FRKTL creates organic textures in impossible spaces with Azimuth
Artist Sarah Badr combines tactile sound design with pulsating 3D models on a synaesthetic journey through a visceral six-part digital environment.
In Azimuth, audiovisual artist Sarah Badr channels a tension between organic and synthetic forms, digitally rendering pulsating alien objects and shimmering surfaces that change and transform into a reactive and symbiotic relationship with tactile sounds that she transforms into the complex texture of his compositions. Resolutely synaesthetic, Azimuth oscillates between the recognizable and the impossible, a dichotomy suggested by the title of the work. An azimuth, in geometry, is an angular measure in a spherical coordinate system and is derived from the Arabic word السَّمْت. When applied in astrology and used as a celestial coordinate, an azimuth is the horizontal direction of a star or other astronomical object. In a sense, the title and the work are functional, referring to a unit of measurement, but applied to the world around us, it becomes ontological, a marker for locating an object in physical or artificial space.
This duality is expressed not only sonically and aesthetically, with the marriage of Badr’s sounds and visuals, but also conceptually. Each of the six parts of the work is also titled in a way that seems to harmonize external concepts within the graphic and sound palette of the artist’s audiovisual practice. “Terra Nullius” is a Latin expression meaning “land belonging to no one”, and is sometimes used as a legal definition in international law to justify claims that a territory could be acquired through its occupation by a state. This seems particularly resonant with the original presentation of the work as part of the fourth installment of the Nomadic Signals series by Leyya Tawil, Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow 2020 of the ISSUE Project Room. The program explores what Tawil describes as “the diasporic imagination”, describing how “sounds change in the diaspora; how they attach to their environment, accumulate, synthesize, adapt.
“Aphercotrophism” is an archaic biological term that describes the movement or growth of an organism away from an obstruction. Not only does this refer to the organic motions and textures of changing organisms in Badr’s digital landscapes, but its dissonance with a computer-generated ecosystem amplifies the potential of Azimut’s speculative environments, in which Badr gave way to ideas. outdated. Finally, “Finite State Machine” refers to a mathematical model of calculation often used to prove computational theories relating to automation, a nod to Badr’s generative graphics technologies, but also functions as a political metaphor, a category self-reflective for transient state apparatuses within Tawil. diasporic imagination. “Realism and naturalism imply a strong criterion for something to be real or natural: the world is exactly as mathematics and the sciences describe it,” Badr explains.
“Nature obeys rules from which patterns flow, indicating that something is organic in nature – and therefore real. In a technologically advanced postmodern society, what is real and what is fictitious are seamlessly mixed together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins. . Azimuth is an immersive biomorphic model of the entangled orders of simulation. It is a reflection of a basic natural reality while masking the basic reality – the idea of nature. It masks the absence of a fundamental reality, while having no relation to any reality. Hyperreality has connotations of a dystopian future – a future in which we desire reality, but in the attempt to achieve it, we fabricate a false version and consume it as real instead. The azimuth is its own pure simulacrum: the real is no longer what it used to be. Just as the state of the real and the natural is no longer what it used to be.
Azimuth is on view at Listening To The Anthropocene, a group show at Coventry Cathedral, which is part of the Coventry Biennale 2021. You can find more information and tickets here.
You will find the sheet music for Azimut on Bandcamp. For more information about FRKTL and her work, you can follow her on Instagram and visit her website.
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