The Modern Book of Cynics
Title: The Modern Book of Cynics
Artist: Luc Messinezis
Format: Sound/Video Art/Media Poetry
Nominations: ScreenGrab7 Media Award 2015
The book as a medium is considered to be silent, yet the reader always creates a voice within his head while reading. The Modern Book of Cynics explores and exploits such attributes of the mediumship of the reader. Its statement derives both by exploiting the sensual functionality during the process of reading but also from the conceptual elements that unfold while experiencing it.
The artwork provokes a conflict within the reader’s head. This conflict is achieved by placing the individual within a situation of perceptual confusion. The text is displayed on a screen where the words appear at reading speed so that the audience may read comfortably. At the same time the reader listens to a bin-aural narration through a set of headphones. The narration is perfectly synchronized and in absolute unison with the displayed text, following it in speed and rhythm. This physically simulates the imaginary voice which usually a reader creates within his head. This voice though is narrating a different text than the one displayed on the screen. As a result a perceptual confusion is created, which enables the text to become almost unreadable and incomprehensible.
The Modern Book of Cynics i s not t he written text neither the narrated one. It is the whole of the reading experience it suggests, and its message is communicated through the feelings these conditions provoke. With this artwork the artist proposes a new way of nonlinear narration where the message does not emerge from the two “Horizontal” independent linear elements (text and sound) but from their vertical relation just like in a counterpoint composition.
The written text consists of the UN’s universal declaration of human rights while the audible text is a manicure, hair-care and pubic hair removal tutorial. The Modern Book of Cynics, as its title suggests, explores with sarcasm and cynicism the true position of the individual within a field of responsibility, and how it shifts from a sinful past towards an uncertain future; it is up to the reader who experiences the modern book of the Cynics to make up his mind about the true meaning of the book which comes from within the reader aiming outwards.
Tech Specs: A screen displays the text in a dark room and the narration is diffused from 4
sets of wireless headphones or a stereo set of high quality loudspeakers. The artwork needs to be isolated and in a quiet place so that the perception of the audience will be focused on the artwork. The work is not time based, so seats in front of the screen are optional.
Luc Messinezis holds an MA in sound arts from the University of the Arts,
London and since, he has engaged professionally with sound arts practice and research. His aim is to explore sound’s potential as a medium for artistic expression. Luc’s conceptual interests include aural awareness, art history, anthropology, science and philosophy. In his work he uses the concrete audible reality as a tool for stimulating the imagination and challenging the perception of the audience in various formats such as sonic, installation, audiovisual art and performative pieces.
Notable activities include his presentations at ART Athina 2013 (GR), Ethnographic
Terminalia 2011 (CA), Athens Digital Art Festival 2015 (GR).
Luc has also presented work at The Global Composition soundscape conference in 2012 (DE) and was awarded for a residency at AIR Krems lower Austria Contemporary (AT).
Finally Luc was recently nominated for the ScreenGrab7 2015 Media Award (AU).
- March 2016 – Digital Art exhibition “Diko mou”, Sound Artist (Athens, Greece)
Was invited by the curators to Present the original artwork God is Sitting in a Room. The multi-channel interactive installation piece received very positive critiques and was on display between 16 and 23 of March 2016.
- May 2015 – Athens Digital Arts Festival 2015, Sound Artist (Athens, Greece)
Invited by Athens Digital art Festival and Project to present a new version of the installation Eavesdropping; Crisis as part of festival’s 2015 Edition themed “Public Space_s”.
- June 2013 – Implode Festival 2013, Sound Artist/Performer (Khalkis, Greece)
Invited to perform live the concrete live improvisation piece Sonic Garbage as part of the first experimental and sound art festival Implode Festival at the city of Khalkis.
- May 2013 – Art Athina 2013 Art Fair, Sound Artist (Athens, Greece)
Presented the sound sculpture Destination: Journey as part of Artia Gallery’s art platform platform Emeis33 for Art Athina 2013.
- September 2012 – Marble Metal and Sound, Sound Artist (Paxos Island, Greece)
Presented the sound sculpture Of Dignity and Rights as part of the exhibition Marble Metal and Sound at the old customs house of Logos village of Paxos Island.
- November 2011 – Ethnographic Terminalia, Sound Artist (Montreal, Canada)
The artwork Eavesdropping; Crisis was officially selected and presented at Ethnographic Terminalia 2011 art show in Montreal, Canada.
- September 2011 – Reworks festival 2011, Sound Artist (Thessaloniki, Greece)
Presented the installation Eavesdropping; Crisis as part of the sound art exhibition Sounds Like Art. The show was curated by E. Papavergou and was part of Reworks 2011 music festival.
- July 2011 – Pyrgos Cultural Centre, Sound Artist (Tinos Island, Greece)
Presented the installation Eavesdropping; Crisis. The work explored the attributes of the act of eavesdropping inviting the audience to undertake the role of the eavesdropper and discover hidden aspects of everyday life through times of financial crisis.
- December 2010 – SoundFjord, Sound Artist (London, UK)
Developed the audio work I Saw as part of the sonic exquisite corpse project which was presented at Soundfjord gallery and research unit. The show was curated by H. Frosi.
- April 2010 – Levendel Bloch Gallery, Sound Artist (Ein Hod, Israel)
Design and realization of the sound art installation Forest in a Forest. The work was an audiovisual appreciation of the forests around the Carmel Mountains. Visual and audio elements were removed from their original context and were used as materials for creative practice within the context of a gallery.
- July 2009 – SoundPool , Sound Artist (International)
Stereo adaptation of the artwork ‘Wunderkammer: The sound cabinet of curiosities’. The work is exhibited online at SoundPool VI, which was curated by W.A. de Colone.
- November 2008 – IMT Gallery/Electra Productions, Sound Artist (London, UK)
Designed and realized the multichannel sound art project ‘Wunderkammer; the sound cabinet of curiosities’, proposing a new compositional strategy. The work was presented at IMT Gallery, London as part of the exhibition ‘Audio Forensics’.
- December 2015 – ScreenGrab7 International Media Award, Award nominee (Townsville, Australia)
Shortlisted for the ScreenGrab7 media award for the artwork The Modern Book of Cynics. The piece was on display at Pinaccles Gallery between 18 December 2015 and 28 February 2016.
- May/June 2010 – AIR Krems, Artist in residence (Krems, Austria)
Awarded with the opportunity to develop new work as an artist in residence for two months in Krems, Austria. Works developed included the Sound installation/performance piece Sonic Garbage and the SoundMark Series.
- May 2015 – 7th International FKL Symposium on the Soundscape, Sound Artist (Castello di Beseno, Italy)
The hyperrealist Sound Artwork Is-Real was selected and presented during the seventh edition of the international symposium on soundscape organized by the FKL (Forum Klanglandschaft). The symposium was hosted by Festival Portobeseno 2015.
- February 2015 – Traces of Commerce, Workshop leader (Athens, Greece)
Invited by Athens Digital art Festival and Project #AddNoise to organize and lead the first Athens Sound Art Workshop. During the Workshop the participants had the chance to introduce themselves to the principles and history of Sound Art Discourse, as well as to practically explore the aural reality of a location by using DIY equipment.
- July 2014 – Blank! Urban Space, Sound Artist/Supervisor (Athens, Greece)
Designed the presentation and supervised the installation of Dr. John Wynne’s and Tim Wainwrights’ audio-visual artwork “I am not the Cancer”.
- September 2013 – Teatro Di Dionisio, Sound Artist (Torino, Italy)
Contributed with his field recordings to the sound design of the theatrical adaptation by the award winning director Valter Malosti of the poem Clarel. The recordings were captured in various locations within Israel and Palestine.
- July 2012 – The Global Composition 2012, Lecturer (Darmstadt, Germany)
Selected to give a lecture for the world soundscape conference of 2012. Presented the research undertaken in exploiting the soundscape for artistic purposes, by approaching it from an existentialist perspective and investigating the possibility of creating sonic hyper-real environments.
- March 2009 – London College of Communication, Guest Lecturer (London, UK)
Invited to hold a lecture at LCC (University of the Arts London) as part of the MA in sound arts. The lecture referred to sound objects and their use within the contemporary arts and composition.