Michaela Kisling’s artistic and musical practice is complemented by a curatorial activity, or more specifically, a collective cultural work. In 2016, she jointly founded a project space with two colleagues in Vienna’s fifth district Margareten (Schönbrunner Straße 6, 1050 Vienna). For more than two years KISLING devoted herself to the fine ramifications of Viennese underground musics in this open space.
Those to whom the rather prosaic title of her series Baustellenbeschallung echoes images of a proletarian music club for moonlighters are not entirely wrong. The artists embedded in this experimental noise and electronic music scene can indeed be summarized as a kind of ‘blue-collar avant-garde’. KISLING gave space to a musical undercurrent that resists the empty shells of aesthetic of representation, and develops its own formats from situated action. This unfolded an open field of experimentation for analogue-synthetic sounds, computer processed modulations, spoken text, vocals and harsh noise.
KISLING’s intention was to create a heterogeneous community that promotes an awareness in artists of being part of a collective, and to facilitate a safe space especially working with women within the scene. The goal was to support marginalized groups in underground musics by giving them access to a professional network and technical equipment. Similar to a blank canvas, the minimally furnished off-space served as living room for a post-digital culture, whose world dissolves from 120 BPM upwards in processing software and sound samplers.
In many ways, the project opened up aesthetic discourses from club culture, as its conventions and noted habitus were analyzed—even discarded—in an artistic practice: orthodox hierarchies between viewers and performers were dissolved; a circle of equal actors was formed; every artistic and non-artistic expression was equivalent; subjectivity melted into synthetic soundscapes and evaporated into the haze of cigarettes and smoke machines.
Without the formalism of established genres and determining categories, a pictureless non-aesthetics thus emerged, which offered to the post-apocalyptic generation a sounding matrix to create new fictions from the widespread fantasies of doom.
#bluecollaravantgarde #cablesinhaze #deconstructioncultures #doomism
© Lona Gaikis 2020