Merijn Royaards (UCL) - 2014-15 Students

Altered States

In the beginning of the 20th century in Russia, a section of the creative avant-garde aimed to cause a sensory revolution. This collective of artists and thinkers shared a determination to transform the individual and shape the collective future by charting the hidden pathways between the senses.  It was a revolution cut short ruthlessly by Joseph Stalin, whose Great Terror all but wiped out the experiments, theories and techniques of the ‘new revolutionaries’.
Their achievements form what could be described as a missing, and critical, chapter in the history of music, art and spatial practice. Altered States investigates the implications of this chapter by reconstructing, developing and updating its devices and concepts.
Through the research, a theory and practice of inter-sensory experience is emerging that envelops the fields of sonic art, electronic dance music, architecture and conflict studies. The relations between these fields and their relation to the Russian avant-garde appear as particular techniques of energy distribution and sensory fluidity. Altered States is an attempt to describe these techniques, and to construct from them a principle that can offer alternative approaches to the experience and production of sound, art and architecture; the pressure principle.

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