BERLIN 2022 /

Lundahl & Seitl


Symphony of a Missing Room
STERNWARTE—A Language of What May Not Be Said (2022)


Sightless goggles, voice instructions, three-dimensional sound, synchronized movement, touch ● Duration: 16’23’’ ● Commissioned by Screen City Biennial ● Location: Archenhold Observatory, Museum of Celestial Science ● Image credits: Lundahl & Seitl, Symphony of a Missing Room – Tunnelvision. Courtesy Lundahl & Seitl. Photo by Olga Osyka

READING TIP: Click everywhere to invert colours

Adapting to the location of the Archenhold Observatory, this new iteration of Symphony of a Missing Room emerges from a playful engagement with the German word Sternwarte, which translates as “observatory” but is composed of the words Stern (“star”) and Warte (“wait”). Sternwarte, star-wait, overtones the receptive aspect of the human gaze into the cosmos, whereas the English word emphasizes the subtly invasive act of observing—or peeping—through a telescopic hole.

In Symphony of a Missing Room — Sternwarte, we are receivers of the light that travels from the stars and penetrates our retina. We exercise the extension of our sensorial experience into the surroundings and attempt to make contact with a signal that reaches us from a multiple light-years distance. Participants wear white goggles that induce a spatial white-out, partly rendering our sensory interface to the world incomplete, and partly enabling a new relationship with the surroundings by blurring the distinction between sensing/reasoning, and body/mind. A guiding hand gradually earns our trust, while a whisper in the ear synchronizes our movement and breathing with the architectural sound in the headphones, closing the sensorial loop between our body and the imagined space through a reversed engineering of vision.

In Symphony of a Missing Room — Sternwarte, the value of agency and guidance is constantly negotiated in a dance of listening, adapting, and responding to cues we learn to read with our bodies. Objects and events from the past have been integrated into the works’ choreographic score. They trigger future experiences, surfacing in the close contact and friction between visual and auditory organs, on the nerves and the skin of the two bodies temporarily becoming the work.

Performers: Evgenia Chetvertkova, Franziska Gerth, Christine Sollie, Michiyasu Furutani

Lundahl & Seitl

Lundahl & Seitl’s immersive methods include staging visitors’ guided movement to augment and alter reality. The virtual experience in their works is created with peculiar objects such as sightless goggles or methods of choreographed touch by reverse engineering visual stimuli. Through a heuristic relationship to process, and created in collaboration between disciplines, the duo has developed an art form and method containing staging, choreographed movement, instructions, sculpture, spatial sound, and augmented and virtual reality. Their performances focus on the resonance between a world and its inhabitants, drawing attention to the connectivity and interdependence that exists within any given environment.

Lundahl & Seitl’s works have been exhibited worldwide, including in the UK at Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery, Battersea Arts Centre, Royal Academy of Arts, Cell Project Space, and NOMAD Projects; in Germany at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berliner Festspiele, Hamburger Kunsthalle, MMK2 and Kunstmuseum Bonn; in France at Center Pompidou-Metz, and Avignon Festival; in Belgium at S.M.A.K, STUK and Museum M; in Switzerland at Kunsthalle Bern; in Austria at Steirischer Herbst and Museum der Moderne; in India at the Kochi Muziris Biennale; in South Korea at Wooran Foundation; in Iceland at Cycle Festival; in Norway at Momentum 8 – Tunnel Vision, Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art; in Sweden at Weld, Nationalmuseum, Dramaten, Accelerator, and Magasin III.

In 2022, they showed their work within the Temple of Alternative Histories at Kassel Staatstheater, in conjunction with Documenta Fifteen; they are part of the MIT Media Lab’s Art, Culture and Technology Programme. Lundahl & Seitl live and work in Stockholm, Sweden.

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