Jonáš Gruska: Bell II.: Opening

Jonáš Gruska: Zvon II.: Vernisáž

Accompanying Programme
Zvon II. / Bell II. is part of an ongoing research project into bells. The core of the installation is dedicated to exploring a specific function associated with bell ringing—auditory civil defence systems. Currently, these needs are mainly met by mechanical and electronic sirens. However, not long ago, bell ringing played an essential role in sonic warning systems. In Czechoslovakia, bells were used to signal radiation emergencies, instructing people to seek refuge in civil fallout shelters—like the one used in this installation. Other emergencies were indicated by ringing small pieces of train tracks, mechanical sirens, or public announcements through distributed horn speaker systems.
The installation explores these various sonic symbols,combining them into a site-specific composition. It blends original field recordings and algorithmically generated sounds and events. This composition is performed through the ventilation system of the shelter—distributing the sound waves through various rooms—and its empty water tank, together creating an intriguing soundscape that is present yet not readily accessible or obvious. Listeners are encouraged to explore the space in the dark and discover how the present sound sources interact with the space and each other, as they are specifically tuned to the resonant properties of the environment.

Jonáš Gruska was born in Czechoslovakia. He studied at the Institute of Sonology in the Hague (Netherlands) and the Music Academy in Krakow (Poland). His primary focus is chaotic and polymetric rhythms, unconventional tunings, exploration of psychoacoustic properties of sound and field recording. He has created several site-specific sound installations based on resonant properties of spaces and materials. He gave workshops on sonification, field recording, electromagnetic listening, and programming for artists. He is the creator of Elektrosluch – an electromagnetic listening device. In 2011, he started the label and instrument manufacturing company LOM focused on East/Central European experimental art and music. He performed and exhibited his work on international festivals in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Runtime: 30 min.