Resident artist at CCA as part of an exchange with Quebec, Dominique Sirois will be presenting the first version of her Alarm Songs project at studio 41. The artist continues her research on alarms which began in 2008, exploring surveillance settings surrounding art works in museums as a signs of value. Creating fake alarms from music, the artist draws a parallel between alarm and techno music under the rapport of pleasure and displeasure. The ideas emerging from these sounds become a way of exposing the psychology of individuals characterised by a set of opposing forces.
For the last year, Sirois has been collecting music samples where siren sounds are found in a wide variety of genres from musique concrète to rap and techno. By overlaying the different historical and cultural contexts specific to these samples she creates a sound mapping. Developing ideas in relation to the body, she explores the reaction of obedience and submission to cultural norms. The alarm that causes us to react in case of emergency can be compared with dance music that dictates certain fashions and bodily expressions. Dance music plays on the idea of pleasure and trance where a peak ahead is sometimes expressed by the siren as a metaphor for a rise in temperature.
Sirois also questions surveillance, by comparing the use of siren in musique concrète as an abstract sound emerging from the industrial era and the great wars, in relation to its literal use in popular music expressing social control over offenders, loafers and dissidents. This tension becomes particularly relevant in the actual context of a more dominant police state trying to lower social opposition. This sound database will be presented within a sculptural assemblage blurring the space between surveillance and cultural entertainment.
During her residency at CCA, Sirois will also initiate a video reenactment of a 1918 siren concert created by Mayakovsky and Gastev known as the first act of proletarian art. For the first part of the reenactment, she will use Glasgow urban context by showing its post-industrial landscape.
The artist warmly thanks the CCA, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts.