REMOTE ORCHESTRA - by Valentina Bonizzi
Submarinecablemapdetail, Valentina Bonizzi,
courtesy of the artist.
Remote performance: O Bella Ciao | Bethlehem, Jerusalem
Remote discussion: Tirana, Bethlehem, Jerusalem
Produced in partnership with: Sabreen Association for the Arts
Remote Orchestra is, on first glance, relatively simple: is the attempt to bring musicians living in different cities together using free, off-the-shelf telepresent technology and internet connectivity to affect real-time collaborations. Remote Orchestra challenges the quotidian relationship we have with technology and the politics of time and mobility that are made invisible by their very banality. Identifying, documenting, and exposing these complexities and the consequences that they have on social mis/conceptions of mobility and migration are fundamental to this project. The materiality of the internet is considered an instrument part of Remote Orchestra, to be played and examined.
To nurture these collaborations, I coordinate and facilitate online meetings, discussions, practice sessions, and public concerts among musicians. Building on these collaborations, I work towards researching the challenges of bringing Remote Orchestra musicians together into the same physical space, and get a sense of how much efforts it takes today to play in real- time without the requirement of technological mediation. The simplicity of this proposition belies the challenging social, political, and economic conditions that make the realisation of a physical meeting possible. In working towards developing extended and on-going collaborations, Remote Orchestra musicians have to negotiate with timezone and linguistic differences, technological delays, poor sound quality, bad connections, etc.
Valentina Bonizzi is an artist and researcher based between Glasgow and Tirana. She is the editor of Mnemoscape Issue #4 On Remoteness.