SUAL Archives | 2018

Bernhard Gál: This is for real

Duration:     1‘30“
Type:             Audio recording provided by the artist
Notes:           Presented as part of the exhibition #Sonderfall 0,5

This is for real

Electroacoustic composition, 2004
52 real seconds time-stretched into 90 seconds. For real.
… it sounds pretty familiar, but is it what it sounds like?
And (how) would it sound different, if it wasn’t ‘really’ real?


In its simplicity and wit, this is an almost Fluxus-like exposition of what is for most a fairly uneventful — even banal — yet desperately intimate everyday act. This particular human-scale event not only functions as a limiting factor in terms of the sonic and rhythmic character of the piece, not to mention its duration, but also defines the contours and (er…) “flow” of the dramaturgy. With a coda. The source material is a recording of a male subject urinating in a toilet, shaking out the last drops of urine and finally, after a short pause, flushing the toilet. The recording was time-stretched to fit the duration requirements of the CD project it appears on as well as to play with the project’s concept and title: “90 seconds of reality”. While we could imagine different versions of the piece, with different “performers” who drink varying mounts of liquids beforehand and/or control the “output” to various degrees, ultimately their form and dramaturgy would still be strictly circumscribed by the same category of human-scale physicality.

[Jeff Chippewa, concert series ‘À la recherche de la miniature’, Toronto]

Bernhard Gál

Austrian artist, composer and musicologist Bernhard Gál is equally at home within the domains of contemporary music, installation art and media art. As of now, Gál has created around 80 sound installations and intermedia art projects, combining sound, light, objects, as well as architectural concepts and video projections into multidimensional and prevalently site-specific art works. He also composes for acoustic instruments and electro-acoustic music. As a laptop musician, Gál has performed extensively on five continents, and worked with numerous musicians of the electronic and improvised music scenes. Since 2006, Gál has also been the creative head behind ‘shut up and listen!’ – Interdisciplinary Festival for Music and Sound Art, in Vienna. Between 2006 and 2007 he taught sound art at the University of Arts in Berlin. From 2010-13 Gál held a research position at the Paris Lodron University Salzburg, in conjunction with the interdisciplinary doctoral college ‘Art and the Public’. Currently he is working on a PhD concerning sound installation art. His work has been made available on ca. 30 audio publications and documented with various catalogue books and DVDs. In 2015, his book and DVD-Video Zwischenbrücken, Sound Installations and Intermedia Art 2005–2015 was published by edition sp ce.

[info as of 12/2018]