Tomás Saraceno: Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions
Published by NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
Edited by Ute Meta Bauer and Anca Rujoiu
Design by The Press Room
© 2017 by NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
English, 14.8 x 21 cm, 121 pages, colour, 50 illustrations, hardcover, with thumb drive
Distributed by Select Books (Singapore) and Les Presses du Réel (outside Singapore)
Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions is an inter-species encounter between arachnids and anthropos mediated by sound. This audio publishing project is conceived as a continuation and circulation of Tomás Saraceno’s eponymous exhibition at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore in 2015. Exploring the arachnids’s sophisticated mode of communication through vibrations, Saraceno developed several instruments that were able to amplify the vibrations of spiders, rendering them audible to other species. Various instruments, ranging from strings to percussion, were incorporated into the artist’s exhibition at NTU CCA Singapore, and used within a series of Jam Sessions between arachnids and musicians including Brian O’Reilly, Bani Haykal, and Joyce Koh who collaborated with philosopher Etienne Turpin. Multiple recordings, also took place, often impromptu, in Saraceno’s studio in Berlin throughout the preparations of the exhibition in Singapore. These Studio Rehearsals, Spiders Salons—improvisations between the arachnids and multidisciplinary musicians David Rothenberg and Evan Zyporin—together with the Jam Sessions came together as an album. Accessible on the online audio distribution platform, SoundCloud, the album is included in this publication. An essay by Elizabeth A. Povinelli and a manifesto authored by Brian Massumi foregrounds Saraceno’s experiment in current attempts to decentralise the human subject and address the perceptual world of non-human species. Spiders don’t speak in the way humans conceive language, yet they are neither silent nor mute. By making audible what we can not hear and fully comprehend—the spider’s vibrations—Saraceno draws attention to various modalities of expression and inter-relationality whose potentiality is yet to be valued.