Hmmm there seems to be a problem fetching this series right now. Last successful fetch was on August 31, 2021 23:08 ()
What now? This series will be checked again in the next day. If you believe it should be working, please verify the publisher's feed link below is valid and includes actual episode links. You can contact support to request the feed be immediately fetched.
Manage episode 286766995 series 2890225
The Futile Knocking of My Heart is a collaborative podcast project by Sasha Opeiko + Martin Stevens created for the “Speculative Figures and Speculative Futures: Our Uncanny Postapocalypse: Sights and Sounds” panel at The 52nd Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association, 2021.
Each episode is a commissioned sound work utilizing identical sampled and modified reverberations of the Xestobium rufovillosum, commonly known as The Deathwatch Beetle.
A woodboring insect, the deathwatch beetle attacks the soft structural timbers of ancestral homes and cultural edifices such as churches and libraries. The beetles knock their heads against their tunnel walls with a heart-like rhythm as a way of attracting mates, producing a reverberating pattern that resonates through the buildings' structures.
Archaic superstition held that the deathwatch beetle was a harbinger of death, its knocking often likened to a clicking of the reaper’s skeletal fingers.
Medieval myth conjured omens in a demon-driven world, both peasants and kings dying in their beds dreading this sonic accompaniment. The superstition is no longer applicable, though the lore survives through the beetle’s eerie nomenclature. The romance of the insect has also waned as living with a contemporary infestation of these beetles makes domestic existence extremely disquieting. The species itself remains a signal of entropic disintegration for social and historical architecture.
The response of someone subjected to a deathwatch beetle infestation is sensory, an embodiment of the uncanny, a psychological sensation of something familiar but estranged, in this case a primal relation to the echoed stuttering heartbeat of the insects’ calling. This podcast speculatively comments on the amplification of mortality, acting as a countdown, measurement or index of temporal and corporeal uncertainty.
The choice to thematically ground this project in sound experiments expands on the imagined notion that coexistence with the deathwatch beetle is like an uncanny 24/7 immersive sound installation designed and carried out by parasites.
Podcast contributors worked with sound samples of the beetles' call and response and reacted in highly individual ways.
For V.01 we are indebted to our amazing sound artists:
David Bergeron (Qwiet Eye)
Our podcast host, Moira, has remarkably affectless phrasing and a soft Celtic lilt, a master of Natural Language. Moira has no corporeal existence and leaves but a trace of recognition and processing. Moira's lack of subjectivity introduces a level of anonymity which places emphasis on the podcast as its own entity, its own carrier of content in the hyperpresent. Though repetitively familiar and spatially insistent, Moira exists for only seconds at a time and perhaps most uncannily is incapable of hearing itself.
Sasha Opeiko + Martin Stevens are collaborators whose intertwined art practice focuses on intersections of image, sound, sculpture and installation as a means to study alternative technologies and our perceptive and ontological relationships with objects.
Martin Stevens received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is an exhibiting artist and graphic designer and has lectured in interactive design, cinema studies and visual culture at OCADU, University of Toronto and Sheridan College.
Sasha Opeiko is currently pursuing a Phd in Art and Visual Culture at Western University.