mɔ́ ntai tabindɔ #4, barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk #3 @ VanAbbe Museum (position #5)
Installations, variable dimension, variable disposition,
10 channel sound composition, sound sculptures
-1x quadrophonic set up plus 1 sub woofer
-3 clusters of sound sculptures composed of : repurposed copper receptacles, red jerrycans , tap tea pots, pumps controlled by interfaces locally or by computer program, custom microphones, electronic interfaces, vinyl tubes and stoppers, , calabashes, polymerised cotton thread figures, hemp roots, plant fibres, moss/lichen filled tree branches (found) ,
-glowing set of animated modelled eyeballs in and around broken coconut shells,
-mycelium beds with embedded broken coconut shells, electric cables, text, hand written glyphs/ sound baffles,
-1x quadrophonic set up plus 1 sub woofer
-midi controlled LED animated ideoglyphs
‘mɔ́ ntai tabindɔ #4/ barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk #3’ for Position #5, constitutes new fragments and recent excerpts within ‘sǒ bàtú reflections’ (2016-ongoing); a series of installations, live sonic sketches, processions, kinetic and sound sculptures, through which Eyongakpa explores ideas around portals, crossings, ancient self-preservation practices and water, in relation to resistance movements from the oil and natural gas-rich region of the Gulf of Guinea and beyond.
”Mɔ́ ntai tabindɔ” is one of the smallercaves known to some Eyoŋowa1 villages as a refuge in times of conflict. Folk stories have it that there exist other worlds inside some of the larger caves, said to play host
to vulnerable communities.‘barɨŋ’ translates as ‘veins’ in Kɛnyaŋ2, ‘báchɔ́kɔrɔk’ as ‘clock birds’, ‘barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk’ would literally translate as ‘veins of clock birds’. ‘sǒ’ translates as to bathe, to cleanse, while ‘sǒ bàtú’ would be ‘to bathe one’s ears’, to or ‘ear bath’. For ‘mɔ́ ntai tabindɔ #4/ barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk #3’, Eyongakpa mimics a temporal refuge, an alternating hourly experience, wherein fragmentary narratives are forged via the medium of sound, light, sculpture,ancient ideoglyphs, and bio degraded text.
Drawing from real events, folklore, and clock/time signatures recurrent in Manyu and the larger Congo basin,
while looking at the displacements following the ongoing Conflict in former Southern Cameroons, narratives
are interwoven and amplified through the corridors of the central, larger gallery. The environment is conceived as a cave-like setting or an underground forest refuge,
staying within Nsibidi3 aesthetics of double significance, in addition to the animated ideoglyphs. You will find
house hold materials, red jerrycans to popular old Dutch tap tea pots ‘kraantjes pot’ / ‘kraantjes kan’ and
calabashes re-purposed into instruments, generating rhythms andbeats, 6 weeks buried mycelium
landscapes, ‘sound baffles’ with embedded text, wires and broken coconut shells evoking burial sites
common to the cross river people or burial assemblages in the Upemba depression. These airy sculptures are placed in a setting that evoke a sense of emergency. Tables and furniture made of moss and lichen filled tree branches are present, with webs of sǒ bàtú’scotton thread structures and calabash receptacles. These are interspersed with mycelium beds with degraded texts/ideoglyphs,coconut shells, glowing eyeball-like structures in a dimly lit room.
The sonic backdrop is composed from recordings made in Eyongowa forests, streams, lakes, rivers and
oceans in Southern Cameroons, vents and pipes from the artist’s studio, North Holland, Bondoukou
in North-East Cote d’Ivoire and the Mediterranean. These are woven with poetic recitals and found sounds
from elsewhere and the ongoing conflict in Southern Cameroons, stories on self-preservations, alternative
self-defence pointers. The 59’59” multichannel composition interacts with the water and oil fuelled sound sculptures, rhythm generators from barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk.
The smaller gallery hosts most of the vocal references, as well as a light score or a digital LED ideoglyphic
transcription. We invite you to spend time here -listening to and experiencing theses spaces.
1/ Eyoŋowa is a clan within Manyu indigenous nation states.
2/ Kɛnyaŋ is a language spoken in the Cross River basin of Manyu.
3 / Nsibidi (Nsibiri) the system of
recording, hiding, conveying knowledge used by various men and women
associations in the larger cross river region (present day Manyu in the
Cameroons and Cross River state in Nigeria)
kɛrakaraka #3-i / mɔ́ ntai bɛrrɛ @ CCA Lagos Library
inter-sessions within “Mɔ́ ntai bɛrrɛ” installation at CCA Lagos Library.
kɛrakaraka literally translates as “sixth fingers” in Kɛnyaŋ . Recent water-based polyrhythmic sound sculptures from “barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk”, consisting six veins/tentacles each. For every sculpture, the 6th vein is set/locked around clock/time signatures mimicking idiophones employed in various rhyhmic variations from erstwhile Southern Cameroons and the larger Congo basin. The unlocked channels are set to distort water drops/flow on prepared membranophones and idiophones . The generated sounds are transformed by granular synthesis , accentuating on deep tones (recurrent with the cross river membranophones), as well as shaken and plucked ideophones. The set up is controlled by a custom live interface “e-MungoWest #7 ”; controlling flows in the water fuelled sound sculptures, dependent predominantly on atmospheric pressure.
For kɛrakaraka #3-i / mɔ́ ntai bɛrrɛ, three of the six-veined analog polyrhythm generators from barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk. interact with fragments from “Mɔ́ ntai bɛrrɛ” multichannel sound installation in the course of inter-sessions (sonic lectures/ interventions/live sets ) at CCA lagos over a period of 2 days.
Tahjwèsè #3i/ barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk #4 @ The Showroom
Continues 2 October – 7 December 2019
Installations, variable dimension, variable disposition, variable sound conbination
(7 channel sound composition that interacts with 4 sound sculptures)
-1x quadrophonic set up plus 3 sub woofers,
-2X clusters of 02 sound sculptures composed of; repurposed copper receptacles, calabashes,
prepared membranophones , electronic interfaces, pumps controlled by interfaces locally or by computer program, custom microphones, vinyl tubes and stoppers, polymerised cotton thread figures, hemp roots, plant fibres, moss/lichen filled tree branches/ tree backs, river sand,
-mycelium landscapes with embedded broken coconut shells, electric cables, text, glyphs/ sound baffles,
-midi controlled LED animated ideoglyphs
The Showroom presents Tahjwèsè #3i / barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk #4, an immersive sculptural environment and the first solo commission in the UK by artist Em’kal Eyongakpa. The installation forms part of sǒ bàtú reflections (2016-), an ongoing body of work including installations, live sonic sketches, processions, kinetic and sound sculptures through which Eyongakpa explores ideas around portals, crossings, ancient community preservation practices and water in relation to resistance movements from the oil and natural gas-rich region of the Gulf of Guinea and beyond.
Tahjwèsè #3i/ barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk #4 constitutes interacting fragments developed both onsite at The Showroom and at Eyongakpa’s studios throughout summer 2019. The title is written in Kɛnyaŋ, a language widely spoken in the Cross River basin in Cameroon. ‘Tahjwèsè’ in Eshobi, Southwest Cameroons, is located approximately seven kilometres from the confluence of the river Manyu, and is believed to be the site of a portal from where ‘barem’ (ancestral spirits) emerge periodically to chant, luring people into long, unconscious states. ‘barɨŋ’ translates as veins, and ‘báchɔ́kɔrɔk’ as clock birds, so ‘barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk’ literally means veins of clock birds. ‘sǒ’ translates as to bathe or to cleanse and ‘sǒ bàtú’ is to bathe one’s ears, or ear bath. These subtitles consequently have multiple readings that draw from indigenous aesthetics recurrent in the Manyu region and clock/time signatures from rhythmic structures, which inform Eyongakpa’s new water-based sound sculptures, or rhythm generators, for sǒ bàtú reflections.
Tahjèsè #3i/ barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk #4 includes a multi-channel sound composition produced from a combination of field recordings made in and around Tahjwèsè and from various bodies of water – streams, rivers, lakes and oceans – in the former Southern Cameroons and the Mediterranean; as well as recordings from water pipes and wind channelled through air vents in Eyongakpa’s workspaces. At The Showroom the composition interacts and alternates with sounds generated by water-based polyrhythmic sound sculptures, and found sound excerpts from the ongoing conflict in former Southern Cameroons.
This immersive, sonic environment is set in an electronic organic installation in which bio-polymerised fungal mycelium-scapes are embedded with texts, plant fibres, electric wires and coconut shells. Structures of hardened cotton and plant fibre are interwoven with polyrhythmic sound sculptures, whilst the resulting sounds are transcribed visually by custom-made, touch-triggered and midi-controlled sound/light interfaces, which have been developed by Eyongakpa with collaborators.
For the past three years, Eyongakpa’s sǒ bàtú has developed across a range of sites internationally, and with shifting constellations of collaborators. A few of the forms that the ideas around sǒ bàtú have taken include an installation in a cluster of historic prison cells under the colonial-era Batavia House in Fatahillah square, Central Jakarta, and a cycling procession in which live, analogue, water- and oil-based kinetic sound sculptures were carried on Dutch bakfiet bicycles from Ken Saro-Wiwa Street to Nelson Mandela Freedom Park in the Bijlmer, Amsterdam. Since 2017, sonic dialogues and conversations with sound artists, poets and musicians: mbì-ɛshobì inter-sessions at Bɔ́ Bɛtɔk / Bijlmer station in Amsterdam, and Arhgbrou 4.3 which premiered in Amsterdam and Lagos. Workshops continue to be developed by Eyongakpa with displaced communities focused on building analogue rhythmic systems.
Curated by Elvira Dyangani Ose and Lily Hall.
Installation view, Tahjwèsè #3i/ barɨŋ báchɔ́kɔrɔk at The Showroom
courtesy the artist, Bɔ́ Bɛtɔk, The Showroom.
Photographs © Eyongakpa
arhgbrou 4:3, mbì-ɛshobì inter-sessions / /ˌɪntəˈsɛʃ(ə)n/
Arhgbrou 4.3, immersive sonic experiments, ephemeral sonic monuments/ sculptures based on non mathematical combinations and transformations of field recordings, mundane and acousmatic sounds, custom analogue rhythmic systems, in line with over 13 rhythmic variations from the gulf of Guinea and the larger Congo Basin area. Arhgbrou 4.3 revisits rhythmic principles from Mukonge to Malleh, with vocal references employing poetics from public aspects of Ngbe, and Nhon amongst others. It uses a quad system plus 3 sub-woofers, inspired by ”Arhgbrou” and ”eMungoWest” electronic interfaces in development by the artist and partners.
*mbi-eshobi inter-sessions / /ˌɪntəˈsɛʃ(ə)n/ are sonic conversations, sessions @ Mbi Eshobi surround lab, Bɔ́ Bɛtɔk
*arhgbrou 4:3 , imagined for acoustic tents /
#inter-sessions #sonicmonuments #intercessions . Supported by ɛfúkúyú
untitled thirty-seven / Intercepted messages (sǒ bàtú)
sǒ translates as to bathe, to cleanse… sǒ bàtú would be ‘to bathe one’s ears’, to or ‘ear bath,’ in Kɛnyaŋ
(Kenyang), a language widely spoken in the cross-river basin of Manyu, in
the 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
(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
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
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.
Live recording of so bàtú surround mix #1 by Mbieven-Efforbi Em’kal Eyongakpa, @ Mbi-Eshobi surround lounge @studio Efforbi @ 13 seats.
,recorded november 2017 i, Supported by ɛfúkúyú,
gaia beats/bits III-i /doves and an aged hammock
Drift wood, drift plastic, multi-channel sound (6.4), analogue motor, hydraulic system, nets, plant fibres, mycellium, other.
Installation view at “Tidalectics”, TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, June 2 — November 19, 2017.
Courtesy Em’kal Eyongakpa, KHaLISHRINE, TBA21
video documentation; gaia beats/bits III-i /doves and an aged hammock
many thanks dear itinerant friends who let I & I record their personal …those who sent objects, Larebi, Sami, Florian of Gelitin and his wonderful kids, Gelalin collective,TBA team, and the studio/
Rustle 2.0/ Rustle Phase II
Rustle is an intermedia project born between the Congo Basin and Amazon rain forests. .
Rustle 2.0, mimics a system of connectivity and interference.
A sensorial experience, a non-linear fragmentary exploration of some rain forest biomes
For this Eyongakpa draws from an aesthetic and connectivity prone to mycelial networks and
explores fungi/mycelium culture.
Custom walls from controlled mycelium culture on one hand organically blends with a web of plant
fibres (sisal and jute)creating an illusion of a dense mesh/ cloud of an un-recognisable system
In March/April 2016, the artist recorded sounds in the Congo basin rain forest.
Sounds of communication by non human subjects in these ecosystems, as well as sounds from other
human interference (chainsaws, falling trees, air traffic etc).
A 5.1 surround sound composition, made from field recordings, is routed and synchronised with a
custom electronic midi controlled ‘deaf/light’interface creating visual rhythmic patterns in
relation to the sound. The soft and hard light curves give allusion to an animated electro-
cardiograms or multiple animated stock exchange curves.
The main electronic interface also sends midi commands to simulate different breathing patterns
and dead points to the central sculpture (breathe II 2013),
This together with levitation devices in the space and diffused light rays through the plant
fibres, creates a time based synchronised/ asynchronised system, one that stands between balance
Rustle 2.0 explores portions of these biomes, as in balance in these systems and some updates
The appendum ”2.0” in the title gives allusion to cybernetics, updates by man to a virtual
transcription of a living ecosystem
The installation which borrows from specific indigenous rhythmic patterns, mycelial networks and
indigenous lifestyles mimic life but has no.elements of real life within, except for the smell
from the dried hay, sisal and jute fibres as well as the dried mycelium panels.
The Mushrooms farmed are harvested and only organic waste are used.
video documentation excerpt / 32a Bienal de São Paulo (Incerteza viva)
virtual rustle 2.0…video documentation (excerpt) 32a Bienal de São Paulo
photo documentation of Installation (32a Bienal de São Paulo- Incerteza viva, September 07- December 11 2016/ Sharjah Biennial 13 [SB13], Tamawuj March 10-June 12 2017)
Takamanda forest/ Njieaweretung (March-April 2016)
Fungi culture/ electronic interfaces/ build-up/ other (July-August 2016)
Sharjah (February-March 2017)
beats/bits of(f) sPACE(s)
letters from etokobarek 1-i
documentation [beats/ bits of(f) sPACE(s), Apalazzo gallery, March 18th- May 10th, 016]
ketoya speaks (intro)
“Ketoya speaks; Dɛnyaland-Kɛnyaŋland-Kɛyakaland, a century later” forms a phase in a body of reflections, on revolts against Germany’s colonial occupation of Kamerun from 1894-1916.
In early 2016, Eyongakpa recorded soundscapes, elders, landscapes and interiors from Ketoya to Nsanakang as he traveled throughout his ancestral lands of Manyu, historical Southern Cameroons, South West, of present day Cameroon. The first phase explores what is left of the Anyang , Ossindinge revolts and the Mpawmanku wars (1904-1906), from local perspective, through audio recordings, photography and inter-media installations. The recorded material from preserved memories, oral recounts ( by chiefs, elders and towns people) forge fragmentary narratives with fresh perspectives which also tends to question the veracity of certain historical allegations. Allegations ranging from cannibalistic practices on German soldiers to questions around the authors of rapes, supposedly by hired mercenaries. During the journey, Eyongakpa recorded a series of photographs, among which landscapes with landmarks from the revolts and communal spaces, with illegible views of elders or the artist’s apparition-like body.
“Ketoya speaks”#1 photography installation has been presented at, “The Walther Collection” space in Ulm (2017) and at “Huis Marseille” museum (2018) in the context of the exhibition, Recent Histories; contemporary African photography and video Art.
video excerpt/ process unprocessed processes/ Nsanakang-Ketoya-Baso; Ossindinge speaks…a century later
Installation views, Recent histories, Walther Collection, Ulm, May-Nov 2017
Untitled III (Ketoya), Ketoya speaks/(Dɛnyaland-Kɛnyaŋland-Kɛyakaland; a century later), 2016Untitled XI (Ketoya), Ketoya speaks/(Dɛnyaland-Kɛnyaŋland-Kɛyakaland; a century later), 2016Untitled XIV (Ketoya), Ketoya speaks/(Dɛnyaland-Kɛnyaŋland-Kɛyakaland; a century later), 2016
Untitled XXVI (Ketoya), Ketoya speaks/(Dɛnyaland-Kɛnyaŋland-Kɛyakaland; a century later), 2016Untitled IX (Baso, Eshobi road), Ketoya speaks/(Dɛnyaland-Kɛnyaŋland-Kɛyakaland; a century later), 2016Untitled V (Baso, Eshobi road), Ketoya speaks/(Dɛnyaland-Kɛnyaŋland-Kɛyakaland; a century later), 2016
installation view, the incantation of the disquieting muse,saavy contemporary, 2016 (documented by India Roper-Evans