Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions is an interspecies encounter between arachnids and anthropos mediated by sound. The audio publishing project is conceived as a continuation, expansion and circulation of the eponymous exhibition of artist Tomás Saraceno at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore in 2015. Exploring the arachnids’s sophisticated mode of communication through vibrations, Saraceno developed several instruments that are able to amplify the vibrations of spiders, rendering them audible to other species. Sculptural presences in the exhibition, the various instruments ranging from strings, to percussion and aeolic, were also incorporated by musicians into their live performances. The album brings together jam sessions between arachnids and anthropos performed live in the exhibition, and various recordings produced in Saraceno’s studio in Berlin. As an articulation of the sensorial, Tomás Saraceno’s Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions expands the possibility of communication into the low-frequency spectrum. Predicated on playfulness and creativity, this project instigates a more complex understanding of the animal world.
“Spiders play together a complex symphony, and when they play one string it reverberates in all the other strings…When we are able to tune as a species, then the earth will reverberate…”
(Tomás Saraceno, 2015
“I would like to applaud Tomás for breaking new ground with his artistic creativity. He is not a spiderman. But with spider silk, he has spun a web that has connected the two separate domains of art and science.”
(Joseph Koh, Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, author of two encyclopedias on spiders from Southeast Asia)
“Especially vibrational communication with low frequencies (below 1000 Hertz) is widespread among insects and spiders… In the Studio we developed special devices to take part of this “silent” communication… While creating listening apparatuses we also create new modalities of attention: listening becomes the most important aspect of the exhibition and from there we hope to start a dialogue – this is why we invite musicians to jam and improvise with spiders… we call it “jam sessions”… the idea of being in an attentive dialogue with someone… A co-shaping experience… perhaps the sounds of the musicians will change the way the spiders weave, maybe it will weave its web playfully, beyond biological cues… “
(Tomás Saraceno, 2015)