iii resident: Davide Tidoni

During the second week of the Giro d’Italia iii resident Davide Tidoni and I spoke at the dock of the iii building. A week earlier I e-mailed Davide a Proust Questionnaire and (in hindsight I should have known) I didn’t get any answers on paper, but instead an elaborate sound piece of approximately 30 minutes.

Driving through the Hague, I listened to it. His low but soft voice filled the car and, despite the agitated duck quacking in the background like a madman, it was an intimate conversation between a speaker and his audience. My car became a site-specific sound installation for one.

So when I arrived at the iii building, I recognized his voice; a rare but exciting phenomenon in this age of imagery and face recognition.

iii resident: Davide Tidoni
Davide Tidoni, Catch me if you can. photo: Michela di Savino

You said in your sound piece that a microphone is a metaphor for a human being. How come?

I think it comes from my desire to be as communicative as possible… I try to make it clear and open to everybody. I try to talk in a very general dimension so I can address what I do to everybody. Treating the microphone as a body or a human being allows me to convey not only sonic materials but also symbolical meanings.

It’s a big challenge, because I work in a niche, my work is part of a small group of people. And I don’t like that, I try to be together with everybody.

And you think sound is the key?

Well I think sound is the key for me in connection to the other, but I don’t work with the medium per se. I’m not interested in sound specifically, but to me, sound allows me to get me in touch with you or everybody.

And why sound instead of, for example, imagery?

It comes from the past and the way I grew up. I am very sensitive to sound. Sound in terms of power and space; a kind of fight between the loudest and the smallest sound and how they get along. There will be a moment the loudest sound will be LESS LOUD and the smallest will win!

My ears have always been very sensitive. For instaande, this afternoon I was working with one speaker on the left side and now I can still feel my left ear is more tired, like a tired muscle. For me, sound is very physical. Sound is like a body, a presence in my ear.

How do you transform the physical presence of sound into a presentation?

For example a work I did last year… It’s called My Target Is Your Eyes. I try to shoot rocks with a slingshot at a loudspeaker which produces white noise. And I aim at it with rocks, until I break a little of membrane and the white noise changes. I keep on going until I destroyed the membrane; the membrane.. to me.. is basically the skin. And the membrane is attached to a coil, which is the heart. If you destroy the coil, you kill the speaker and it definitely produces no more sound.

iii resident: Davide Tidoni

It is very aggressive… And you have a very positive mindset. And to destroy or kill a speaker, as a metaphor for a human being… Destruction and positivism.. it clashes.

I think that destroying the speaker is a metaphor for how sometimes you feel, how people feel and the struggle people go through. Violence and aggression are part of our life and it’s a way of dealing with these issues and coming to terms with them. I try to transform that aggression into a work, use your anger and transform it.

What is your starting point to transform a feeling, sound or idea into a work of art?

Motivation, the reason behind, and my desire are my priorities. Even if something is shit… then it’s good because you’re true to your motivation, nothing can go wrong basically. And then after that, you start thinking about the context. Like, what kind of festival? Is it a music festival? A festival for kids? A Performance art festival?


A boat passed by, with loud music and a man standing on the boat pissing into the water..

NL “I’m sorry I got distracted”
DT “That’s ok I got distracted too…”

Man: “Ja sorry hoor, ik heb geen WC aan boord!!!” (Yeah excuse me, I don’t have a restroom on board)

Davide starts clapping and shouting “Aaah grande! Belissimo!”

How does the context you described change in the Hague?

A residency is not very specifically addressing to anything or aims to produce anything. This context is very open. I choose to do a performance here, but I can choose if I do a performance I’ve already done or I’m going to do now. I am kind of lost because I don’t have a framework yet.

I have a studio at my disposal at iii, but I’m never there. This week I’ve mainly recorded things ( I always carry my phone, a recorder and a microphone) and explore the city, because they are very important in my work. I haven’t found a very interesting site yet, but when I do, I do an intervention, experiment or a site-specific performance.

For instance, I want to go to the sea because I want to make videos with the microphone drawing in the water. And (he points at a tall building) I want to stand on that roof and there’s this thing that I’ve never done before but really want to do and it’s called “I really want to be heard”. It’s basically a microphone suspended in the air, and the microphone is connected to a loudspeaker so you can hear the wind howling, blowing, whistling, all sorts of sounds.  And I want to plant a microphone in the tramrails and record all the sounds.

The presentation has to be done in this place so I have lots of ideas but I haven’t found a good site to implement these ideas yet.

iii resident: Davide Tidoni
Davide Tidoni, A balloon for Linz, 2011
Davide will do a listening workshop at iii Workspace on 8th on june from 20:00-00:00, for more info, click here
No patent pending #28 will be on the 11th of june 2017 at iii workspace. Doors open at 19:30, program starts at 20:00 sharp.