Philip Samartzis - The Blizzard (cancelled)

Sat 24 Oct 2020 - 15:00 to 23:30
Provinciaal Domein Dommelhof, Toekomstlaan 5, 3910 Neerpelt

Katabatic wind is a low gravity wind that gains force as it travels down elevated slopes. It is particularly prevalent at Casey Station in Antarctica, due to its location at the base of the Law Dome mountain, which gently rises to an elevation of 1395 metres. When the cooler temperature of a katabatic mixes with the warmer temperature of the onshore wind, a very unstable weather system emerges. Katabatic wind is particularly notable for the way it shapes the manner in which sound is experienced within the natural and constructed environment. Its trajectory can push sound away from you or it can draw it closer to you. Its intensity can mask sound and its absence can heighten it. At its most ferocious it simply obliterates everything in its path. A collision with the built environment transforms katabatic wind into an intense series of ascending and descending pitches, a supercharged aeolian harp. Inside the braced steel framed and insulated panel buildings pervades a silence that imposes a profound sense of isolation from the immediate environment. Outside the volatility is expressed through a variety of resonances emitted by miscellaneous surfaces and materials undergoing tremendous stress. The Blizzard comprises a series of recordings made over 24 hours during the most intense blizzard ever recorded at Casey Station during summer with peak wind gusts measured at 185 KPH.

Philip Samartzis is a sound artist, scholar and curator with a specific interest in the social and environmental conditions informing remote wilderness regions and their communities. His art practice is based on deep fieldwork where he deploys complex sound recording technology to capture natural, anthropogenic and geophysical forces. The recordings are used within various exhibition, performance and publication outcomes to demonstrate the transformative effects of sound within a fine art context. He is particularly interested in concepts of perception, immersion and embodiment in order to provide audiences with sophisticated encounters of space and place. Philip is an Associate Professor within RMIT School of Art, and the artistic director of the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture.

Recorded: February 15, 2016, Casey Station, Eastern Antarctica | Mixed and Mastered in Melbourne | Australia 2020 

This soundpiece is part of the Listening Program curated by Dominik ‘t Jolle as part of the parcours programme which takes place on saturday 24.10 at Provinciaal Domein Dommelhof and will be performed three times between 15:00 and 23:30.