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Esther Mañas and Arash Moori Present Invoking a Demon Landscape at Espai 13 by Fundació Joan Miró
Cada hombre y cada mujer es una estrella, 2007. Interactive sculpture with sound, "La Noche en blanco". Valle Inclán Theater, Madrid.

BARCELONA.- Esther Mañas (Madrid, 1974) and Arash Moori (Birmingham, United Kingdom, 1977) joined artistic forces in 2004. They currently live and work in Madrid. Their work explores sound within the extended field of sculpture and installation. Sound is used as a sculptural medium to change the perception of architectural spaces taken over by EM&AM.

They work on a site-specific basis, making the most of a site’s symbolic properties or the given or found contexts. These architectural borrowings include materials and objects they find in their immediate surroundings or the contexts where they work, which they then alter using different techniques of visual and sound amplification. They redefine the interactions between objects and their architectural functions.

These high- and low-technology altered objects are then smuggled into everyday spaces and used to spark spectators’ curiosity by creating a series of discontinuities and perturbations in their sensory perceptions to draw them into the acoustic space. As they make their way through the installations, the spectators create their own narrative and composition of space depending on their own position and movement.

Several strategies are employed to influence participants’ movements, ranging from making simple physical or mechanical alterations to the objects found in the architecture to transforming and distorting the spatial features of the space in question.

Examples include false constructions that deform space, amplifying the sound of fluorescent lights or turning vinyl record players into rhythmic instruments. In general they use all kinds of materials to create automatic real-time sound performances in the installations. An amalgam of sound, light and symbolic geometries creates a new space superposed on top of the existing one that submerges spectators somewhere between real and fictitious, between sound and silence, between dreams and nightmares.

Invoking a Demon Landscape Esther Mañas and Arash Moori at Espai 13
Esther Mañas and Arash Moori present Invoking a Demon Landscape a new work conceived specifically for the Espai 13 Implicit Sound cycle, on display now through February 6, 2011 at Fundació Joan Miró. Their first solo exhibition in Barcelona consists of multiple surveillance cameras positioned within a hidden area that lies just beyond the exhibiting space, inaccessible to the general public.

A computerised live feed of video captures and reveals the mechanics of a serpentine machine, whilst embedded microphones invoke hidden sounds of electrical static, hiss and low frequency vibrations in real time. Visual elements of the space are randomly channelled towards a projection screen where red, green and blue filtered images collide to create stroboscopic effects aided by elements such as sparking fluorescents.

Demon, in Latin, daemon, means ‘divine spirit’ or ‘inner voice’. It also finds its way into computer terminology used to describe programmes which run in the background beyond the control of a user. Mañas and Moori refer to their digital lantern show as a type of ‘Imploding Cinema’ in which site and sound collapse in an uroborus vacuum. The work can also be seen to take its cue and influence from various Avante-Garde and experimental film traditions. Through a process of making the silent audible and the shrouded visible, Mañas and Moori reconfigure a displaced landscape by invoking its double.

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