Constellations of Situated Listenings at Centrale Fies
The sound archive of Pleiades. Moments of Diffused Listening has been produced by Standards collective, who has been invited by curator Claudia D’Alonzo to develop a broader research based on sound practices on Centrale Fies, understood as a single body of physical spaces, but also as the diverse communities that inhabit it. Standards is a collective project by Attila Faravelli, Enrico Gilardi, Michele Lori, Gaia Martino, Roberta Pagani and Nicola Ratti.
Pleiades is based on listening practices and is made up of various actions, both on- and off-line, stemming from two artistic residencies spent by Standards at Fies in the past few months, exploring its indoor and outdoor spaces. Diverse works emerged from this activity, presented through three complementary formats in terms of duration and space of occurrence.
At the end of October Standards run a listening and field-recording workshop that involved one among the many communities of Fies: the in-house staff in the persons of Barbara Boninsegna, Marco Burchini, Maria Chemello, Lucrezia Di Carne, Vania Lorenzi, Dino Sommadossi, Virginia Sommadossi and Francesca Venezia, together with Filippo Andreatta, Fra De Isabella (Ubi Broki), Francesca Pennini and Maria Paola Zedda (whose voice is telling the following story). All the hyperlinks in this text will lead to some of the field recordings.
I don’t know much about the night
but the night seems to know about me,
and more, she cares for me as if she loves me,
covering my conscience with her stars.
In the virtual space of the web I am searching for traces of Pleiades, Moments of Diffused Listening. Today it lives through a website, an online archive of sound, text and graphics, a work conceived for Centrale Fies by Standards as part of the INBTW21 programme, curated by Claudia D’Alonzo.
A digital environment reveals the footprints of a journey that took place in diverse stages. Carried out since October and still in progress, the project was born from the desire to explore the relationship between the body and the listening, but also between community, architectural, biological and acoustic bodies. Bodies of knowledge.
The Pleiades—the winter stars, worshipped in different cults, Celtic, Greek, Hawaiian, a point of orientation in lunar calendars since ancient times—are here a nebula, a constellation of sounds and listenings, of side notes to a confession, whispered experiences, forays.
I land in a portal of tracks, an experience of aural perceptions settled on a textural condensate: it’s the graphic work by Lucrezia Di Carne, almost a Rorschach inkblot, where organic textures accumulate and explode into the impalpable universe of the web.
Here, listening practices, sound capture experiments, static texts, moving flows of words, and silence come together into small clusters, connected to the experiences of those who, thanks to the invitation of Standards and INBTWN, have explored the sonic possibilities of Centrale Fies’ body. A body of concrete, water, memories, rock, gear wheels, history.
There emerge the voices of the community working at Centrale Fies: Barbara, Virginia, Dino; the entire staff, Marco, Maria, Vania, Francesca, Lucrezia; the people who have experienced it through curatorial projects, as an outside eye or a resident artist, Filippo Andreatta, Francesca Pennini, F. De Isabella.
There emerges the space, the Centrale as a phantasmagoria, as an unburied image coming to the surface, not at all disturbing, but familiar, warm, intimate. It leads us between the folds of a living architecture, of a listening landscape that takes our memory to the freshness and embarrassment of the first times, to the stolen glances, to the arcane secrets of those who live it beyond the spotlights of the festival, during the dark night months.
There emerge the bodies, through their explorations, their becoming ears, through the interspecies dialogues activated through sounds, through the impossible proximities that omnidirectional microphones make it possible to capture. Resonant bodies.
I am there too.
A sound that becomes body, a body that becomes space, a space that becomes sound again.
A hiatus between submerged and unburied, visible and invisible, audible and unheard of, presence and memory blowing mystery into the digital flow, according to a movement made of slippage, asynchrony and de-territorialisation. A veiling recalling the absent star, Merope, the star of the Pleiades that escapes our view, taking us back to the opacity of our life, at the threshold between the sidereal distances of the network and the touch of situated experience.
There emerge the voices of the first Drodesera, the strength of the early twenties, the new constellations of minds, bodies and landscapes that now inhabit Fies. Anna’s yellow eyes. “Yes, they’re really yellow”. My first encounter with bats.
October 2021. The Forgia is the densest space of the Centrale, a condensate of thresholds, of shadows and sounds, of fluids, of smells and industrial lights. In this minor, antagonistic space, I am with Gaia and Attila, exploring the Centrale. They ask me to take them through a personal itinerary to capture environments, echoes and resonant spaces. Memories of performances, sounds, smells and rituals emerge like ghosts. The body captures and makes room. It opens up to the vibration of sound, becoming dance.
I float among the waves of the web, of listening, of brain memory, of the reverberation of water surrounding Centrale Fies and from which Fies is born. All the voices and sounds tell about this water. But you cannot hear it, it is underground. Can you hear the water? Are you here? Where is “here”?
We walk. Oh, look, a dead rat.
A precise vision halts this flow, leading us to an exact point in space, to the concreteness of facts. The proximity of another body—an agent of knowledge and therefore an element of reality—concludes this ekphrasis and takes us to the present, to the long tail of the pandemic. It throws us off balance with punk, almost subversive irony, leading us to the accuracy of the real, to the exact point of our listening.
Apart from the mountains.