Beautiful Crises is a short audio-visual piece as a reflection on the transformation of the environment by urbanisation. It is a collaboration between photographer and video artist Mia Paller and sound artist beepblip. The soundscape and moving images represent two opposite processes; on the one hand, humans are invading the biotic environment by buildings and industries, while on the other hand, flora and fauna, the non-human subjects, keep reclaiming the spaces humans abandon. We propose that such processes would not be antagonistic but rather an interplay directed toward a nonviolent negotiation between species in terms of reciprocity, mutuality and care rather than a violent act of invasion and reclaiming.
Crises are moments of rupture causing great social and environmental turmoil. There is nothing inherently positive or negative about these times of distress; they are merely reflections of a system that has arrived to a stand-still and thus shows its high level of dysfunctionality. It is not for us to seek beauty in the crises itself but in the potentiality, in the prospect of going beyond the pain and arrive at a place of care where empathy is still possible. As artist He Chengyao so beautifully shared with me so many years ago in a short yet intimate interview at the City of Women festival: “… as we express the pain and the death of this society and environment that we know about, I ask myself, how are we to let people feel that there is still hope in this life, that there is still love.”
[Credits] Mia Paller & beepblip, Beautiful Crises, loop video, 2′ 26”, 2020
[Premiere] Sound Occupations, Student International Film Festival (STIFF), supporting program
[Venue and date] SKC Rijeka, Croatia, 26 – 29 November 2020
[Links] Mia Paller’s Vimeo, beepblip’s SoundCloud
Mia Paller (1995, SI) is a visual artist researching the practice between photography and painting. In 2020, she graduated from the master course Lens-Based Media Design at Piet Zwart Institute (Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, NL). Her recent production has been presented in solo exhibitions such as Artist per Month – Mia Paller: Trace in DobraVaga Gallery (Ljubljana 2019), City Traces in Hiša kulture (Pivka, SI, 2019) and Photoupsets in Layer House (Kranj, SI, 2019). Mia Paller currently lives and works in Rotterdam (NL). http://miapaller.site/
beepblip (1977, SI) is a sound artist and archivist. She makes immersive bleepy psychogeographical soundscapes by use of analogue electronics, DIY and modular synths, field recordings and computer manipulations. She is exploring bioacoustics, experimental and microtonal music. Ex-member of Theremidi Orchestra (2011–2017) DIY sound collective, current member of Jata C laptop-band for bioacoustics (Cona Institute). Her solo albums Noise for Strings, Vol. 1 (2019) and Noise for Strings, Vol. 2 were published by Kamizdat label.
[Attribution CC BY 3.0] Javanese Court Gamelan by RTB45; Native Drum by sandyrb; archival audio recording of an interview with artist He Chengyao by Ida Hiršenfelder, City of Women, Kultura-kultura, Festivalski termin, @Radio Študent, 12 October 2009.