Inter/sperse_An interview with France Jobin
France Jobin is the first artist to take part in the new LUX RESIDENCY PROGRAM. She has been invited to present Inter/sperse, an in-situ sound installation that will address the territory and surroundings of Museolaboratorio (Città Sant’Angelo, Pescara).
France Jobin is a sound / installation / artist, composer and curator residing in Montreal, Canada. Her audio art can be qualified as “sound-sculpture”, revealing a minimalist approach to complex sound environments where analog and digital intersect. Her installations express a parallel path, incorporating both musical and visual elements inspired by the architecture of physical spaces. Her works can be “experienced” in a variety of unconventional spaces and new technology festivals across Canada, the United States, South America, South Africa, Europe and Japan. Jobin has created solo recordings for popmuzik records (JP), bake/staalplaat (NL), ROOM40 (AU), nvo (AT), DER (US), ATAK (JP), murmur records (JP), Baskaru (FR) and the prestigious LINE label (US). Her installations and screenings have been shown internationally at museums and festivals.
During the Residency period, France Jobin relates with the territory through “field recording” that will be used to sculpt the space of Museolaboratorio. The final project will be presented on May, 27 2017.
Carla Capodimonti: Tell me something about your research…
France Jobin: My work basically consists in recording sounds, “field recordings”, and then transforming them into some sort of unrecognizable state. The reason being is that I find that our society as a whole is very tuned out of the sounds that surround them. I like to use sounds from everyday life and have people listening to them again but in a different way so that they rediscover them without knowing what they’re listening to. I aim to get people to stop and listen, and if I am lucky, they eventually end up listening to themselves. My work then becomes secondary. Because I think that’s one of the sad thing about our society, that people are always running around so fast and they are completely out of tune with themselves.
[C.C.]: What about your residency in Città Sant’Angelo?
[F.J.]: I’m having such a great time. I came last year to visit museum. Fabio Perletta brought me here and I was completely overtaken, I literally felt in love with Città Sant’Angelo. I think partly because it’s very reminiscent of where I come from (Quebec City) which is one of the oldest city in North America so there’s something that I can understand about old buildings… It’s just that I feel very much at home here and so this one element that drew me to come to the museum. When I visited it, I was amazed of the acoustic qualities of the building. I think it was William Basinski’s installation at that time with James Elaine. I was able to walk through it and said: “Oh my God! I would totally do something here!”. That was the foundation for this to happen. I am on my third week here and there are so many things… I don’t even know where to begin. But first of all, to be immersed in the culture, being in Città Sant’Angelo, the fact that it’s the older historical part of the town as well as a very strong sense of community. Everybody knows I’m the Canadian in the village and so every time I walk down the streets, I say “Buongiorno!”. Some people start talking to me, others just respond. This morning this man, he started talking to me and he was intent on communicating. I explained to him that I am from Canada and I don’t speak very much italian. But it didn’t stop him, and that’s what I like. So this is sort of everyday. There is such of a community spirit again, you walk around and everybody is outside. Men are talking together, women are talking together, and then somebody walks by and says “Hey Ciao!”. And the process keep going… It’s really incredible. Then there’s Rose Cafe where the owner is teaching me a word in italian and the equivalent in dialect, every time I go there for a coffee. There’s a quality to this, in a sense that he’s so proud of his culture, his heritage and this dialect that he really wants to share. It’s such a gift and I am so happy go there every time: “Yes, I will learn. Ok, teach me!”.
So all of these experiences, and all these daily things that I am discovering inform the installation (I am also recording). There is an incredible connection to the land here and an incredible connection to culture. And that’s what I get from it and what I am trying to create at the museum with the installation. I hope that I can give people my perception of their town and I hope that maybe they can rediscover a beauty that they may have forgotten. Because it may have faded with time, or habit, the same applies to sound and the memories sounds trigger.
[C.C.]: You said that it’s easier for you to work here because at home you would have a lot of distractions..
[F.J.]: Yes, too many distractions… And here I am able to be like a sponge and take it all in. When I first arrived, I heard my neighbours who are refugees from Nigeria, Senegal, Pakistan…
They are the heroes. They are the ones who come from really atrocious conditions of living and so on. They risk coming here without being able to speak the language and still, they laugh, all the time.
[C.C.]: To them you’re like the new kid on the block!
[F.J.]: Yes! They feel part of the community and I’m the one that sticks out.
We organized a big party actually at the museum on May, 1 where a lot of people came. The refugees where invited and we had a great afternoon talking and discussing about all
kinds of things. It makes an unforgettable experience for me in terms of creating sounds, I mean I can’t be in a better setting because I’m removed from my life, it’s easier to work because I’m receptive to whatever is happening.
[C.C.]: What about the relationship between your sound and the space of Museolaboratorio? You have different acoustic aspects in all the rooms..
[F.J.]: That’s interesting! Because I kind of suffer in a good way by architectural synesthesia which means that I walk in the space and I hear sounds. As I’m doing “field recordings” I know how I’m going to process them. And in regards to the space, all the rooms are different. I put pigeons, who are omnipresent at the museum, into a little space (because pigeons like small spaces). There’s another new room which has an incredible acoustic quality, it’s absolutely completely crazy echo! You don’t need much for a sound to really move in that room. There’s another couple of little hidden spaces and those are also quite important because you don’t put big sounds in there, you put discrete sounds but they’re still there and they can be heard. The acoustic in those places is quite flat, so it works well for drones or some sort of hiss noise… One day I came to the museum, it was a cloudy night. I found Marco De Leonibus playing the guitar, completely focused on what he was doing there. His guitar sounds spectacular in the space! So I asked if I could record him because he is also a part of the museum in terms of sounds (it was not the first time he was doing this). All I did was cut, splice and rework it. I didn’t process it.
[C.C.]: It’s really interesting that you use sounds which come from the outside and others from the inside, from the museum, and you mix them together. It’s like if you create a sculpture of the space with all the elements of the territory, of the landscape, of the town as well…
[F.J.]: The sounds of Città Sant’Angelo and the sounds that I find inside the museum (the heater that was blaring (it was cold!), the generator from the food truck of the market…) are part of the sounds of the city whether they come from within or from without. That’s the reason I called the installation “Inter/sperse”, because it’s really mixed in. There are loops within the museum, there are loops from outside of the museum, but they’re all interactive with each others within the space and they’re all blending in one way or another. So that’s the way I look at it in terms of the acoustical space.
[C.C.]: So, the opening will be on May, 27 and you will perform with Fabio Perletta…
F.J.: Yes, absolutely. We will perform “Mirror Neurons” which is a collaboration that Fabio and I did in 2015 with XX+XY visuals (Sladzana Bogeska and Giuseppe Pradella). I must underline here that this is the first visual collaboration that I have done in a long time, it took some convincing but, once I saw their work, it was so amazing, that I decided to do it.
[C.C.]: What’s your relationship with visuals? Because you work with something which is no material. And what about visual arts?
[F.J.]: I love architecture and visual arts. There’s certain things that I really like. In terms of festivals and VJ stuff, I saw last year Dasha Rush. She was playing and she did this ambient performance at Mutek with Stanislav Glasov, a Russian visual artist. The screen was broken in two. Everything was bleeding down to the stage floor. It was absolutely gorgeous in terms of composition, colours, transition, development over time of the piece… Another one that I loved was Ryoichi Kurokawa.
Intervista a cura di Carla Capodimonte
LUX RESIDENCY PROGRAM
FRANCE JOBIN Inter/sperse April.23 – May.27.2017 Vernissage May.27.2017 H 7.00pm @ Museolaboratorio in Città Sant’Angelo, Pescara, Italy
This residency is made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Travel Grant to Media Artists – International Residencies program.