Ti Zero | Sound performances

curated by Xing

"...And thus the human intellect produces, of its own accord, all conceptual differences, and is thus the source of that harmony which has forever been the conciliator of opposites. It generated the astrolabe in Ptolemy, in Orpheus the lyre: the discovery did not come from the outside but is just the realisation of the concept in a sensitive subject.” (Ernst Cassirer)


The series of five appointments offered by Xing as part of the T Zero programme involve artists who, although from different disciplinary outlooks, all use a variety of techniques to approach the phenomenal world of sound.

T Zero could easily be the title of a composition by John Cage in which time exists alongside absence, a musical nought or silence. It can never be truly perceived if not as a tension, an infinite approach towards the static, soundless absolute. A reconnection, therefore, to the ancient tradition in which – prior to the emergence of modern scientific disciplines – art and mathematics stood side by side in an overall concept of absolute harmony between cosmos and psyche.

Music is often referred to as the most mathematical of the arts. It has accompanied human civilisation since its beginnings and stands as the primordial attempt to give a form and structure to an intangible and invisible entity: sound. A wave, a rippling of the air that may modulate or form a melody, before and beyond language. Thanks to huge technological and scientific progress, from the Twentieth Century, sound – no longer ‘music’ – became a subject addressed by various art forms, blurring interdisciplinary confines and indefinitely amplifying the musical phenomenon, from the microscopic fluctuations of the biological world to today’s listening to social metadata or digital disembodied voices. In listening terms, nothing changed with the advent of the computer, inside which data meanders from track to track, replicating the machinic in machinic, the percussion in repercussion, brushing against a recursive fugue. Externally it is commensurate to fact, to event, perturbing the matter of real which we then perceive as sound. Whether it issues from the copper or carbon fibre cones of speakers, or from a glass trumpet, sonar information is retransformed into air, acoustic wind… sound. Data becomes fact again, although on a sensitive plane. It transforms into a perceptive act, reintroducing the suspension between faith and uncertainty.

The five artists who have been invited are representative of approaches that combine, albeit in different ways, the various attitudes towards sound. Some accentuate its mathematical or speculative aspect. Others the phenomenological and perceptive. For those who listen, they will open up vistas into the difficult art of interpretation.

The proposals for these listening moments at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni will raise the issue of psycho-acoustic space, highlighting those most elusive phenomena that run between ear and brain: acoustic chimeras or aural hallucinations, effects verging on the magical which question the nature of things, allowing us to intuit that the real is maybe the product of a situated multiagent. 

The cycle of sound performances curated by Xing to accompany the T Zero exhibition features contemporary artists who operate in the visual, sound and design fields, both on a performative and theoretical plane. In their live shows they will offer different perspectives and treatments that entwine art and science, from humanism to synthesis, using generative processes or playing on the indistinct, to the point of verging on the fantastical and auditive hallucinations.

Visual artist Margherita Morgantin sees personal sensitivity in terms of scientific data obtained through fieldwork. On October 27th at 7.30pm, with COSMIC SILENCE 4, fluorescence 3, held in dialogue with electronic music composer Ilaria Lemmo, Morgantin will recompose the auditive translation of the radiational spectres from the sub-nuclear physics experiments conducted in the Gran Sasso laboratories.

With his turntable, Bartholomäus Traubeck grants trees a voice by listening to their natural veining. By interfering with the functions of dendrochronology (the fluctuating scale dating system based on counting the annual growth rings of trees) the codified growth time of the rings becomes a track on which the needle plays contemporary music. These disc-shaped audio sculptures are entitled Years: sections of tree trunks of different varieties which are played like vinyl to generate music. The performance will take place on November 26th at 7.30pm.

Florian Hecker, a long-standing figure in the contemporary electronic music scene, Hecker synthesises sound, working on the experience of listening in relation to perceptive phenomena and the acoustics of architectural spaces. On December 17th at 7.30pm, together with the Auditory Scene Resynthesizer, he will create a new sonar perspective, exciting the mind in the hallucinatory production of the objectual. What do machines hear beyond the auditory capabilities of humans? Based on an intense theoretical investigation conducted with philosophers, linguists, scientists and technicians, the sound performance creates auditive chimeras through an exploration of perceptive resolutions that are virtually inaccessible to humans.

Francesco Cavaliere, whose activities span many different fields, could be termed a scientist of the imagination in the realm of Chaosmosis. Availing himself of analogical and digital technology, this trickster artist sets off unpredictable changes using deceptive voices on unreal hybrids.  On January 21st at 7.30pm, here in Rome, he will be presenting XILEMA, in which lymphatic sands inseminate vitreous eidetic creatures, a performative action during which he plays his blown glass trumpets.

Norwegian singer and sound artist Stine Janvin focuses on the physical aspects of sound and on the ambiguity that lies between organic and synthetic. Her voice thus become the instrument by which she creates Fake Synthetic Music, imitating dance floor effects and rhythms whose provenance she transfigures. The performance will take place on February 25th 2022 at 7.30pm.

 Sound performances Ti con Zero - Downdload the brochure (in Italian)



is a cultural organisation based in Bologna. It organises, designs and supports events, productions and publications characterised by an interdisciplinary approach around issues relevant to contemporary culture, with a particular focus on generational tendencies associated with new forms of expression.


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sound performance
26 novemberh 19:30
sound performance
17 decemberh 19:30