Before life, there was sound. SONŌ (trans. latin: “[I make] sound”) interrogates the interconnections of sound, subjectivity, and agency. A sessile soft artificial entity, only capable of affecting its surroundings through expansive movement and sound, is ceaselessly sounding itself and various environments using audio continually generated in real-time by a software synthesizer. Modeled on cultural imaginaries about the sounds soft creatures make, the audio invokes notions of a primordial, affective, agentic type of sound that operates beyond signification; Urlaut as the Dadaists and Surrealists referred to it. Enacting a soft materiality and soft kineticism usually associated with organic life in conjunction with its sound, the work highlights parallels between sound and life as radically ecological and ephemeral phenomena.

Mads Bering Christiansen & Jonas Jørgensen, SONŌ (2020-2022), soft robotics and four channel room size sound installation . Photo: ZHU Lei

Exhibited at: Chronus Art Center (Shanghai) (2022-2023), Digital Tech Summit (Copenhagen) (2022)