Nguyễn + Transitory
Topography Of Vulnerabilities

Topography Of Vulnerabilities

Two Plants, a Nagra, and an oscillator having a conversation on how we continue to function and exist in conditions that are contributing to our extinction.

Expanding on the artists’ ongoing research which started with Bird Bird, Touch Touch, Sing Sing (2019) on inter-dependency, vulnerability, closeness, disorientation, and trust, this work questions the effects that the current and post-pandemic climate has had on these concepts, in a world where the policing of intimacies has become unquestionable and normalized.

This time, the work evolves into an installation with sound, light, and plant elements using generative electronic sounds, an unstable horizontal tape loop, and two plants installed into a lightless subterranean environment—a continuation of the duo’s attempts at impossibilities—, attempting to exist in an environment where conditions are detrimental to existence.

2020, Installation sound recording (excerpt)

Topography Of Vulnerabilities #2 was presented at Ecology of Attention #1: FOMO, and Ecology of Attention #2: Ignition Cycle. Its first presentation took place in daadgalerie in July 2020.

Curators Yvonne Zindel, Léna Szirmay-Kalos, Alexander Wilmschen
Photo Barbara Antal, Lisa Koch

Nguyễn + Transitory is composed of Nguyễn Baly and Tara Transitory. Their work crosses the disciplines of sound, performance, and installation. Working mainly with modular synthesizers and analog tape, they attempt to approach sound, synthesis, noise, rhythm, and performance from a less colonial lens—looking into how frequencies, the physicality of producing sounds and its incidental vibrations relate to cognitive memories, stored emotions, and catharsis. Their practice also involves efforts to empirically learn more about various Southeast Asian + diaspora-based queer existences and lost histories. 

Their recent works include the sound installation Topography Of Vulnerabilities #1, #2, #3 and Bird Bird, Touch Touch, Sing Sing, an immersive site-specific installative sound performance which has been presented at CTM Festival 2019 (Berlin), Serralves Museum (Porto), Ultima 2019 (Oslo), WORM (Rotterdam), Submerge Festival 2019 (Bristol), HeK (Basel) and PACT Zollverein (Essen) amongst others. Currently, they are working on the installation Topography Of Vulnerabilities #4 which will be presented at Labor Sonor 2021 and Symphony Of Intimacies which will premiere at the end of this year at radar, radialsystem.

Besides their artistic practice, they run their own mastering studio called Queer Ear Mastering.