Interdisciplinary Conference


in Art & Science

26-28 November 2020, University of Applied Arts Vienna/Online

14. Agnus Dei A/V Project beyond the faith
Session: Session "NSP2 / Brute"
Speakers: Valeria Di Sabato

Agnus Dei (2020) is an audiovisual project that investigates the concept of algolagnia,starting from the basic interpretation of masochism up to the submission / humiliation of the submissive subject who seeks physical pleasure through the production of endorphins.  

The starting point is a religious manifestation that is taking place every year in Trapani(Sicily) called Misteri. It’s a 24h procession in which the embodiment of music is particularly present.

The cathartic moment of this event arises from the progressive movement of the bodies which is expressed through the collapsing of a communal hallucination. The basic concept of pain is connected to the faith and submission focused especially on religious manifestations. The self-satisfaction achieved is the result of an almost spiritual elevation finding freedom in pain, as if this was a divine entity. The mystical experience is conceived as the overcoming of physical ecstasy, breaking the limits of the ego and merging all senses in communion with the declared entity. Visually all the clips were downloaded from pornographic productions of bondage practices, reinterpretations of passages from the Bible and excerpts from the "Mysteries of Trapani“ and hentai videos. The sonic approach in the research arises from the composition Agnus Dei by Samuel Barber. The compositional process is a dismemberment of the track with a focus on vocals processed with different techniques: from granular synthesis to glitch music approach. Additionally the sound derives from contents from the deep web like hentai and bondage videos. While adding several layers referring to the initial track, an intense sonic environment was created, willing to refer to the techno culture. The cathartic moment in the project refers to the musical impact from the aforementioned procession and its influence on its participants, where the tension of the moment is expressed through the collapse of a communal hallucination. 

In the project, video fragments were treated with the data bending technique, letting the audio errors applied to the video give a distorted and glitching aesthetic to the visual experience. The project is both an audiovisual installation, intended for the spaces of techno culture (clubs, self-organized venues) and a theoretical research on the collapsing of submission between religious manifestation and definition of the freedom-concept between bondage practice and techno culture.

Valeria Di Sabato

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