A Field, a Kitchen, and an Academy present 'The Curious Loop'

Composer-performer Steffi Weismann

The second edition of The Field Kitchen Academy entitled The Curious Loop, takes place between August, 15 and 8 September in the Gutshaus Wüsten Buchholz, in the province of Brandenburg (Germany), about 2 hours away from Berlin and Hamburg. Three weeks full of fruitful international interdisciplinary collaborations that emerge in form of conceptual dinners, lectures, presentations, or sound & contemporary dance performances offered to the public, respecting the corona rules and following the advice to stay local.

THE CURIOUS LOOP is an international interdisciplinary collaboration project that is composed of a series of sound performances and music presentations around the topic of “loop” as a gateway to other concepts. During three weeks residents, artists, experts, academicians, zen masters, and creative minds live together, creating an organic self-managed community and an art laboratory where all activities all focus to generate discourses around a topic —this year, the loop— using, in addition, food as a medium and the kitchen as an exchange and production platform where heated and open debates can take place. The result is a variety of individual and collective experiences that are presented to the public every weekend. Exciting summer weekends ahead out of the city of Berlin where one can stay overnight.

Gutshaus Wüsten Buchholz

The Field Kitchen Academy Philosophy

Each edition of the Field Kitchen Academy is composed under a different concept that creates a lab for field research, experimentation, discussion, trial and error, progression of knowledge, know-how, creativity, and artistic production. It aims at stimulating new areas and formats of investigation that will support artistic practice and creative thinking in order to transcend the existing borders between research and practice, beyond forms and formats with innovative tools and experiences on holistic knowing and thinking.

The kitchen is a symbol of overcoming the hierarchies in society. It stands out as a platform of production and debate as food functions as one of the best global cultural and social glue. Food is a mediator to involve the audience creating accessibility and inclusivity to the experimental and contemporary art topics.

The locations of the Field Kitchen Academy are in remote areas in nature or in unique urban settings to forge human psychology to disarm the masks and the thinking patterns created during standard education systems (the academy). Dislocating the participants in unusual environments is crucial for altering their vision and perspective to allow them to work and create collaboratively with the communities in rural areas. The project also uses the supportive format of nature and the remote societies to create knowledge, unique strategies of perception, and to inaugurate and unlock artistic potentials.

The three pillars of The Field Kitchen Academy

The Concept: The Loop

Each edition uses the residency period for around ten participants and a resident cook in the location selected as a process for field research. This second edition, the search, and research are around the concept of the loop, as mention above.

For the duration of the project, they will use the notion of loops-in-sound as a gateway to other concepts of repetition, offering a variety of individual and collective experiences.

Loops represent a time that is suspended, which is a compressed source of the past, present, and the future: The past (as it is looping the material produced in the past), the future (as it will also take place in the future) and the present (as it is experienced in the now). And all these will soon become a history… and the history, eating its own tail, will probably repeat itself again.

The Curious Loop takes Ouroboros as a conceptual cue, an adopted symbol of alchemy originating in Egyptian iconography. The term derives from Ancient Greek: Oura (tail), Bora (food), and Bibrōskō (I eat). The ouroboros is often referred to as a symbol of eternal cyclic renewal or a cycle of life, death, and rebirth, in addition to perpetuity and infinity.

The loop also oscillates between the known and the unknown; as for the viewer and listener it could unfold to a future of known (as it repeats the same material over and over again), but also it may unfold to an unknown (as surprises are always welcome), and one never knows if the loop will be broken with an unknown sound or visual component. If one cannot step into the same river twice, and if one opens to perception with all senses, what differences can we find in each loop? Additionally, the loop creates a safe space in which one can experiment and search for other new elements that can be incorporated into the ‘system,’ thus feeds the curiosity. In conclusion, the loop can be considered as the perfect system to be safe but also curious for new modifications.

Hans Rosenström, “Shells Within Shells”, 2019. Anatomy Of Political Melancholy

The experts

This year edition, the Field Kitchen Academy counts with the sound artists: Ove Holmqvist, Hans Rosenstrom, Bill Fontana (via zoom)+Christina Kubrisch, and Hans Peter Kuhn (who is also a visual artist), the DJ and producer Sebastian Mullaert a.k.a Minilogue, the neurophysiologist Dr. Ursula Koch, the composer-performer Steffi Weismann, and the Zen masters Ji Woo and Sun Woo.

The Chef-in-residence and the curator

The Chef-in-residence Yalın Özer will prepare conceptual dinners that will shed light on the correlation between loop and repetition, from a multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary perspective. The project is curated by Ece Pazarbaşı.

Conceptual dinners at Gutshaus Wüsten Buchholz

The Curious Loop Public Program

Over the period of three weeks, the twelve inhabitants of the Gutshaus Wüsten Buchholz work and reflect through the knowledge they co-created with the experts, who share their wisdom with the residents of the program. In close working sessions, this year they will decompose and recompose the existing three music/sound/visual pieces by Bill Fontana, Hans Peter Kuhn, Ove Holmqvist & Sebastian Mullaert divided into three modules, that culminates in a series of performances and conceptual dinners opened to the public and offered during each correspondent weekend.

The concert/performance series at Gutshaus Wüsten Buchholz will present the before and after version of these compositions, resulting in performances, installations, and presentations. Check the all Public program here.

The Curious Loop Academy Sessions

The investigation around loop-in-sound will follow two trajectories grouped into three modules:

First: Considering the circular format of the loop, the symbolic form as a longstanding strand in sound and music theory and unfolding this to interdisciplinary realms. Second: Loop’s repetition and recurrence character which carries the listener/viewer into another mode of perception and understanding after a certain amount of time watching or listening.

Module #1 (15-22 August): one week

Circling in Live, session lead by Sebastian Mullaert (aka Minilogue)

DJ and producer Sebastian Mullaert will lead a working session and demonstration of his live set-up; exploring how he enriches his musical loops with analog and digital instruments in ways that promote spontaneity, improvisation, and flow within his performances. While doing this he will explain his interactions with nature and nature’s reflection on his music.

Sebastian Mullaert (aka Minilogue)

Interactive Synthesis with Physical Computing, session lead by Ove Holmqvist

Sound artist Ove Holmqvist will explore possibilities presented by the combination of physical computing and sound. Centered around the controller app Holon.ist, the session lets participants turn movement and other sensor data into sound using a small modular setup and a limited number of sensors that are then configured for performance.

Neural circuits in the Auditory Brainstem, a talk by Dr. Ursula Koch

Dr. Koch’s research group is interested in how our brain “learns” to understand our acoustic environment. They investigate which genetic and external factors contribute to the proper development of brain circuits that analyze sound patterns.

Generation S, audiovisual performance by Steffi Weismann and artist talk

On the 22nd of August, composer and performer Steffi Weismann’s performance Generation S will show us how a 10-year-old girl today imagines future life on Earth and what image of nature from researchers who photographed the growth cycle of peas almost 100 years ago convey to us. The next day, the 23rd of August, it will be an intimate talk with Steffi on the repetitive circles through generations of humans and generations of technology and also about her performance Generation S.

Steffi Weismann. Photo: Eva Ellersdorfer Meissnerova

Module #2 (23 August -9 September): two weeks

Here We Go, Once Again, session lead by Hans Peter Kuhn

In this session, sound and visual artist Hans Peter Kuhn will experiment with different types of loops, as they are used in minimal music or in the obvious techno and other sample-related pop music, but also look at the possibilities to leave a loop.

Hans Peter Kuhn

Acoustic Phenomenology, session lead by Bill Fontana

An intense working session lead by sound artists Bill Fontana and Christina Kubrisch. Fontana will join via zoom due to corona travel restrictions. During the session, there will meticulously record acoustic phenomena in the physical environments of Wüsten Buchholz, Perleberg, and other locations in the area within wind turbines, cornfields, and the lake. Sound will be explored and recorded with hybrid listening technologies of accelerometers, hydrophones as well as microphones.

Bill Fontana

Even Deeper Listening, experience lead by Hans Rosenström

As a light accompaniment of the simmering days, Rosenström will create a series of situations that force people to listen… and to hear the differences between the loops under different circumstances, how recognition is acquired through repetition, and how small shifts in nuances create a different meaning.

Module #3 (15 August – 09 September): three weeks

This module is the combination of the previous two, encompassing the whole duration of the project.

Circle of Life, session lead by Zen Masters Ji Woo & Sun Woo

In this working session, the Zen masters will guide the group to experience the transformative natures of repetitive mantras, and their impact of taking us out of the loops, patterns that we continuously come across in our lives.

Zen Masters Ji Woo & Sun Woo

Simmering Session, lead by Hans Rosenström

Accompanied by Hans Rosenström’s listening sessions, this is a period for reflection, relaxation, digestion… and chilling.

Hans Rosenström

Important info

For the visitors from Berlin and other cities who are willing to have a different weekend away from the city, Gutshaus Wüsten Buchholz offers a limited number of rooms and spaces for tents and caravans. Additionally, free shuttles will be available from the Perleberg train station to Wüsten Buchholz. Both conceptual dinners and accommodations at the location can be booked prior to the events.

The Curious Loop / Second edition the Field Kitchen Academy
Wüsten Buchholz, Brandeburg


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