untitled thirty-seven (sǒ bàtú)/ Intercepted messages

sǒ bàtú literally translates as ‘to bathe one’s ears’ or ‘ear bath,’ in Kɛnyaŋ
(Kenyang), a language widely spoken in the cross-river basin of Manyu, in
erstwhile British Southern Cameroons. It’s metaphorically a sonic bath.Like a ritual, or an impulse that precedes an experience. The installation spatialises sounds,
hardened 100% cotton thread/plant fibre structures, glowing set of modelled and
animated “eye balls” in discontinued jail cells, torture chambers and re-purposed
prisons. The first set up,  was in a cluster of historical prison cells under the
colonial-era Batavia House in Fatahillah square, Central Jakarta, in the context of the Jakarta Biennial (JIWA).
A multi channel composition from field recordings mainly from pure elements
(water, fire, wind, earth) is configured to use the existing architecture to
accentuate the low frequency elements from the sub-woofers, creating a molten
state between acousmatic  sounds and a system of irregular monstrous
heartbeats.The collage also includes vocal excerpts/ideas from certain figures in
black liberation struggles with an emphasis on figures from the Bright of Bonny

cotton study_55

study, polymerised 100 percent cotton threads structure

Intercepted Messages/ : a collection of notes that take the form of poems,
/letters/sonic sketches from and around prisons, and political detainees, read,
sketched by selected voices around the world (from an imagined or real,
emergency or urgent position, in recognised or non-recognised languages) . Some
messages could evoke a possible future, or a cosmology of a possible
future. The video documentation of readings/ performance featuring the artist
himself and other performers reading selected notes or letters, are projected on a
water-soluble paper screen that dissolves over the course of the projection, with
the video image subsequently fading into the backdrop of the dark sky.

About Em'kal Eyongakpa

Mbieven-Efforbi Em'kal Eyongakpa (b 1981) , Mamfe, Cameroons/ Lives and work at Itinerant*. Approaches the experienced, the unknown, as well as collective histories through a ritual use of repetition and transformation, with interwoven installations/interventions/soundscapes, that not only blurs the boundaries between employed media, but could also alter the notion of the real and the illusory. Initially trained as a botanist and ecologist.

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