The Sea. Sounds & Storytelling. Part I

Art, Performance, Screening, Marseille

02.10.2020 H18:00-22:00
Théùtre National de la Criée

Art, Performance, Screening

02.10.2020 H18:00-22:00
Théùtre National de la Criée

What is inscribed and stored in the sea, this mental and physical space? Are there sounds, languages, voices and stories that we can extract from it? How can we learn to listen to them? The first day of the programme The Sea. Sounds & Storytelling, dedicated to sound, follows the idea to listen and learn from the Ocean with artists and scientists whose practices are based on listening, the analysis, the discussion and enhancing of the voice of the sea. Screenings by Ursula Biemann, Lena Maria ThĂŒring, Khadija Carroll, sound-performances by Julie Semoroz and Tomoko Sauvage and a roundtable with the artists and scientists.


Laurent Chauvaud, is a marine ecologist, Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research – CNRS, Laboratory of Sciences of the Marine Environment – European Institute for Marine Studies.

Thierry Perez, is the Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research – CNRS, Observatory of Sciences of the Universe, Institute PythĂ©as / Mediter­ranean Institute of Biodiversity and Marine and Terrestial Ecology – IMBE.

Gwenn Potard is conducting SONARS project. He is the Director of La CarĂšne, Brest.

Tomoko Sauvage, born in Yokohama, Japan, moved to Paris after studying jazz piano in NY. Over the past decade, she has been working on “natural synthesizer” of her invention – waterbowls – combining water, ceramics and hydrophones (underwater microphones).

Julie Semoroz works in Geneva, as a singer and a sound artist, uses different sources such as field recordings, live microphones, her own voice and hard- and software for her music performances.

Lena Maria ThĂŒring works in Zurich as an artist who describes her carefully produced films as a reflection on social systems and their construction through individual stories.

Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, born in Melbourne, is an artist and historian focussed on decolonization. Her work has been shown internationally including at the Venice, Mar­rakech, and Sharjah Biennales, at Taxispalais, ICA London and HKW Berlin.


Programme developed within the framework of Manifesta 13 Marseille – Les Parallùles du Sud.
Curated by Claire Hoffmann, Chus Martínez and Gioia Dal Molin, assisted by María Montero Sierra.

A proposal by the Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, Institut Kunst – HGK FHNW,  BĂąle, TBA21–Academy and Istituto Svizzero, in collaboration with the La CriĂ©e – ThĂ©Ăątre national de Marseille.

H18:00-19:20 – Screenings

Lena Maria ThĂŒring, “Gardien de la paix (GPX)”, 2011, 18 min 47 sec.
The artist met a young French policeman during a visit to the aquarium at the CitĂ© nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration (museum of immigration histories) in Paris. Over images of fish in the tank, we hear the policeman’s voice, telling the story of his parents’ origins in Guadeloupe, the tension he experiences between his public role as a policeman in the service of the state – embodied by the uniform – and his private life. Drawing on vocabulary from the animal world, he juxtaposes animal and human behaviours in his yearning for harmo­nious and non-violent cohabitation.

Ursula Biemann, “Acoustic Ocean”, 2018, 18 min.
“Acoustic Ocean” is a science-fictional expedition to the depths of the Arctic Ocean in search of interspecies communication. In this poetic narrative, the main character – an aquanaut emerging from the indigenous Sami community – captures the sounds of submarine animals and micro-creatures. This watery world holds memories of evolution that span time scales, and also swirl with the possibility of dissolution in the uncertainty of the climatic future.

Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, “Te Moana – The Ocean”, 2019–20, 30 min, commis­sioned by TBA21–Academy.
For this experimental documentary, the artist collaborated with Jody Toroa and Kay Robin of Rangiiwaho marae, a Maori iwi (tribe) in Poverty Bay, Aotearoa New Zealand. The story circles around a whale and is told from the perspective of Rangiiwaho. Rangiiwaho leve­raged the anniversary of Captain Cook’s voyage to the Pacific to get a temporary repatriation of the material heritage taken from their ancestors 250 years ago. The film reflects on the material and language of cultural resistance in Maori, French and English of the material and language of cultural resistance. A contradiction and conflict emerges around the commemo-ration and Pacific islander protest against it. The criticism of the Cook anniversary is enacted by pacific scholars speaking during the arrival of the replica Endeavour boat.




H19:30-21:00 – Presentation and Round Table Talk

SONARS – an experiment in long-term artistic and scientific residency
Laurent Chauvaud and Gwenn Potard
The underwater universe is not a silent world
 and all that can be heard there has a great deal to tell. From communication between crustaceans to the sound of flow beneath ice fields – a sign of glacial melt – the present research focuses on this sonant aspect of marine ecosystems. These sound landscapes appeal also to artists. La Carùne and the BeBEST laboratory have established SONARS, an artistic residency at the heart of their ecological research into underwater sounds.

The presentation is followed by a discussion with Lena Maria ThĂŒring, Julie Semoroz and Thierry Perez.




H21:15-22:15 – Sound performances / Concerts

Tomoko Sauvage, “Waterbowls”, sound performance, 40 min.
The Wire Magazine compared Tomoko Sauvage’s music with a long, hot bath. That pretty much nails it, as the sound of the Japan-born artist, who moved to Paris after studying jazz in New York, is an interplay between water, ceramics, and underwater-microphones. The result is a natural form of synthesizer music, that reassesses the relationship between human beings and their surroundings.

Julie Semoroz, “BALEINA”, sound performance, ca. 35 min.
Julie Semoroz is singer, sound artist and head of artistic projects. Semoroz shapes sound using several sources such as field recordings, live microphones and her own voice with software and hardware. She offers sound pieces like inner journeys into the subconscious that penetrate into the darkness. Her work focuses on people’s individual relationship with mechanical and organic time. Her creations address new technologies and our post-industrial consumerist society. In her ecology-based research, in the sense of “habitat”, Julie Semoroz raises the question of how to experience our bodies and lives in the society.