In Desmonte we encounter modular synthesizers combined with recorded voices: A sonic exploration meant to remind us of the aftermath of colonialism and the violence of borders. In his performance, Oliveira experimentally and sonically attempts to uproot the voice from the body and the body from its origin. As a study of the limits and failures of (machine) listening, the composition appropriates and abuses spectral techniques. A reminder that uses processes similar to “dialect recognition software” – a proprietary technology used in Germany for cases of undocumented asylum seekers. We become part of a composition and live performance between modular synthesizer and recorded voice – constructed with and through the voice of death metal singer Fernanda Lira.
Pedro Oliveira (born 1985 in São Paulo) is a researcher, sound artist and lecturer. He is committed to an anti-colonial study of listening within the violence of border work. He has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, as a lecturer in music and media studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin, and as a lecturer and researcher in media and cultural studies at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. He has had artistic residencies at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt and at IASPIS/EMS, both in Stockholm, among others, and is a founding member of the Decolonising Design research platform. He received his PhD from the Universität der Künste Berlin, an MA from the Hochschule für Künste Bremen and several awards.
Oliveira’s work explores listening and its impact on racialised violence and the surveillance of bodies in urban and border spaces. He is currently investigating the historical, aesthetic and material articulations of so-called “dialect recognition technologies” and their use in the German asylum system; a project funded by the Goethe-Institut Brussels, the Senate Department for Culture and Europe Berlin, Deutschlandfunk Kultur in collaboration with the CTM Festival, Konstnärsnämnden Sweden, ZKM Karlsruhe in partnership with the Akademie Solitude, the Max Planck Society, the KONE Foundation and the Junge Akademie der Künste Berlin. He also publishes music under the name OLVRA.