Mira Calix: by beings in two places at once

Award-winning artist and composer Mira Calix sheds light on her new sound installation ‘by beings in two places at once’, which was showcased at the Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Arts earlier last month.

“Art is never finished, only abandoned” were words once spoken by Italian artist and all-round genius, Leonardo da Vinci.

And Mira Calix’s latest work shows no signs of slowing as it entered its fourth iteration at Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Arts for a two-week exhibition. An evolving mixed media installation, ‘by beings in two places’ explores humans’ contemporary and simultaneous occupation of both physical and non-physical landscapes and preoccupations with societal networks – or in other words, social media.

It is undeniable that this modern-age is rife with social technologies; every one of us is becoming more engaged and occupied with these platforms, and that is how Calix’s project unfolds. She asks viewers: what does it mean to run dual lives?

“I have no idea what the future holds, but my suspicion is that the balance between how much of our day to day is perpetuated within the online realm will shift.”

The installation comprised of a six speaker diffusion system in the form of Bowers & Wilkins T7 Wireless speakers combined with video works, photographs, maps and printed material – all of which were integrated with site specific material upon each iteration.

“Sound quality is probably the most important thing in my work, other than of course the composition”, Calix commented, and her main aim was to fill the turbine hall with sound as well as objects as part of an immersive sonic chamber. The T7s were positioned on a custom-made platform in the middle of the space, where they projected a soundtrack to an accompanying video, permeating through the room.

Calix is no stranger to T7s either. She was involved with them more or less from conception as she was the person who created the user interface sound design. “Although their primary function is domestic, and yes, I use them at home too, they have turned out to be extremely versatile for exhibitions and performances”, she added. It was only two years ago when T7 Wireless made its debut at the Globe Theatre in London where they were incorporated into the actors’ costumes.

Her next exhibition takes place in a new gallery in Mayfair next week and you can read about it here.

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