Seismographic Sounds

Visions of a New World – Exhibition

Photo — DJ Invisible by Chris Saunders.

The festival’s programme of concerts, performances, discourse, and more, is complemented by a special edition of the "Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a New World" exhibition, curated by Norient — the International Network for Local and Global Sounds and Media Culture with contributions from CTM. For the exhibition’s presentation within CTM 2016, Norient and CTM curated additional works by Pedro Reyes, Tianzhuo Chen, and Svetlana Maraš.

“Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a New World” is a multi-authored exhibition assembling distinct music, sound art and videos created, compiled and commented by 250 artists, musicians, academics and bloggers from 50 countries. Often produced in small studios from Jakarta to La Paz, Cape Town to Helsinki, these works experiment with the possibilities of the internet age and illuminate new spaces beyond the confines of commercialism, propaganda, and bigotry. Countering pessimistic views that globalisation and digitisation have led to cultural uniformity, they foresee a changing geography of multi-layered modernities, far beyond old ideas of North versus South, West versus East.

By diving into six topics — Money, Loneliness, War, Belonging, Exotica and Desire — visitors explore the exhibition as an audio-visual composition filled with music videos with subversive sounds and messages; experimental podcasts from local artists and journalists; a three-channel round table installation hosting controversial discussions between journalists, bloggers, artists and academics; and numerous other sound and video installations, experimental audio mixtapes and remixes.

While a seismograph measures and records force and duration of earthquakes, with “Seismographic Sounds”, Norient aims to measure visions of a new world. In keeping with this mandate, all exhibition content comes from multiple perspectives of musicians, authors, journalists and photographers from all over the world.

Partners for the CTM 2016 exhibition include curators Theresa Beyer, Thomas Burkhalter and Hannes Liechti, scenographers Julien McHardy, Nils Volkmann, and Carlotta Werner, media planners and acoustic scenographers Jan Paul Herzer and Max Kullmann (hands on sound), Nicolai Wienzoschek, and graphic designers Annegreth Schärli, and Marius Rehmet (Vojd).

Complementing the exhibition, the CTM 2016 Discourse programme of talks, panels, music diffusions, film screenings and more is curated in close collaboration with Norient. The Discourse programme will present a range of “Seismographic Sounds” contributors. Sarah Abunama-Elgadi, Meira Asher, FOKN Bois, Wendy Hsu, Adam Harper, Chris Saunders, and many more discuss ethical borders when working with local sounds, postcolonialism and new strategies of researching music today.

Exhibition Publication

The exhibition’s namesake book, titled "Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a New World" (Norient Books, 504 pages) invites readers to experience and discuss the project and network from even more different angles. The second publication from Norient, edited by the exhibition’s curators Theresa Beyer, Thomas Burkhalter, and Hannes Liechti, offers a collage of articles, interviews, quotations, photographs and lyrics around international niche genres, parodies on exotica, and post-digital forms of protest. The multiple perspectives gathered within its pages hint that the mainstream hits and underground trends of the future will come from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Norient – Network for Local and Global Sounds and Media Culture

Founded in 2002 by Thomas Burkhalter, Norient searches for new music, sounds and noises from around the planet. The Network for Local and Global Sounds and Media Culture is based in Bern (Switzerland), and discusses current issues critically, from different perspectives, close to musicians and their networks. Through the Norient Online Magazine, the Norient Musikfilm Festival, performances, books, documentary films, traveling exhibitions and radio programs Norient hopes to orient and disorient readers, listeners and spectators and present to them strong, fragile and challenging artistic positions in today’s fast moving and globalized, digitized and urbanized world.


Funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation of Germany and supported by the Embassy of Mexico.

The pre-production was enabled by Pro Helvetia, Migros Kulturprozent, Swiss National Science Foundation, Ernst Göhner Foundation, Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, srks – Stiftung für Radio und Kultur Schweiz, Swisslos – Kultur Bern, Kultur Stadt Bern, Bürgergemeinde Bern, Jubiläumsstiftung der Schweizerischen Mobilar Genossenschaft, Bürgli-Willert Foundation.

Stills and Images from "Seismographic Sounds"

"Seismographic Sounds" book cover photo.
"Seismographic Sounds" — Meira Asher, copyright Laetitia Boulud, Israel.
"Seismographic Sounds" — Video still from "Visualization" by Blank Banshee, Canada.
"Seismographic Sounds" — Video still from Pidgen Musical "Coz Ov Moni" by FOKN Bois, Ghana.
"Seismographic Sounds" — Video still from "Champs-Élysée" by Bonnie Banane feat. Waltaa.
"Seismographic Sounds" — Video still from "House of Greeds“ by Burgerkill, Indonesia.
"Seismographic Sounds" — Collage "Schizophonia" with Umlilo, South Africa. Copyright Dylan Culhane.


Opening: 29.1.2016, 19:00

Runs: 30.1–20.3.2016 | KKB Kunstraum Kreuzberg

During CTM: 30.1.–7.2., daily 11–22:00

All other days: 11–20:00 

Additional Works

hands on sound[DE]

Installation, 2015

Pedro Reyes[MX]

"Disarm (Mechanized)"
Installation, 2013

Raed Yassin[LB]

"The Stinky Singer / The Sultan of Tarab"
Installation, 2015

Svetlana Maraš[RS]

"Matter of Fact"
Installation with stereo sound, video, and 3D printed controller/ interface, 2015

Tianzhuo Chen[CN]

Single channel HD video, 2015

"Scapegoat 02"
Object on pillars, 2016

Urs Hofer[CH]

"Stereo Types"
Installation, 2015