The end is just pretend

PublicStudio_ZeroHour_2015When my long-time Toronto collaborators Public Studio (Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky) approached me to compose sound for their latest video installation entitled Zero Hour, I was completely prepared for the task, having worked on several audio and radio art pieces around the atomic clock with several working titles including The Zero Hour. I also had a recording of the atomic clock (as broadcast internationally on shortwave frequencies) intoning the so-called zero hour, or 0:00:00 – 0:59:59 Coordinated Universal Time. So it’s a pleasure to be taking this sound work into new audiovisual territories!

The new work was commissioned for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto, coming up this weekend from sundown on October 3 to sunrise on October 4, 2015. The installation will be set up at 90 Queen’s Park in front of the Planetarium, and features a 360 degree dome projection with surround sound. Here’s what it’s all about:

ZERO HOUR: Public Studio with Etel Adnan, Carol Weinbaum, Josh Schonblum, Han Yang, Anna Friz, Lili Huston-Herterich

Apocalyptic prophecies reflect a coming to an end but are also revelatory, disclosing a kind of truth. While modernity gave rise to a new cluster of apocalyptic narratives, our post 9/11 world faces anxieties that have generated new utopian and dystopian accounts looking for answers.

While tales of the apocalypse clutter and disorder all histories from the Americas through the Arab world, each have their distinct voice – all of them can be reconnected to struggles against an outside force – a state terror that has had disastrous effects on lands and lives – from economic ruin to climactic devastation.

Zero Hour gathers the cosmos and reflects not the stars of the northern hemisphere, but rather the weather it has disrupted and the words that come back in protest.

In Zero Hour, Public Studio invites renowned artist Etel Adnan – Lebanese essayist, painter, poet and philosopher, whose works include The Arab Apocalypse, Premonition and Sea and Fog – to work in collaboration creating a newly commissioned poem set to a video projection on a dome, of current weather patterns and climactic disturbances taking place in the southern hemisphere.