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China, Korea, Japan, Berlin
Audiovisual installation: Covered Culture

COVERED CULTURE - Audiovisual installation
COVERED CULTURE - Audiovisual installation | Photo (detail): © Brigitta Muntendorf, Moritz Lobeck

COVERED CULTURE sees itself as a German-Asian project, which, starting from the human voice with people and groups in collective work processes, follows a sensitization for subtle differences such as similarities. In a process lasting several weeks, the composer Brigitta Muntendorf and the dramaturge Moritz Lobeck will develop a virtual choir in the summer of 2020: with recordings of singers and performance artists from Germany, China, Korea and Japan, which will be produced via open call or distant-direction, as well as with recordings of the Beijing Queer Chorus and the Opera Choir of the National Theater Weimar. The resulting video and audio recordings will be presented in a room installation in Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Kyoto, Tokyo and in Germany from late autumn 2020. The working process and the collaboration with the singers will be documented on the website www.covered-culture.org and portraits of individual participants will be published. In the center of the installation are one or more tables with 2 chairs each, which visitors can sit at. On one or more walls, videos of people sitting on chairs or at a table with their heads on the tabletop can be seen.

A table can be the center of a community, the condition and meeting point for negotiations and discussions, can serve for festive as well as everyday occasions or rituals, can be the basis for presentations or work. Tables can be distributed as smallest independent communities in a common space or appear as a large object of togetherness. Based on these themes, we asked the Japanese architect and designer Kato Hiroshi to design a table with 2 chairs arranged opposite each other for the installation of COVERED CULTURE. Prepared as sounding objects with transducers and loudspeakers, the tables will on the one hand establish a radiosound-like, quiet sound landscape in the room, but at the same time they will also invite people to sit down. When the visitors lay their heads on the quietly vibrating tables, they will be immersed in a strangely intimate and unfamiliar world of sound - at the same time they become actors and parts of a social sculpture. In addition to the humming voices in the tables, which are reduced to individual voices, a virtual chorus of four to eight loudspeakers will be heard in the room. The sound sources are in constant interplay.

Brigitta Muntendorf's transmedial compositions are characterized in particular by referentiality and the integration of other art forms and expressions into the compositional process. In the course of her composition Public Privacy she established the term "Social Composing", which describes different compositional approaches in dealing with social media. For COVERED CULTURE, she further develops the principle of social composing together with the dramaturge Moritz Lobeck. Independently of each other, in different places, people hum a melody whose origin lies in a passage from Beethoven's Ode to Joy: "Be embraced, millions! This kiss of the whole world!". COVERED CULTURE questions this anthem of a utopian community and its intercultural appropriation. It creates a seemingly endless melody in a sound space of voices, noises and silence that is constantly changing. Just as the individual is questioned, in COVERED CULTURE it loses itself in the collective collage, in which distinctions such as gender, origin or age recede into the background and are simultaneously addressed. The humming as an intimate and personal expression as well as the concentrated listening, associating and the concentration on nuances become the connecting moment.