[ More about the series: karada-house.de/and-yet-it-floats/
[ All videos from the series: vimeo.com/showcase/8511856
Karada House on Ghost Acres and “Eppure Galleggia”:
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On May 7, 2021, the Turkish sociologist Zeynep Tufekci was writing online about recent developments in scientific understanding of the transmission of Covid-19. At one point, in a paragraph about airborne transmission of Covid-19, she allowed herself a poetic flourish, adding, about the virus, “eppure galleggia”—Italian for “and yet, it floats.”
The fragment was an allusion to the famous phrase attributed to Galileo Galilei, “eppur si muove!” (“and yet, it moves!”), by which Galileo was asserting that the earth moves around the sun, regardless of the declarations of popes and kings to the contrary.
Ghost Acres have taken this fragment as the title for an album — and a soundtrack to a series of films — that has been created out of the limitations imposed by our pandemic reality.
Over the past year, strange floating particles have turned the world inside-out, and catalysed transformations that seemed unthinkable. We have been bound in place, rendered immobile, but trying, where possible, to float free, even if only in our own minds, and to hope that our floating minds can return to the world soon.
In late April 2021, we at Karada House, a Berlin queer community art space, organised a live event in which ten well-known practitioners of shibari rope art were invited to be part of a shared online space, for one hour, and to have their tying juxtaposed with a live soundtrack. Each participant filmed their contribution to this worldwide collaboration, and these videos will be released online over the coming months. This album is the live soundtrack that was created in that session.
The soundtrack was created primarily as a live score — as a combination of music for film and music for performance. The result is a drone-inflected set that juxtaposes atmospheric post-rock with minimalist, cinematic electronics. The effect sometimes hints at Slint-like refined pulsing, such as on ‘Coptic Bind,’ the featured track. At other points the album allows a central idea to steadily accumulate, such as album centrepiece ‘Trembling Moon’, which allows a swelling surge of bowed guitar and electronics to unfold over an unhurried fifteen minutes. And the enigmatic ‘Dream Pool Essays’ combines samples from mid-twentieth-century recordings of medieval baroque string ensembles with layers of xylophone and looped effects, in a kinetic rush of sound that seems to skip across centuries in its weaving of sonic threads. Most significantly, though, the album was created as a single entity — the original recordings are without track breaks — and is best listened to as such. This series of musical motifs make a virtue of their overlaps, and the true scope of the album reveals itself over a longer listen.
This was a soundtrack to a group of people also attempting to float — sometimes in a very direct sense, in that they were physically suspended while being tied. But also in the sense of working to keep a firm grasp on their own work, their own art, their own lives. To feel some sense of flourishing and floating in a world that seems to offer so much brutal culling; to disappear into a task; to be free.
That task can be part ritual, part artistic vocation, part erotic encounter, and many other things besides. The encounter of binding a body is a prism from which the rays have many colours. In a situation where we have all felt in some way bound or restrained, this is an attempt at allowing something to grow from that restriction. To float, to be as light as air, while simultaneously being bound tight. The series presents a form that focuses on restriction and immobility. And yet, we hope, it floats.
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“Eppure Galleggia” is the first full-length album by Ghost Acres. The cover shows part of a 16th-century carpet, woven in what today is northern Iran.
The carpet became part of the collection of the State Museums of Berlin as an artefact of colonial plunder, and today is in the collections of the Berlin Museum of Islamic Art, part of the Pergamon Museum. It was severely damaged by fire during a bombing raid in Berlin in early 1945, while rolled. As a result, it is now displayed with the strange spectral effect of this fire damage plainly visible.