Go Deeper A Guide to Megapolis Audio Festival, Pt. 4: Installations and Digital Works

A Guide to Megapolis Audio Festival, Pt. 4: Installations and Digital Works

Posted September 14th, 2017

From September 16-17 the fifth Megapolis Audio Festival will descend upon Philadelphia, drawing world class musicians, sound artists, radio producers, and all around audio adepts to join the artistic frenzy that is the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Much like the 2017 Festival’s program, Megapolis’ schedule of events might appear a little daunting at first glance, so to help you navigate it we at the FringeArts Blog are going to break it all down for you into some easily digestible categories. Follow these links to Parts 1 (sound tours), 2 (performances), and 3 (workshops).

For our final installment, we’re looking at installations and digital works from artists who approach sound through a multitude of different avenues. Many of these artists use sound as a medium explore everything from the overlooked sounds of our daily lives, to Misophonia, to the Jewish Viennese exile during the Holocaust. Some, on the other hand, have created glorious, thought-provoking, and purely multi-sensory works.



The Philadelphia Embassy of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland (KREV)
Mike Bullock & Linda Gale Aubry
Sept 16-17 @ A surprise location
The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland (KREV) were founded in 1992 by Swedish artists Carl Michael von Hausswolff (King Michael I) and Leif Elggren (King Leif I) and occupies all border territories as well as liminal states and virtual territories. Excited for Megapolis to begin, the Philadelphia Embassy of this great nation would like to celebrate the festival’s arrival. Ambassador Mike Bullock (who is also a composer, writer and intermedia artist) and Minister of Ornamentation Linda Gale Aubry (also a musician and a multimedia artist) will appear at some point during the festival, with appropriate pageantry, to give renditions of the multifarious KREV National Anthem.


Filtered Ears
Scott Allison
Sept 16 & 17, 10am-5pm @ PhillyCAM
A mic’d window becomes a filter for everyday, oft-ignored sounds. Channeled through tiny speakers powered by handmade, 1-watt amplifiers encourage guests to listen closely for these delicate, overlooked sounds. An installation created by graphic designer and sound explorer Scott Allison, who also makes music solo with electronics and in free rock outfits Sunburned Hand of the Man and Kohoutek.


Fascists, Lovers, and Other Lonely Ghosts
Brian House
Sept 16 & 17 @ PhillyCAM
Brian House is a Providence-based artist whose performances, installations, and interventions address our relationship to technology through rhythm. This particular installation deals with notions of synchronicity, conflict, and transmission. On a screen small entities beep and flash like fireflies “listening” to each other. Based on proximity, they will fall in and out of unison. Viewers can disrupt their relationships by moving them around to create a cascade of rhythms.


Lucid Spheres
Jenn Grossmann
Sept 17, 10am-5pm @ PhillyCAM
Sound and experimental media artist and composer Jenn Grossman brings this six-channel modular sound sculpture to the festival. Manifested as transparent spheres reminiscent of snow globes or crystal balls, these objects reveal the multisensory, emotive, at times subconscious side of lived experience through a diverse collection of “memory triggers” or “sound scenes” re-interpreted by the artist. The spheres themselves become extended perceptual amplifiers, vibrating a collective past in the present space.


Digital Works

Civil Disobedience in E Minor
Richard Hamilton
Audio, 10min @ WHYY
This soundscape/found audio collage piece from sound designer, sound mixer, and composer Richard Hamilton, captures the pervasive climate fear and anger gripping our world in an immediate and visceral way. The listener will hopefully be compelled to consider his or her actions in making the world a better place.


Strange Radio
Karen Werner
Audio, 10min @ WHYY
Excerpts from the Vienna-based radio program Strange Radio. Part documentary, part Holocaust memorial, part performance ethnography, the program is an ongoing collection of experimental radio episodes exploring themes related to the Jewish Viennese exile, displacement, loss and the intergenerational legacy of the Holocaust. Nontraditional narrative arcs and production techniques make it as much a work of sound art as a historical exploration.


Jean-Michel Rolland
Generative Software @ PhillyCAM
French musician, visual artist, and digital artist Jean-Michel Rolland presents this visualized, completely generative music artwork. Over four octaves, it decides which notes to play at the right moment. The resulting music, based on algorithms, has never been played before and will never be played again.


The LiteraryMix
Seth Guy
Text Only @ Online
An archive consisting entirely of excerpts from works of fiction that describe sound and sonic events. Reminiscent of Choose Your Own Adventure books, readers are offered choices as to what to read next, and asked to consider listening to the sounds they read and imagine. Access it here.


Carlo Patrao
Audio, 10min @ WHYY
Portuguese radio artist Carlo Patrao tackles the recently discovered and little understood chronic condition known as Misophonia. The condition is characterized by highly negative emotional responses to auditory triggers like chewing, breathing, sniffling, coughing, or slurping. This radio collage explores and utilizes this range of intrusive bodily sounds and discourse around it, while transforming those very sounds into music and performance art.


Flood Blowing
Video, 10min @ WHYY
A user’s off-screen soliloquy in the summer. Fueled by an emulation of a 1960’s Rhodes Bass Piano, physical modeling synthesis, modular synthesis, custom instruments, impossible objects, and images by Coppice.