15 / 04
7–8 PM
Nikola Tesla Technical Museum / temporary exhibition space
Ticket price:
5 € | 37,67 kn
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Tehnički muzej Nikola Tesla

SkylAR: multimedia concert with elements of installation

Marko Ciciliani

Here you can find the map with the posters' locations.

Two women, two men and a creature resembling an iguana — under the umbrella title SkylAR — will welcome people into augmented reality space in various public spaces in Zagreb for two weeks before the start of the official 2023 MBZ program. What is this actually about? Marko Ciciliani, composer and intermedia performing artist, born in Zagreb but matured in Germany, the Netherlands and England, created five compositions, or, as he calls them, the augmented reality miniatures for the 2023 MBZ. This world will be unlocked to all interested passers-by via a QR code on posters placed in public spaces in Zagreb. In order to appeal to all types of audiences, from the most knowledgeable to those just discovering experimental and alternative forms of art for the first time, Ciciliani put on the posters the abovementioned characters in the form of SF comics, typical for the technophile era of the 1950s and visually comprehensible and appealing to nearly all passers-by. The lines these characters utter can be heard as actual recorded voices or synthesized voices in a layered sound environment.

However, behind the popular form hides a powerful concept based on quasi-scientific research. While reading the 1950s comics, Ciciliani observed that, behind the pronounced techno-optimism of the time, hides a very clear tendency to social division in the broadest sense, in which the West, with the USA at the helm, would definitely win. He also noticed that in the story about technology as a path to self-realization and the advancement of humanity, there is a clearly visible aggression toward others and the environment, such as conquering new territories or exploiting natural resources. Ciciliani therefore did an experiment: he kept the contested form of the comics and its microworld, but changed the discourse that had dominated it until now. Thus, the characters in the author’s visual-audio universe speak of rediscovering and reconstructing those parts of themselves they have suppressed thanks to the patriarchal and rationalist culture. Instead of exploiting and encouraging the conquest of new territories outside the known outer world, they speak of discovering the inner world and accepting it as a fluid, vulnerable, highly sensory system interdependent on other such systems.

For Ciciliani, the interdependency of man and the environment is very relevant in the context of the current climate crisis, which he constantly highlights. The intriguing and almost scientific structure of the work is also created using audio-visually suggestive thematization of colonialism, animal anthropology (focusing on the views of theoretician Donna Haraway on the objectivization of animals), the first experiences (and sounds) of the universe, and so on. Accumulating references from various periods of human thought, Ciciliani, as he underlines, wants to weave a heterogeneous network which resists any immediate solution.

As part of the live performance at the MBZ, Ciciliani will perform different parts from five miniatures using projections, live streaming and a heterogenous multi-channel sound system, for which the experts from the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics of the University for Music and Performing Arts in Graz have prepared a prototype of multidirectional speakers. Jennifer Torrence, percussionist and experimental musician from Oslo, will accompany Ciciliani. Torrence is also a scientist interested in the body and theater (percussion theatre), and was the leader of the percussion section of the Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic. She has collaborated with numerous ensembles and artists such as Øyvind Torvund, Yvonne Wu, Viola Yip, and our own Sara Glojnarić.

Jennifer Torrence, percussions and performance

Marko Ciciliani, live electronics, visuals and performance
Benedikt Alphart, technical assistance
*first performance – commissioned by the 32nd MBZ-HDS
The project is kindly supported by Erste Bank.