The latest project of Lebanese sound artist Tarek Atoui is an exploration of hearing diversities. Atoui questions how deafness can influence and expand the way we understand sound performance, its space and instrumentation.
The works presented at Bergen Assembly in collaboration with Council are an exhibition entitled Infinite Ear by Council and a new chapter of WITHIN by Tarek Atoui. Nine new instruments were created for this exploration, and their playability are the result of workshops and collaborations between the artist, instrument makers, speaker designers, software engineers, musicians, deaf and non-deaf students and volunteers.
Together with Tarek Atoui, Kvadrat Soft Cells re-engineered Soft Cells panels to create the instrument, FELT, a touch sampler made out of 33 touch-sensitive textile panels. Each textile surface has a distinctive texture or pattern and the instrument can be connected to different computer software and families of sound.
In September 2016, the instruments were brought together for the first time at Bergen Assembly’s Sentralbadet, an abandoned swimming pool located in central Bergen.
Tarek Atoui studied sound art and electroacoustic music. In 2006, he released his first solo album as part of the Mort Aux Vaches series for Staalplaat Records. In 2008, he served as Artistic Director of STEIM in Amsterdam, a centre for the research and development of new electronic musical instruments. Atoui has presented his work internationally at the Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates (2009 and 2013), New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (2010), the Seoul International Media Art Biennale (2010), Haus der Kunst in Munich (2010), Performa 11 in New York (2011), Documenta 13 in Kassel (2012), Serpentine Gallery in London (2012), and the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014).