This work is collaboration with Eva Vozárová.
Chronika transcribes unseen data from the life of a public library into more communicative medium – music.
Our lives consist of repetition. We get up at the same time every morning, we travel the same route to work, we spend our time in the same places. We still buy groceries in the same store, we go to the same pubs for beer… we borrow books in the same library. We meet the same people, read the same news, go to bed at the same time.
Repetition is pleasantly familiar - but at the same time it suppresses our sensitivity to detail. Everyday life threatens us with dullness. Repeated stays in the same environment make us blind to the changes that have taken place around us - especially if these changes are inconspicuous and gradual. We get used to it faster than we think.
Chronika is an observer who notices us. It examines the limits of human receptivity, observes what is happening in the environment and also observes what escapes us. It is a witness and at the same time an invisible chronicler of the place. It records, algorithmically processes and sonicates environmental and functional parameters of the space: temperature, pressure, humidity, brightness, noise, movement, signal of Wi-Fi networks, data on borrowing and returning books, their titles, genres, publishers. The factors it monitors are partly due to “force majeure” - for example the weather - but partly about how we behave: the noise and humidity in the room depend on us, the preference of detective stories or romantic literature as well. Every day before closing time, the installation reports: it generates a several-minutes-long music recap of the events of the day based on the captured data. The chronicler is deterministic, it is the result of the work of algorithms leaving out the factor of chance (which is common in algorithmic music) - content, form and musical structures arise only on the basis of our behavior and on the basis of the parameters of the environment in which we move.
Chronika is a metaphor for our receptivity and ability to (self) reflect. The chronicler - once one of the most important citizens of the village - recorded events in the village and created a report on where the community is located. He reminded her that even in repetition, something new was still coming: because life, although sometimes monotonous, never stood still. The chronicle also reports on what is happening. He asks if we are willing to stop and listen to her. And do we not forget to chronicle our own lives.
The installation experiments with the musical form, structures and the role of the composer. It puts the author in the position of a modern instrumentalist who makes a new instrument - the author sets the rules for the instrument to play itself by reacting to space and circumstances, not to a deliberate human intervention.
The work was supported by a scholarship by the Slovak Arts Council.
- chronicle: systematic capture of events and stories from a certain area; a record book of them; from gr. chronika; chronic: long-lasting, prolonged; often recurring, op. acute