No Ordinary Protest

Country: UK
Duration: 8 mins
Sound: Stereo
Ratio: 16:9
Available Format/s: HD Digital File
Original Format: HD Video


Can sound mobilise socio-political and physical change? Working across film, sound and performance, Greek-British artist Mikhail Karikis adopts the children’s science fiction novel ‘The Iron Woman’ (1993) by British writer Ted Hughes (1930–98) as an ecofeminist parable in which communal listening and noise-making become tools to transform the world.
In this story, a female superhero gifts children with a mysterious power: a noise. Transmitted by touch, it resonates with the collective howl of creatures affected by the pollution of the planet. As the children take matters into their own hands, they infiltrate factories and ‘infect’ adults with their demand for immediate action.
For this new commission, Karikis engaged over the course of a year with a group of seven-year-olds from Mayflower Primary School in East London. Together they created a film that reflects on the environmental themes of the book and imagines the enigmatic noise that assists the protagonists’ protest. Improvising with vocalisations, musical instruments and toys, the group conduct cymatic experiments whereby sound vibrations create unique visual patterns. Creating landscapes that transform with the sounds generated by the children, the results echo their power to mobilise change through ‘noise’.
As the children debate, a sense of responsibility towards the environment and an activist imagination emerge. They metamorphose into luminous agitators testing the shape-shifting properties of sound and its power to vibrate the material universe.

More works by Mikhail Karikis

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