mechanical piano plays a musical score generated out of the DNA of a tree and a of a human. 60% of our genes is shared with plant-life, yet the hierarchical representation of the living situates mankind at the top of the scale and plant-life at the bottom, just above minerals. Through Species Counterpoint Antoine Bertin offers a sound meditation on our similarities and close-knit ties to plant-life. Through aprocess called sonification (transforming data into sound), DNA sequences scroll across the perforated paper of the machine self-activating each piano key in turn. Winner of the ACT prize, the artist developed Species Counterpoint in collaboration with the curator Juliette Bibasse as an exploration of the post Anthropocene

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Human Burrow (May 2020). Dug out in the forest of Kielder in northern England, The Human Burrow is an underground listening station: the visitor is invited to descend into the burrow, touching and leaning against its cork walls which resonate with the tiniest of movements of the forest: vibrations produced by animals, signals coming from plant-life, underground movement… This sonic library, set to be installed permanently within the woods offers an immersive experience within a world where hearing is rendered greater than sight and where the notions of time, space and listening are redefined.

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Photo portrait Pierre Baëlen. 

Born in 1985, Antoine Bertin is a graduate of the ENS Louis Lumière and of the London College of Communication. His work intersects science and sensory immersion, field recording and sound storytelling, data and musical composition. His creations take the shape of listening experiences, sound sculptures and audio meditations on the realm of the living. His work has been presented at Tate Britain, at the Palais de Tokyo, at the Serpentine Gallery as well as KIKK, Blue Dot and Sonar+D festivals. He produces a quarterly show called “The edge of the forest” for the web radio NTS, where he broadcasts the sounds of the invisible world and has founded Sound Anything in 2018, a studio which creates listening experiences based in Paris. www.soundanything.com. He will soon release an EP on the label Groovebox.