Erik Bünger (b. 1976 in Växjö, Sweden) is a visual artist, composer and writer living in Berlin. His work revolves around the human voice and its contradictory relationship to the body, to language, music and technology. The voice is not addressed as a phenomenon, which gives rise to personal, human presence and interpersonal communication but rather as the very thing that allows something other, radically inhuman, to enter and take control of the human body.
Accompanying the show “Re-discovery: Peter Rose, Erik Bünger and Katarina Zdjelar“ curated by Inke Arns at AUTOCENTER, Erik Bünger presents his lecture
The Girl Who Never Was, 2014, live performance
In 2008 an American researcher rediscovers the lost traces of the first recorded voice ever: the 148-old voice of a little girl singing the French lullaby ‘Au Clair de la Lune’. One year later another researcher experiments with the playback speed and manages to prove that what the fragment actually contains, is the voice of a full-grown man. This exact same lullaby is the song sung by the artificial intelligence HAL in the French version of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’. As HAL dies his voice performs precisely the same glissando as the voice of the non-existent girl: a high-strung, insistent voice is gradually slowed down into a deep, sleepy and harmless one. The Girl Who Never Was takes us on a winding trip through history. A history where a voice echoes forwards and backwards through time, retroactively changing history and changing the present from the vantage point of the past. The more we try to shut her voice out, the more persistent her song becomes.
The Girl Who Never Was is the third and final part in a trilogy began with A Lecture on Schizophonia and continued in The Third Man. The project is a coproduction with the Impakt Foundation, Utrecht in the framework of Impakt Works 2013 and has been made possible with the support of the City of Utrecht and the Mondrian Foundation.
Erik Bünger’s web site: www.erikbunger.com