As an artist living in an authoritarian political environment, I see my work both as a tool to explore the ways in which political and cultural oppression influences the human mind, and as a possible way to find opportunities for resistance.

Artist Location: Russian Federation

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The Sound Of the Purge

June 5th Audioscapes

Proposed work as accepted for soundpedro 2021:
The Sound Of the Purge
This particular work is focused around survivng collective trauma. The first objective was to deconstruct some of the most prominent musical compositions of the Great Purge era. I took a number of songs from Soviet composers of the 1930-s and trained a neural network on a dataset which included midi-versions of the compositions. The dataset was intentionally made extremely small. Then I used a midi sequence generated by a neural network to control the Seurat Rack tool (by Jason Grier). The song “Марш веселых ребят” (Jolly Fellow’s March) by Leonid Utesov and Isaak Dunaevsky was used as a source track for Seurat Rack. Next, I put five photos picturing NKVD members through the Sound Art program (by Stone Voices) in order to generate noise textures from the images. For the final step, I needed sounds which would resemble actual music. To do that I used Google Experiment’s Kandinsky app to generate music sequences from the handwritten names of the victims of Stalin’s Terror. The names of the people are: Michail Vasilievitch Potapov, Zoya Michailovna Sapsai, Ito Masanosuke, Efim Grigorievitch Suhanov, Mariya Andreevna Filonova, they were taken from the Open List website, a database of USSR political repression victims.

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