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The Secret Institute EP01: Cosmic Darkness, the Beginning of Everything

With Nkisi

The Secret Institute led by Nkisi is a research platform that focuses on investigating ancient sonic traditions, sonic experimentation and the mysteries of the subtle power of vibration and intentional sound waves. The Secret Institute aims to challenge the aural paradigm. For the new radio series at SAVVYZΛΛR, Nkisi will be presenting her sonic research through the exploration of ancient sonic concepts intertwined with performative auto-ethnographic accounts of her own initiation into the vibrational sciences of her Kongo heritage.

For the first episode, Nkisi will present an experimental sonic scan on cosmic darkness, the beginning of everything, that birthed our macro and micro systems in nature, and is still ongoing. Through radio waves, Nkisi will be focusing on our aural senses, acknowledging our ears as decoders of electromagnetic information while going beyond the sciences of the visible. Experiments of trance will be used as systems of embodied knowledge.

It is advised to use dance and movement while listening to connect to our material and immaterial bodies through dance and movement.

Nkisi is the alias of Melika Ngombe Kolongo, an electronic musician, producer and artist. Her ongoing sonic research focuses on rhythm as ancestral technology and sound as multi-dimensional intelligence.

17:00 - 18:00

Living in the End of Times #1

with Sainte Marina

Our early contemporary world is characterized by its ”post” dimensions (postcolonial, postmodern, post-internet, post…) but also its “trans” aspects (transhumanism, transdisciplinary, trans…).

The boundaries are liquid and blurred, for better and for worse. There is a deep need for human beings to go beyond, to go through and across boundaries, whether explicit or implicit: to transcend the dystopian realities that are depicted throughout multiple and simultaneous crises, to acknowledge historical chronologies and take time to reflect, embody, and shapeshift. There is a utopian fantasy that lives in all of us, that moves through borders and touches our plural nature.

Taken from the work of Slavoj Žižek, Living in the End Times, this series aims to translate all of the above into sounds and samples. Each session is one hour long and expresses the state of being thrown between extremes: between a chaotic dystopian ending and the profound need and possibility of re-envisioned resurgences of recovery, transmutation, and resistance.

This series fosters a narrative experience of sound and texture, adding sample extracts from blurbs that resonate with these tense and manifold states of the world: interviews, advertisements, movies, personal writings, and theoretical lectures through the social sciences and lenses of the humanities rise. Deconstructive grasps of the present are built as a vibrating patchwork, unfolding interactive and relational narrations and exchanges with the listener. From experimental and ambient to harsh noise and electronic music, with Marina Mardas we travel through genres and presupposed limits.

This series is developed by Sainte Marina as an ongoing residency with Tikka Radio, a web radio based in Marseille that is a space for free experimentation.

Session #1

A ball-shaped island, far away, called Earth.

What is its body? Is the sea containing the land or is the land containing the sea?

Sounds that synthesize the feeling of our body, of our collective bodies.

We are our own lands, our own regions of layers of flesh.

What does it feel to be ourselves throughout the thin lines of our bodies, that contain the self, selves, and those of others. What kinds of battles can identities hold within our skins? Humans are blooming all over this giant ball-shaped island. Those fearful yet shared questions appear in sounds, like a deafening threat, chasing the mind with dark matter. Images of old memories pass by, moving through the unconscious caves of land. Being as bliss, consciousness existing within and around each of our cells.