Scalable Skeletal Escalator Music by LABOUR | 2019
Kunsthalle Zürich

For the occasion of contribution to Scalable Skeletal Escalator at Kunsthalle Zürich, LABOUR created a longform sonic composition utilising algorithmic processes that unfolded over seven hours throughout three floors simultaneously, interacting with choreography, paintings, smells and texts.

Using spoken word from the performers in one section, LABOUR created hybrid voices using wave-sets, point cloud formations, and other processes on voice recordings in which the performers make an internal bodily journey while imagining the interiors of their own bodies. These texts became the sources of synthetic human-animal amalgamations, creations of mythological chimeric beings.

Rather than treating the spaces to achieve a sonic ideal, LABOUR instead analysed the unique acoustic qualities of the large gallery spaces to compose specifically for the sonic reflections and reverberation time, for example with impulses attuned to decay times, and reflections creating the impression of ‚invisible speakers.‘ As in all of their live work, both the invitation into acoustic space and encouragement of active listening for the public remain primary interests.

Scalable Skeletal Escalator is an experimental live art work conceived by Isabel Lewis in the form of a holobiont, a multi-organismic assemblage, like the human body itself, shuddering and shaking into being. This mode of exhibition-making draws inspiration from evolutionary biologist Dr. Lynn Margulis’ emphasis on cooperative and symbiotic relationships between species as the driving force of evolution. The themes of the work are continuous with its form reflecting on potential human futures. Continuing in the vein of Isabel Lewis’ practice of questioning the disembodied thought systems of the West which deny the body of “livingness” in the deadlock of idealism/materialism, this work invites collaborators and visitors on a participatory epistemological quest to re(dis)cover the body by rehabilitating our human sensorium in order that we might enhance living rather than alienate ourselves from life.

zweikommasieben interview with LABOUR

conceived and directed by: Isabel Lewis
music and sonic dramaturgy: LABOUR
speakers conceived by: Dirk Bell
speakers built by: Mo Stern
paintings: Matthew Lutz-Kinoy
smells: Sissel Tolaas
performers: The Field (Mirjam Jamuna Zweifel, Pierre Piton, Lucia Gugerli and Declan Whitaker, in cooperation with Tanzhaus Zürich), Rafał Pierzyński, Mathias Ringgenberg, Lara Dâmaso
outfits and styling: Yolanda Zobel, Marcelo Alcaide
support by: Tanzhaus Zürich
special thanks to: Kunsthalle Zürich, Callie's Berlin and Schauspielhaus Zürich

‹‹ Untitled (inwardness, juice, natures) by Isabel Lewis, Hacklander/Hatam (LABOUR) and Matthew Lutz-Kinoy no apocalypse not now Music by LABOUR ››