Insides: Patrizia Ruthensteiner

Due to Covid-19 we are in lockdown with clubs being closed. As we still want to keep up with musicians and DJs around, and feel that digital streams are irretrievably lacking the social energy of live music events and are not able to compensate for it, we are looking for consolation in words. In the end music is a social practice. Insides features voices from Vienna’s electronic music scene, looking to exchange ideas, find mutual inspiration and exit strategies, entering personal realms.

Hello, how are you?

I feel pretty fine, thank you !

Where are you right now?

At my apartment which at the same time my studio, located in the 9th district of Vienna.

Which sounds surround you?

Situated at a traffic junction near the metro I usually hear a very densely patterned trapestry of urban sounds. Today I only the early summer rain, cars and the creaking of doors and windows, caused by the wind.

I usually keep the windows closed and use headphones while editing sounds, which works well. Once in a while a horse-drawn carriage is passing by my house while traversing the 9th district. I can hear the trotting of their hooves already from far, it sounds like the clicking of many tongues.

Have you been productive so far?

Although I’ve carried out my plans in a slower manner than initially planned, yes I’ve been productive.

What are you working on?

I am about to finish a series of sculptural headpieces that will be exhibited at the Art History Museum Vienna (KHM) in 2021. The topic of the exhibition is „Manifestation of profane and sanctuary power“, thematically circling around the Imperial Crown of The Holy Roman Empire, kept in the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. I have constructed a series of metal crowns with integrated springs on a membrane, the mechanical sounds are passed onto the wearer´s head without electronic amplification. I’ve been sourcing inspiration from aristocratic hunting culture.

“I’ve been sourcing inspiration from aristocratic hunting culture.”

Falcon hoods serve the purpose of keeping a hawk calm, block the birds view and shield them from external influences. I use this function to shift the human senses in order to isolate the wearer with the sonic experience. I’m also working as a freelance costume designer which gives me the chance to expand my horizon through collaborations with artists & collectives across various fields.

Right now I’m working with SKILLS (Camilla Milena Feher, Sylvi Kretzschmar and Martina Claussen) for their new production ‘Arien aus Stein’. This piece will premiere this fall at Kampnagel, it will take place at the Balduintreppe in Hamburg, a hotspot known for drug trafficking and for the questionable strageties of the police against it.

What inspires you right now?

Commuting between city and nature is a great contrast, a complementary pair. Movement. The experienced change of gravitational forces while swimming. Animal encounters during social isolation. The suspended ban on disguising during a mass demonstration. People in solidarity with eachother and the many creative ways that are being found in order to support the black community.

Reading material you can recommend? 

Benjamin Opratko – Im Namen der Emanzipation (PDF to Download)

Zara – Rassismus Report 2000-2019 (PDF to Download) 

Jacquard’s Web: How a Hand-loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age – James Essinger

Salomé Voegelin – Listening to noise and silence

Virginia Woolve – Orlando

Anastasius Kircher – Musurgia Universalis

International Journal of Mammalian Biology

To listen? 

Lakker – Three songs /

VIVID Consort – John Coperario – Fantasia /

SYN3A (Mandy Mozart + Otto Oscar Hernandez) – SNAWCRO$H /

Mandy Mozart feat. Jiin Ko – Art of Anatomy (Album)

Emily Stewart – The Anatomy of Melchanoly (Album)

Muslimgauze – Istanbul /

The Velvet Underground – Pale Blue Eyes /

Oni Soundtrack – East Wind /

Cocorosie – Werewolf /

Marilyn Manson – Cryptorchid /

Jack´s Angels – Over the sea /

The Vanishing – Lovesick /

Violent femmes – I hear the rain /

Death Grips – Takyon /

Karl Valentin – der Feuerwehrtrompeter /

To watch?

Documentary film “Operation Spring” /

Documentary film „Schwarz in Wien“ /

What’s your opinion on live-streams? You see any alternative ways to support the music community?

The active participation of the audience in the space, which also partly creates the energy through their physical presence is such a necessary element of a live show – a stream can be another form of presentation but cannot be comparable to a live situation.

But I see digital communication as an important part of our cultural network. It may be that the recent crisis has served as a catalyst for the development of new interesting digital formats, without aiming to be a substitute for a live show.

Since there are a bunch of streaming platforms which provide an option for artist donation I do think that is a way to bridge the dry period not just due to the lack of activities, but also monetarily.

Keep on purchasing music on bandcamp and buy it from record stores, so one can at the same time support musicians as well as the stores.

What are you missing most? What are you afraid of?

The international lockdown situation can serve as a fertile ground for nationalism and protectionism, scapegoating, panic, irrational fears of contagion and demonization of ‘the other’ – a legitimiation of the world view of nationalists who see closing borders as the solution to every problem. But because of that I also see the potential in unveiling the blatant tactics of political leaders, now even more than before.

What will change you think?

I think every aspect of our professional and social life and infrastructure all around the world has been affected, from individual relationships to institutional operations to international collaborations – it is hard to know what precisely will change on the long run, I think it will only become apparent after a while.

A lot of things that we have taken for guaranteed have been called into question, we are forced to reconsider our values. I believe there´s potential for many positive changes aswell, for excample here´s been a wave of digitalization for local farmers in order to have more presence on the market and to make their goods more accessible for costumers.

The pandemic will also lead to a reform of digitization in schools and universities.

What is the gig or occasion you were most looking for, that was cancelled in this period?

I’ve been looking forward to join Klangmanifeste in march with a soundperformance by Plankton (in collaboration with Tobias Leibetseder, Stefan Voglsinger and Martina Claussen). I very unfortunately haven´t been able to join this time, but after all the festival and the performance has taken place in the digital sphere. I think this is a good solution for events that have already been fully organized, instead of being totally cancelled. Everything else scheduled in these past months of covid-19 coma has been posponed, some events have been moved to many months later.

Are you still able to pay your rent?

Yeah, I’m grateful that this is still possible.

Patrizia Ruthensteiner