I am a composer/sound artist/multimedia creator (still struggling how to define myself...) from Portugal.
In the beginning of last year the whole world was thrown off by the pandemic. And we’re still suffering from it. We feel tired, exhausted. We feel down, with a feeling of hopelessness. We see how this situation has brought the worst in human beings. We see social injustices, which we already knew existed, being exacerbated. I’ve felt all of this on my skin. I saw my personal plans and objectives crumbling down. And it personally felt like a gigantic injustice since I thought I was finally where I am supposed to be, doing what I wanted to do, surrounded by people that inspire me to do even more and be more audacious.
I tried to flip this situation upside down and see what positive things I could take from it. I ended up gaining a lot interest in network and telematic art. I am exploring social relationships on a stage and over the internet, participatory systems with audience integration, data sharing amongst performers, identity in an online environment and overall thinking about human relationships hindered or amplified through digital mediums. I am discovering what it means to connect in the invisible ether of Wi-Fi signals and asking myself if one day we can fully replace physical interaction with digitally created environments. Is the internet a “place”? What happens to my physical body in the light speed journey through fibre-optic cables? Am I the same person when I appear on someone else’s screen through a Zoom call? Do I change my “persona” when going online?
I still have so many questions and I am so excited to tackle all of them, even if I don’t get a concrete answer.
by Yannik Güldner
What is the picture we paint in our minds when we hear someone is a composer? A person who plays a classical instrument, writing scores for orchestras, and listens to symphonies most of the time. When I met Pedro, and he mentioned he would be a composer, I thought all of the above. But, having the pleasure of calling him a dear friend and sharing a house with him, I soon realized that this picture is an incomplete one.
Soon after I moved in, I began to hear eerie sounds at midnight and weird noises in the hallway. Finding the source in his room, I began to understand the artist, Pedro - with a practice that explores the creation of sound out of the human body. Entering his room, you’ll find body microphones and synthesizers, through which he captures the sounds bodies make when we think we are silent—amplifying the fragility of our inside, giving it a voice while seeing beauty in the noises we all produce in every second. Pedro composes these sounds into audible landscapes that question our own perception, mapping out a world that is invisible to us. Displaying the transience we all go through in every moment, challenging an introspective view of what we think is beautiful, and realizing what happens in every second inside us. Pedro’s compositions embrace the noises we often neglect, the sounds we try to hide, and celebrates our own nature. Pedro makes touch hearable with his ability to capture and translate it into the digital realm, turning noise into beauty and emotion into sound.
This practice was why I saw Pedro as an exciting artist for “Relational Terms,” to find out what type of work he would relate. With “Can we feel touch when we are made out of light,” he decided to present a work incorporating all of the above. In this piece, he questions how we can translate touch and its physical sensation into the digital. While our emotions can be captured by a camera and be translated into bits and bytes on a screen, the picture still communicates the emotion. But how do we transfer touch, the feeling of closeness, the subtle spark that human interaction gives into the digital? How can we feel the other’s body and skin without being there?