RASTER_labor, an exhibition by Raster-Media at NGBK for CTM Festival. Berlin 2019.
Artists involved: Frank Bretschneider, Dasha Rush, Grischa Lichtenberger, Robert Lippok, Byetone & Mieko Suzuki.
With the premiere of »labor«, CTM and seminal electronic imprint raster celebrated a collaboration almost as old as the festival itself. Byetone + Mieko Suzuki, Dasha Rush, Frank Bretschneider, Grischa Lichtenberger, and Robert Lippok took part in the inaugural edition of the piece, utilizing sparse hardware setups to craft perpetual, regenerating compositions.
With »labor«, raster explores artistic processes, and how they diverge and develop from the same starting point or set of conditions. Five tables with minimal eurorack setups and a handful of studio monitors form the basis of the piece. The analog hardware generates and manipulates control voltages, forming a framework in which the artists can complete, connect, and interact with the modules. As the setup does not contain any sound-producing components, participating artists select sound sources themselves, which could range from minuscule to gargantuan sonic objects. They may choose to mechanically generate sound or to integrate microphones and amplify sound.
Generative composition, whether through regulating sonic events or strategic compositional decisions, has been a key part of electronic music’s history.
»labor« references both academic and DIY histories of analog synthesis, exploring open and dynamic fields of hardware experimentation. The intention of the setup is to enable interested audience members to directly observe cause and effect, so digital software will be avoided.
Berlin’s neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) hosted the inaugural iteration of the piece. Active since 1969, nGbK is one of Germany’s foremost art societies. They are invested in exhibitions, artistic interventions, research projects, interdisciplinary projects, publications, and more. nGbK is built on a unique structure that allows members to be directly involved in its activities; they understand art as a form of action that directly impacts social processes.