Olympian Machine

Sound installation-performance

Olympian Machine is a work for 12 voices, presented as an audiovisual installation consisting of 12 loudspeakers. During the recording, the participants of the piece were invited to sound recording studio for one hour. Each individual was read a brief summary of Homer’s Iliad, after which each participant was asked to comment on what he/she remembered from the story they just heard. Various personal deviations from the text were welcome, but not encouraged in any way, seeking to preserve the spontaneity of subjective associations. This piece presents to the audience a polylogue of voices reconsidering issues of history, memory, and communication.

“<…> In addition to every myth ever told, there is one more, the not nameable, the untold one. The other, which keeps waving from the shadows, emerges only in the form of allusions, fragments, and coincidences, without anyone who would dare to tell it as a single story.” (Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony).

In 2019, author of the piece Arturas Bumšteinas was awarded with Borisas Dauguvietis Earring (Special prize of the Golden Stage Cross award ceremony) for innovative and original steps in the theatre (integration of sound experiments into new theatre forms in performances Olympian Machine and Bad Weather).

Sound installation-performance “Olympian Machine” (excerpt)

Bumšteinas has compiled the philosophical, humorous or phantasmagorical utterances of 12 people, revealing embarrassment, resentment or excitement into a collage of meanings, opinions, timbres and moods. Olympian Machine is a kind of a memory research that unveils how the same themes, words, names, emotions or associations repeat themselves in the narratives of different people.

Rasa Murauskaitė, Kultūros barai

Olympian Machine purifies and presents the “fluctuations” of human thoughts. On the other hand, these collective and, at the same time, highly individual reinterpretations of facts raise doubts regarding humanity’s ability to understand each other. And overall, is it possible to hear, remember and understand what is being said?

Vaiva Martišauskaitė, menufaktura.lt

Olympian Machine is a sensitive, multilayered, ironic and dynamic piece, proposing an hour of musical directing of monologue and continuous shifting of meaning.

Aušra Kaminskaitė, lrt.lt

Strange. At the end you leave those poor speakers as if they were close people. And Iliad, which found you unprepared at the beginning, seems to be not so distant. Bravo and bis.

Jūratė Visockaitė, Literatūra ir menas