On January 17, Art was born. According to French artist Robert Filliou, this happened when someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water. Art’s birthday is celebrated across the world following this tradition proposed by the Fluxus artist in 1963. For the first time, at the initiative of the Kaunas Artists’ House and artist Arturas Bumšteinas, Lithuania is joining the celebration as well – just in time for the 1,000,057 art’s birthday.
So, on January 17, as it is fitting, the audio-visual performance evening will take place at Kaunas Artists’ House in the hometown of Fluxus pioneer Jurgis Mačiūnas. The audio-visual performance evening will feature Arturas Bumšteinas with voca ensemble B2, Bergur Thomas Anderson, Eye Gymnastics (Viktorija Damerell ir Gailė Griciūtė), Gailė Pranckūnaitė and Kojos Sopa.
Art’s Birthday is curated by Arturas Bumšteinas and Edvinas Grinkevičius (Kaunas Artists’ House).
The event is free of charge.
The project is financed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, organised by Kaunas Artists’ House. Partners: Euroradio satellite network, Nida Art Colony, Palanga Street Radio.
ARTURAS BUMŠTEINAS and
vocal ensemble B2 (Ieva Skorubskaitė, Viktorija Šedbaraitė, Gintarė Kulikauskytė, Vaidas Bartušas, Jevgenijus Kovalčukas)
Arturas Bumšteinas’ and vocal ensemble B2 (Ieva Skorubskaitė, Viktorija Šedbaraitė, Gintarė Kulikauskytė, Vaidas Bartušas, Jevgenijus Kovalčukas), accompanied by piano, will present a special musical performance created for this occasion, based on Robert Filliou’s text Whispered Art History (1963) – that slowly started art’s birthday celebrations across the world. The text methodically reveals alternative art history, its origins, and manifestations in the form of various routine and everyday-eccentric events.
It is not the first time that Arturas is working with this text. He used it for the first time in 2018 on January 17 when he presented a choir piece Thus Time Goes by at the Berghain Club in Berlin for a special celebration of art’s birthday.
Arturas Bumšteinas (b. 1982) is an artist working with music and sound. He is interested in problems of hearing/listening and „higginsian intermedia“; working in borderlands of music, exhibition art, performance art, theater and radio. His work was premiered by institutions such as Holland Festival, Unsound, Ultraschall, Cricoteka, Operomanija, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Vilnius’ CAC, Vartai Gallery, Berghain Kantine amongst many others. In 2014 Arturas was awarded Palma Ars Acustica for his radio art and in the year 2017 he was guest at Berliner Kunstlerprogramm des DAAD. Since 2019 Arturas is artistic director of Jauna Muzika festival which takes place every April in Vilnius.
BERGUR THOMAS ANDERSON
Can you hear The Hum tonight?
Performance with voice, synthesizer, playback, singalong, shaker, matches and water.
Bushes are shaking. Murmur is heard from the distance. A foot taps a gentle beat and someone is heard singing a familiar melody. A meeting is taking place between The Hum and Lego Flamb. The Hum is best described as a city’s ambiance, singing the lower frequencies that support clatter, conversations, melodies and intentional musics to appear from. A presence not always heard but surely felt. Lego Flamb is a sound-artist, and an expert in camouflage, tracking the audible development of his nearby neighbourhood when suddenly intrigued by hearing a “hum like no other”.
Bergur Thomas Anderson is an artist and musician from Reykjavík, Iceland. He researches the shapeshifting agencies of the contemporary performing body through a self-made mythology of sneaky personas. These personas are communicated using voice, storytelling, songs, drawings and objects. Bergur’s current research focuses on the narrative agency of polyphonic vocal composition.
Bergur attended the Master Artistic Research course at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague and graduated with a BFA from Iceland Academy of the Arts. His recent projects have been presented at Harbinger and Mengi in Reykjavík and Herman in Rotterdam.
EYE GYMNASTICS (Gailė Griciūtė and Viktorija Damerell)
Eye Gymnastics is the stage name of Viktorija Damerell and Gailė Griciūtė. The artists collaborate on creating performances of experimental music, instructions and incantations. In their investigations, sensual timbres merge with mental voyages, hypnosis and echoes of pop.
Viktorija Damerell is an artist and curator mostly working in the areas of sound, sculpture and text. She holds an MA degree in Sculpture from VAA, Vilnius. In 2019 she, together with Ona Juciūtė, curated the duo show “Kittens” in “Kintai Arts” residency, as well as participating in the group show “A Colleague from Another Tribe” in the National Gallery of Art and curating, together with Ona Juciūtė, a group show “Head and Tails” at the Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius.
Gailė Griciūtė is a composer, sound artist and improviser, a 2011 graduate of Sibelius music academy in Finland, 2015 graduate of Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and 2014 graduate of Staedelschule art academy in Frankfurt am Main (as a guest student at Douglas Gordon’s film class). Gailė is a member of contemporary art collective “Technologies of Non/Self”, having joined it for exhibitions in Germany, the USA and Vietnam. She has participated in various sound art projects, improvisational music festivals and events, amongst them – “Ahead”, “Jauna Muzika” “Soundscape”, NOA, Estonia in Lithuania, “Counterflows” in UK, “Sound Art Festival” in Kaliningrad, “Unsound” in Krakow, “Labor Sonor” in Berlin, “Tectonics” in Tel Aviv.
The typographic elements created for the external visual communication grow into audio-visual landscapes that tie the live performances together during the event. These bits of sound, text and image combine Robert Filliou’s Whispered Art History (1963) with readings of various future scenarios on the life on earth.
Gailė Pranckūnaitė (b. 1987) graduated from the graphic design department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2013. Practice focuses on combining graphic design projects with an editorial approach, experimental typography and sounds. Sometimes collaborates with Mislav Žugaj. In their work they explore various repercussions of climate change through research, design and science fiction, often resulting in collaborations and unstable media. Lives and works in Vilnius.
Sudovian and Aukštaitian blood is running through my veins. Since childhood, I was calm and quiet like a stone. As I am to this day. I like trains, ships, and only then airplanes – unless I can watch them from underneath, while they’re rising, and very loudly.
My first musical experiments in the basement, architectural studies, and academic/popular music, independent experiences of weird funk, experimental and progressive music, contemporary dance and experimental theater. In addition to that – solo works, creative work, and Kojos Sopa origins.
Juggling with psychedelic melodies, rhythms, voices inspired by satire, comedy, openness, simplicity. I want people to dance, dream, sway. Both when composing and performing each show is slightly different, not aiming at a particular genre. In short – it is an experimental variety show, a DJ of its own works.