The making of Olomouc

In 2017, I sat in on Prof. Dr. Bernd Herzogenrath’s (Goethe Universität) yearly seminar on experimental art in Olomouc, Czech Republic. The weeklong seminar for students from both Goethe Universität and Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci commemorated the 200th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau’s birthday with a look at the influence of American Transcendentalism on American art and culture, with a particular focus on John Cage, American avant-garde music and related practices. Prof. Herzogenrath gave an introductory lecture and visiting artists Christopher Shultis, Hee Sook Kim and Craig Shepard presented talks and performances, and guided silent walks. Students were then introduced to field recording and audio editing technology and began their own collaborative audio and audio-visual projects which were presented on the last day of the seminar.

During that week, I collected my own images and sounds from the city in the ample free time between classes. Daily meetings in cafes where the students convened to work and nightly gatherings in restaurants and bars deepened the creative exchange. Upon returning to Brooklyn, in the wake of all the ideas and discussions which flowed from the lectures and presentations, I edited together this short impressionistic portrait of the city.