15th Gwangju Biennale


Pansori - a soundscape of the 21st century draws a topology of the Anthropocene, where the spatial figures of climate change will be addressed through three sections, each corresponding to a sonic phenomenon. Visitors will follow a simple narrative—from the human density of urban space to the non-human worlds, either microscopic or cosmic. From a saturated planet to the search for the “big outdoors.”

The Larsen effect

The "Larsen effect,” also known as audio feedback, occurs when two sound emitters or receivers are too close one to another: it is produced by crowding, by lack of space. The first section will show a planet which has become an echo chamber, where everything is contiguous, contagious, or immediate. In a world saturated with human activities, both interhuman and interspecies relations become more intense.


According to the anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, industrialized countries seem to live in a world where other living creatures are only part of the environment—like an opera whose musicians would have been muted, leaving the singer alone. Artists will renew the second section with the polyphony of the world by focusing on complexity and acknowledging that we live in a multi-focused and multi-layered universe.

The Primordial sound

The primordial sound is the sound of the origins, the Chinese Qi, the Buddhist Om, the first noise of the Big Bang. In the third section, artists will explore the non-human world, the “two immensities” that are in front of us: the cosmos and the molecular world. In a way, artists look for distance in a world of high-speed transport and immediate communication by observing the vastness of the cosmos and the minuscules of the molecular world.


Echoing to the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall, art projects will also be implemented in diverse locations (institutions, cafés, public spaces, parks, alternative art spaces, shops, and others) in Gwangju. For the duration of the Biennale, the city will be orchestrated with madangs, “individual songs” of pansori, as musical or sonic projects that mix sound and visual elements.