Science and Technology in Cultural Context
Sunset Performances

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Environment inspired performances around a lily-pond

The evening consist of a suite of thematically related performances that will be presented to the public around the contemplative atmosphere of the Lilly Pond as the sun goes down. The performances include well-known contemporary artists from Japan, Switzerland and North America. The context of the setting, the character of the intervention, and the presentation in public space unites the performance with the theme of the festival and its focus concerning the relationship between human kind and nature and what can be intrinsically shared between them.

The performance begins without notice and ends without a bow in an act underlining the need for less human centrism in an effort to create a sensibility amongst the general public for the sake of saving the environment that we all inhabit. This is a necessity and it can be done through conscious collaboration between the arts and the sciences in order to create a culture of sustainability through an awareness of the beauty of nature and the situation we have at hand globally.


Roland Dahinden (CHE)
Ichi Ikeda (JPN)
Art Clay (USA/CHE)

Event Date: Friday 10th May 2013, 6:30pm to 8pm

Venue: ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands → more info

about the performances


Roland Dahinden (CHE), Alphorn

- a moment of sound from the alps

The alphorn is carved from solid softwood, generally spruce but sometimes pine. In former times the alphorn maker would find a tree bent at the base in the shape of an alphorn. the instrument has no lateral openings and therefore gives the pure natural harmonic series of the open pipe.

The notes of the natural harmonic series overlap, but do not exactly correspond, to notes found in the familiar chromatic scale in standard Western equal temperament. In the hands of a skilled composer or arranger, the natural harmonics can be used to haunting melancholy effect or, by contrast, to create a charming pastoral flavor, as in the lilting "Ranz des Vaches" and works by Brahms, Rossini, and Britten.

Similar to the view of Leopold Kronecker that "God made the integers; all else is the work of man," musicians drawn to the alphorn and other instruments that sound the natural harmonics, such as the natural horn, consider the notes of the natural harmonic series — particularly the 7th and 11th harmonics — to be God's Notes, the remainder of the chromatic scale enabled by keys, valves, slides and other methods of changing the qualities of the simple open pipe being an artifact of mere mortals.

Roland Dahinden will be improvising a music that on the one hands extends the traditional use of the alphorn but on the other hand respectfully nods at the traditions of alphorn playing.The alphorn used in the performance is made from carbon fiber, a high-tech instrument, so a post-modern interpretation of the traditional fir alphorn.

Water Mirror

Ichi Ikeda (JPN), Vinyl Tubing & Reflecting Light

- fertile breaths across the surface of lotus-shaped façade

The Japanese Artist Ichi Ikeda uses water as his media, creating a whole new language aiming to direct towards an ecologically sustainable future. The peformance event is planned to take place around outside pond that surrounds Singapore's famous ArtScience Museum.

With the aid of an undiffused light source and the ponds surface to create a “water mirror”, the artist uses his breath across the water’s surface to transfigure it into soft wavering effects across the structure of the ArtScience Museum’s lotus-shaped façade. Unlike ordinary mirrors that that faithfully reflects the object placed in front of it, the mirroring effect coaxed out of the water during the performance is better understood as language of the environment in dialogue with the entire surroundings.

Variations in the wave patterns on the water surface become a visually shared language of all things in the surroundings. With the scenery reflecting back onto it, the building encircled by the reflection of waves created begins to breath like a living creature, echoing with very gentle and slight expressions of nature such as breezes, casting of a leaf, and fluttering of a bird.

The work suggests a state of co-existing with water and echoes again and again a needed collaboration for the future in which the society needs more of co-existing and shared living.

Roland Dahinden (CHE)

Roland Dahinden studied trombone and composition at Musikhochschule Graz (Erich Kleinschuster, Georg F. Haas), Scuola di Musica di Fiesole (Vinko Globokar), Wesleyan University Connecticut (Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier) and Birmingham University England (Vic Hoyland). As a trombonist, he spezializes in the performance of contemporary music and improvisation/jazz world wide. Composers such as Maria de Alvear, Anthony Braxton, John Cage, Joelle Léandre, Alvin Lucier, Chris Newman, Pauline Oliveros, Christian Wolff amongst others wrote especially for him. Since 1987, he works in the duo with Hildegard Kleeb and since 1992 together in the trio with the violonist Dimitrios Polisoidis. As a composer, he collaborated with visual artists Andreas Brandt, Stéphane Brunner, Daniel Buren, Rudolf de Crignis, Sol LeWitt amongst others as well as with the architects Morger & Degelo, and with the author Eugen Gomringer. Exhibitions with sound installations and sculptors in Europe and America.

Ichi Ikeda (JAP)

Osaka-born artist Ichi Ikeda has dedicated the majority of his prolific career to raising global awareness around water issues and conservation through both large and small-scale interventions. His art serves as an inspirational focal point for the exchange of water-related information. His interventions include international conferences and seminars, community activism, public performance and interactive WaterArt installations. Specific projects include local water-carrying actions in Japanese markets, a supper for people affected by the construction of a dam, as well as sprawling "paintings" made from the deposits of polluted water and river silt on cloth. In 1997, Ikeda developed the Arcing Arc project which brought the cities of Kaseda and Taipei together through a series of public installations, calling attention to water conservation and specific environmental conditions shared by the two cities. The Arc has since expanded to include the cities of Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok and Yogyakarta.

Art Clay (USA/CHE)

Art Clay is an artist and curator who was born in New York and lives in Basel. He is a specialist in the performance of self created works with the use of intermedia and has appeared at international festivals, on radio and television television in Europe, Asia & north America. His recent work focuses on media based works and large performative works and spectacles using mobile device. He has won prizes for performance, theatre, new media art and curation. He has taught media and interactive arts at various Art Schools and Universities in Europe and North America including the University of the Arts in Zurich. He is the initiator and Artistic Director of the 'Digital Art Weeks' in Zurich.

Copyright @ ETH Zürich
Page last modified on April 15, 2013, at 10:19 AM