The BLACK SEAS ENSEMBLE
BLACK SEAS in TWO PARTS
Black Seas is an art, music and performance project directed by Steve Bates which is influenced
by historical and contemporary experiences of auditory hallucination.
This evening includes a two-part, audio-visual performance. Part One features members of Big
Brave; Mathieu Ball and Robin Wattie along with Steve Bates performing the soundtrack to a
video installation exhibited at Dazibao during the festival. Part Two will feature rotating
performances by the larger ensemble of; Elizabeth Anka-Vajagic, Mathieu Ball, Steve Bates,
Timothy Herzog, Christof Kurzmann, Mark Molnar, Marc-Alexandre Reinhardt, Sophie Trudeau,
Robin Wattie, special guests to be announced and live video by Austrian artist, Michaela Grill.
Drawing from research in horror/weird literature and film, cognitive science, media theory and
sound studies, 19th century psychic journals, mysticism and religious studies, Black Seas
considers experiences of auditory hallucination as a response to existential and sensorial voids,
hyper-stress, auditory and mental health conditions. Black Seas takes into consideration the
material elements of hallucination, conflicting notions of pathology and its opposites, ideas of
agency implicit in the experience, and the impact of forces such as colonialism, capitalism,
state terror and oppression on the phenomena.
During Suoni per il Popolo, the multi-channel video installation, Black Seas, will also be on
exhibition at Dazibao from April 18 through June 15.
Presented with the support of the Austrian Embassy Ottawa.