«Resilience: Artist in Residence» is a program by Silo – Art and Rural Latitude (an organisation dedicated to art, science, and technology) that offers immersion to artistic research and experimentations directed to artists, curators and scientists interested in developing their work in a rural space.
For its fourth edition, which took place in August and September 2021, it gathered nine scientists and artists to work in the Environmental Protection Area of Serrinha do Alambari, in the State of Rio de Janeiro [BR], and on the Itatiaia National Park’s plateau, located at 2,791 meters of altitude, between Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais [BR].
In this environment, residents could exchange knowledge and find connections between art, science, and society through field research, encounters, and an open studio.
One of these participants was sound designer Mélia Roger [CH\FR], who’s project consisted of field recording with different concepts and devices – such as soundscapes and contact microphones – in the quest for intimacy and proximity through listening to birds, wind, leaves, and water.
The process was part of a larger research about environment listening, and the residency resulted in a short film entitled «Intimacy of Lichens – Sonic Device for Empathic Listening».
“I feel inspired by the notion of ‘in-be-tween’ developed by sound studies researcher Salomé Voegelin, as if sound could be perceived as fluid matter, oscillating from being to being, and being troubled by affect and political power.
Sound, imagined as a moving volume, comforts the perception of sound as an affection, a sonic object charged with emotional reception and empathy. Being in a position of attentive listener, your ears become actors that create relations, opening a door for human-non-human connections. In ‘Staying with the Trouble’, Donna Haraway refers to the ‘Chtululucene’ as an alternative concept of the Anthropocene and Capitalocene, to blur boundaries between species and therefore create trouble in our hierarchal understanding of a white western male-dominated planet.
I want my microphones to be the actors of this trouble, offering a new position to listen to our world, in a conscious way. My understanding of a dichotomy between human and non-human may be a bit too binary and should become more complex, fluid, queer, or free from boundaries… but l am still looking, through my practice, to explore this ‘in-between’, by ‘being touched’ by the unstable state of listening to vibrant environments.”
Mélia’s notes on the project
Mélia participated in «Resilience: Artist in Residence» alongside fellow residents: Adriana Alves, Bruno Mota, Caroline Do Vale, Daiana Schröpel, Luana Vitra, Maria Palmeiro, Marina Hirota, and Pedro Hurpia. The project was supported by Pro Helvetia South America, Instituto Serrapilheira, and Swissnex.
Mélia Roger is a sound designer for film and art installations. She has a classical music background and owns a master’s degree in sound engineering (ENS Louis-Lumière, Paris, FR). She develops an artistic approach exploring voice and field recordings, looking for intimacy and closeness through listening. She is now living between Paris and Zurich, focusing on both post-production for films, and her own artistic works.
Silo – Art and Rural Latitude is a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating and promoting art, science and technology in rural, peripheral and environmental protection areas, stimulating exchange between intuitive techniques and scientific knowledge. Silo works through immersive experiences, transdisciplinary and collaborative practices. They are currently based in Serrinha do Alambari, an APA (Environmental Protection Area), located in the Mantiqueira Mountain Range on the triple border between the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and São Paulo. their activities encompass local and international communities.