becomebecome Residency 2018: cycle[s]

In June 2018 I attended becomebecome’s Nomadic Residency in the hinterlands of central Sardinia. During the 10-day residency, we were asked to explore the topic of “A Call to Origins,” inspired by the work of Sardinian-born artist Maria Lai, whose work engages extensively with the ancient cultural history of her homeland. Along with my fellow attendees, I attended daily brainstorming workshops, presentations, and even a field trip to a prehistoric settlement site. The residency culminated in a symposium at the Stazione dell’Arte Museum of Contemporary art and an exhibition in a reclaimed 17th-century monastery in the town of Nurri. The project I developed and presented, entitled cycle[s], is described below:


I am interested in expounding a definition of “origin” that can be universally accessed; a sense of rooted-ness that expands beyond the boundaries of our individual egos and beyond time on a human scale. My project, cycle[s], investigates cyclic movement across disciplines, combining electronically-processed sound recordings and live performative painting in an immersive installation. Through the repetition and layering of audio-visual elements, I aimed to evoke the same kinds of cyclic processes found in nature, in the cosmos, and within all of us, examining the timelessness resulting from continuous transformation. Envisioned as an ongoing, site-specific series of performances, this first iteration of cycle[s] will reflect the surrounding Sardinian environment in order to articulate a clear, yet boundless, sense of place.


During the past week, I explored the surrounding landscape, listening, observing, capturing audio recordings, and collecting found objects. Using Ableton Live, I distorted and transformed audio samples into ambient, mesmerizing soundscapes. The paper that extends around the perimeter of the room is in fact a canvas: the audience is invited to listen to the sound piece, and, using the art materials provided, respond to what they hear by painting and drawing. By the end of the night, we will have created a new, communal “artifact,” a collective experience made of individual interpretation.


The processes of the known universe are marked by cycles—from the orbit of galaxies to the heartbeat of living things—moving constantly and at vastly different rates. We as humans have characteristically mistaken our existence in time as linear, forward progression, as if separate from the physics of our environment. With cycle[s], I hope to discover new ways we can reconnect to our shared origins by engaging deeply with the sweet stillness of our world’s ritual movements.

LINK TO cycle[s] AUDIO:

Daniel Schreiner