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Performance series: ‘AMOENUS’ by Christian Duka at Aures London

Text by CLOT Magazine

Christian Duka is a curator, sound designer and music artist of the generation that emerged in the wake of digital technology. He lectures Electronic Music at SAE London and curates sound-driven interdisciplinary art in immersive environments. His research interests explore the relationship between musical/sonic experiences and emotional expression, finding comfort in chaos, noise, dreams, presence and the body. Christian Duka’s pieces take place in immersive settings, making use of a 3D sound spatialised system and immersive visual projections, using spaces as sound design tools and the bodies of performers and audience as living sculptures.

Last October he presented UR Human Presence, an improvisation of dance, 3D sound, performance and visual art that took place at Aures London – the UK’s first fully immersive entertainment venue with cutting-edge acoustics and 3D audio-visual projection. UR consisted of a series of 4 consecutive shows that explored the idea of interoception, a lesser-known sense that feels what’s going on inside your body. 

Based in London Waterloo, Aures is a venue with futuristic immersive technology that brings together artists, musicians and developers to encourage experimentation and push boundaries through new digital mediums available at the venue. Aures goes beyond the conventional event space experience using dynamic, immersive technology and programming to create extraordinary events and connect an artist or brand’s ideas to their audience.

Duka is soon back at Aures with a new series of events taking place during the first half of the year.  Under the name of AMOENUS, this series of 5 immersive artistic experiences will see the curator collaborating with local, London-based curators and experimental sound, visual and performance artists addressing the use of space as an artistic tool. The series will run from February to June 2019 and is a reaction to the lack of venues offering experimental artistic events in immersive environments. The underlying concept, Duka explains,  is the Locus Amoenus, a Latin literary topos involving an idealised place of safety or comfort. The combination of events will include audiovisual experimental music performances, blindfolded sound art experiences, contemporary art installations and performance acts. 

The first instalment, Futureshook, will be in February 3 and in collaboration with Edited Arts, an artist-led organisation that specialises in themed events. By creating an immersive multi-sensory experience, the event explores how technologies have affected how we act, create and consume. Artists include Shiva Feshareki performing a live set of her debut album using experimental turntabling techniques. Artistic duo MARMO will present a 3D sound performance of drones, noises and voices, while Ash Koosha, a pioneer in VR will showcase a futuristic set. Saxophone beast Ben Vince and cellist Lucinda Chua prepare an electroacoustic performance with saxophone and cello.

Future shows will include GUTZ Label Launch (GUTZ is a contemporary sound art label founded by Christian Duka and Jose Macabra). Resolution will present an instalment of an events series encompassing various different mediums, including Surround Sound Diffusion, Audio-Visual Art Pieces and a broad range of Experimental Electronic Music using new programming developments and intricate sound spaces); curator Elissavet Sfyri presenting 5 artists with 5 consecutive interventions/performances that create one piece, using 3D sound as a core element and Irruptive Chora where Agata Kik and Ania Mokrzycka, will explore the penetrative and affective potentialities of the female voice in a daylong event, featuring installations and performance acts.

(Media courtesy of  Christian Duka)
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