Greater Toronto Art 2024, March 22–July 28.

Aura Satz

Preemptive Listening (Part 1: The Fork in the Road)

January 1, 2022
–January 31, 2022

Aura Satz, Preemptive Listening (Part 1: The Fork in the Road), 2018. 6′40″. Courtesy of the Artist and Fridman Gallery.

Preemptive Listening (Part 1: The Fork in the Road) explores sonic obedience and disobedience through the trope of the siren. It posits the siren’s loud glissando wail as a conditioned and learned signal, one that can potentially be perceptually and musically rewired. In the film, Lebanese trumpet improviser Mazen Kerbaj has composed a new siren sound using circular breathing, alongside the actor and activist Khalid Abdalla’s account of the siren as the emblematic sound of resistance, oppression, and lost futures during the Arab Spring. Shot on 16mm film, the film is literally driven by its soundtrack, as the voice becomes a beacon, activating emergency rotating lights.

Aura Satz is an artist whose practice encompasses film, sound, performance and sculpture. Her work explores various sound technologies and the ways in which these might resist standardisation, generate new soundscapes, and in turn offer new forms of listening and attending to the other. She is currently developing her first feature film centred on the sound of sirens and emergency signals.

Past Shift Key Programmes

A still from Cecilia Vicuña "Paracas" (1983)
Cecilia Vicuña
A Still from Cauleen Smith "Pilgrim" (2017)
Cauleen Smith
Mona Hatoum
Allora & Calzadilla
Returning a Sound