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-sound intervention-

“polyphony is hard, democracy is harder”

In a predefined space, 88 small transistors (equal to the number of keys of a piano) are placed in a visually inviting conduct on a surface (usually a table).

Participants are encouraged to physically manipulate the installation according to their understanding, knowledge, taste and idiosyncrasy.


Participants can power on, power off, tune in, tune out, alter volume, interrupt, displace any transistor. The gesture is characterised by its apparent simplicity (instinctive and quotidian). Every decision, adds up to a cumulative polyphonic soundscape that contains the “voice” of every participant as a “trace”(vertically) or “layer”(horizontally). Transistors give to the viewer a voice and defines participation as a political statement. 

N.B November (xristo kaouki) treats transistors as a polyphonic game, that could generate meaning and provoke social contemplation. 

The radio transistor : Quotidian, recognisable, approachable, and ordinary. A sound object (container of). Polyphonic by subject in a sense that it contains a vast diversity of sounds, opinions, tastes and idiosyncrasies. Contains melodic agreements, paraphony and cacophony. Can be considered conceptually heteroglossic. Requires physical “manipulation” to achieve one’s personal aesthetic, social or political criteria. The transistor operates in real, live and linear time. “the content of a radio transistor has the ability to express social identities, personal opinions, distinct perspectives, ideologies or taste which can create a stronger dialogical impact.” on participation “participation as a statement” TRANSISTORS is a real time intervention, a situationist sound happening, where participation is essential and it keeps the piece dynamic, vibrant and ephemeral. The degree of participation alters the construction of meaning and this performative commitment (“tune your favorite station”) goes beyond the monologic authorial voice of a sound installation. Participants become cowriters, coauthors, cocreators and an essential entity of a collective happening. xristo kaouki believes that participation is by itself a statement. Further to that, TRANSISTORS, suggests a coauthoral dialectic space – a chronotope - where multiple voices meet and interact. Each voice has its own perspective, its own validity, and narrative weight that can coexist and conflict. Every voice carries its consciousness of plurality but maintains its individuality. In TRANSISTORS voices are merged and not blended. “Every transistor - as a voice - carries its consciousness of plurality, but maintains its individuality” on polyphony “Polyphony is hard, democracy is harder” TRANSITORS is by itself philosophical and interventive, as is polyphony. With this project, November studies polyphony not as an utopian ideal but as a participative and collaborative process that sees the part of “greater whole” but still keeping hers/his individuality. It tries to distinguish –or simply acknowledge - the difference between a “signal” and a “noise”, towards a new collective aesthetic, acoustically and dialogically. As Nicholas Bourriaud stated in “relational aesthetics”,‘the place and the uniqueness of the live event is a strategy through which the collective encounter can contribute to meaning”. TRANSISTORS is open to different types of interactions and could potentially uncover “silent” and unclear messages that question our collective responsibility. “a truly polyphonic approach would put democracy into dialogue with other systems.” (Catherine Stimpson)



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