ephemeropteræ 2017/#3 – Josef Penninger | Markus Reymann | Peter Zinovieff

Peter Zinovieff, Andrew Spyrou. Photo: Christoph Liebentritt
Josef Penninger, Markus Reymann. Photo: Christoph Liebentritt

The renowned Austrian expert on molecular biotechnology and genetics Josef Penninger, one of the Dardanella expedition members to French Polynesia meditates around hundreds of millions of years of evolution that have resulted in the amazing diversity and variety of life on our planet. Transformative new tools in genome engineering combined with stem cells as a renewable source of virtually all organs, and the creating of organ models from such gene-edited stem cells, allow for an unprecedented view into the processes of life. This also allows to assess and actively change all genes of an organism, that drive for instance evolutionary principle or resistance to environmental poisons and drugs, in a day.

TBA21–Academy director Markus Reymann takes an active role as “an in-between speaker,” to show the strength of TBA21–Academy as catalyst and incubator. Reymann foregrounds the Academy’s role as initiator, guardian, producer, and voice of a motile platform operating in the fields of exploration, collaboration, and artist cohabitation, oceanic research and preservation carried out by scientists and other experts aboard the research vessel the Dardenella. Reymann outlines how flexible bridges are built between and within diverse disciplines and geo-political/eco-political territories, and describes how they are organized, mutually translated, mediated, moderated, and dynamized further into full complexity. Reymann discusses issues of marine microbiology, especially the field of extremophilia with Josef Penninger.
In “South Pacific Migration Party,” created in close collaboration with curator and sound artist Andrew Spyrou, who has commissioned and conceived the work on behalf of The Association for Depth Sound Recordings, Peter Zinovieff presents an extended computer work. As a sound source, he exclusively uses the hydrophone recordings of Blue Whales recorded off the coast of Chile by oceanographer Susie Buchan. Unlike the more familiar Humpback Whale, Blue Whale song consists of repeated low-frequency vibrations followed by contrasted high-frequency calls. Zinovieff has altered and manipulated these to create an immersive soundscape that highlights the complex communication systems of the largest creatures ever to have existed on earth. The composition is in five broad movements on many layers designed for a multi-spatial sound environment.


Josef Penninger studied Medicine, Immunology, and History of Arts in Innsbruck, Austria. From 1994 to 2002, Penninger worked as a lead researcher at the Amgen Research Institute in Toronto, affiliated with the University of Toronto and the Ontario Cancer Institute. In 2002, he accepted an appointment as director of the newly established Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, IMBA, and moved back to Vienna. Penninger is currently Professor at the Departments of Immunology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, Professor of Genetics at the University of Vienna, and Honorary Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences/Peking Union Medical College.
Markus Reymann is Director and Co-founder of TBA21–Academy. Since July 2011, Reymann has initiated and conducted numerous expeditions as part of TBA21–Academy; each trip is designed as a collaboration with invited artists, scientists, and thinkers who are eager to embark on oceanic explorations. Inspired by this unusual encounter with both human and natural elements, the Academy commissions ambitious projects informed by the itinerary of the research vessel Dardanella. At COP21 in December 2015, Reymann announced TBA21–Academy's latest program, “The Current”—the exploratory soul of TBA21, conceived to raise awareness of today's most urgent ecological, social, and economic issues. Through its expeditions on sea and land, the Academy seeks to redefine the culture of exploration and discovery in the 21st century. 

Peter Zinovieff is a fabled British sound engineer of Russian origin, inventor of synthesizers and sampling, the “grandfather” of electronic music, producer, and organizer. As an organizer, he ran Unit Delta Plus, an organization to create and promote electronic music, in the mid 1960s. He has taught such musicians as the Beatles and David Bowie how to produce synthetic sounds and how to use and compose computer music. Zinovieff wrote opera librettos and scenarios for Harrison Birtwistle The Mask of Orpheus, 1970–80, “Bridges to Somewhere and Another to Somewhere Else” for Matthew Ritchie’s sculpture The Morning Line, Istanbul, 2010 and “Good Morning Ludwig” for a spatialized sound project at ZKM in 2011 (both TBA21 commissions). He also wrote two violin voncerti, a vello concerto, four pieces for voice and surround sound, and the works “Jolly for Delia” and “South Pacific Migration Party.” Zinovieff studied and researched Geology and Petrology, which has informed his unique tectonic understanding of sound.
June 16, 2017 at 7 pm
TBA21–Augarten, Scherzergasse 1A, 1020 Vienna
free admission
supported by
Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein