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The Acoustic Body

For Channa Boon, the 'thick present' is a tangible and palpable given and it is a possible translation for what she calls the Acoustic Body; a heightened perception and experience of the (non)human body, the landscape, space and the object, and thereby the perception that these are all carriers of energy and exchange and connect with each other on a subtle level.

The 'Thick Present' as Karen Barad calls it; the continuous now that is being built up and broken down on a quantum mechanical level by the interaction of the smallest particles with each other; the phenomenon that matter resides in space and that these two elements constantly interact intensely. In fact there is no longer a split between space and solid matter, and between dead and non-dead things.* In fact, this is energy – and thus invisible to the naked eye, but measurable in the apparently dead matter with the instruments of Quantum Mechanics.

For Channa Boon, this 'thick present' is a tangible and palpable given and it is a possible translation for what she calls the Acoustic Body; a heightened perception and experience of the (non)human body, the landscape, space and the object, and thereby the perception that these are all carriers of energy and exchange and connect with each other on a subtle level. She uses the word Acoustic because she registers this exchange on a sub-acoustic level; you could call it vibration. She wants to give shape and highlight this 'sound' or sub-acoustic experience through her work. An example of this is the idea that if you make an object sound (by hitting it for example) this object changes forever (also because you make it vibrate), while after this act you will always look at this object differently (and you are changed as well). She find this an endlessly fascinating fact, this interaction between things, on different levels.

Parallel to this tactile experience, there is the communication of a specific history, a fictional or true story that carries the intellectual content and concrete narrative function in the work. This facet also allows for a more specific positioning in time of the work itself, in addition to that of the more ephemeral signage in time that the quality of the Acoustic Body produces.

Lead image: The persona 'La Pizia' from the lecture performance 'La Pizia e la Marangona' during the Venice Biennale in 2015. Performance was executed in the Magazzini del Sale, Venice, S.a.L.E DOCKS, Venice, 'Future Rhythms', curator Mike Watson, Rome.

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Channa Boon

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