Transformations through 'Deathstar': A Sound and Material Perspective

Autumne 2023

25 October, afternoon: participation in the rehearsals for the work "Deathstar", LA CENTRALE, Rue de la Dixence 76, Sion.

Night of the 27 - 28 October: participation in the durational performance "Deathstar", LA CENTRALE, Rue de la Dixence 76, Sion.

30 - 31 October, 10h - 18h: workshop with Marina Rosenfeld, EDHEA, Route de l'Ancien Sierre 9, Sierre, conference room movimax.


Universität / Haute École
EDHEA - Ecole de design et haute école d'art du Valais
Marina Rosenfeld
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

The workshop takes Marina Rosenfeld’s work "Deathstar", as a starting point to reflect on how an artwork can evolve through encounters with different materials, settings, architectural spaces, interventions, and symbolic and practical frameworks. It explores, how music can be thought of as a site of material negotiation, a site for transformation and displacement. The workshop addresses questions such as: What is touch in relation to sound? How do we feel close to a sound? How does sound change inside different containers?

On October 25, the original concept of the work "Deathstar" will be unfolded through participation in the rehearsals.
Continuing, an immersive experience is planned through participation in the night performance from Friday evening, October 27 to Saturday noon, October 28.
On Monday, October 30 and Tuesday 31, the workshop will carry on collective creativity and exploration. The concept of sound intimacy will play a central role in this process and will encourage us to think about what defines intimate communication through sound. Questions about the relationship between contact and sound, perception of proximity to sound as well as the behavior of sound in different environments will be explored and tested collaboratively. This will both open up and deepen discussions about transformation processes using sound.

“Deathstar”, currently further developed within the framework of the Valais Sound Biennial, is one of Marina Rosenfeld’s longest ongoing works, comprising outcomes in numerous formats: sculpture, sound installation, concert performance, musical notation, drawing and recording. The score for Formenti’s durational (48 hour) performance is a transcription many times over, of a series of sonic and locational displacements of a singular set of sounds, initiated in 2017 with as a solo exhibition, Deathstar, at Portikus, Frankfurt. The exhibition featured a microphone array made to listen to and continuously recirculate sounds and their distortions in a recursive system: in a parallel gesture, Rosenfeld periodically transcribed the installation's thickly amplified silences and momentary eruptions of noise and vocality using traditional musical notation as well as an invented graphic format where verticality pointed toward spectral fields of noise and distortion at varying degrees of distance from the piano’s ‘middle C'. The score that resulted offers the performer a great deal of freedom: to select, repeat, re-order and transpose its pages.

Marino Formenti’s first performances of the work were in 2017 as well: as a closing event of the Portikus exhibition, and later that year, as a soloist with Ensemble MusikFabrik (Cologne), in Deathstar Orchestration, Rosenfeld’s quite literal “orchestration” or instrumentalization of the Deathstar’s continuously morphing vocabulary of sound events and their distortions. Later instantiations of the work were a Reduction for chamber ensemble, and the eventual transformation of the works’ score as a durational solo performance, always by Formenti.

"Deathstar" explores the fundamental instability and contingency of situated listening and the possibility that an exhibition can also be a work of music. In this new instantiation created for the central hall of Chandoline, a Disklavier piano, programmed with Rosenfeld’s transcriptions of the noise of its own playing, plays itself while the live musician rests, further reproducing the work’s uncanny morphological and temporal distortions. The steel sculpture Notation extends the vertical reach of the work high overhead to join with a component of the building’s physical infrastructure.


Marina Rosenfeld (b. 1968) is a composer and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Working across the disciplinary boundaries of music and visual art, she has created a body of work spanning sound, music and performance, and sculpture and drawing. Rosenfeld has created commissioned works for the Museum of Modern Art, the Park Avenue Armory, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Fondacion Serralves, the Dia Foundation and the Guggenheim Museum among many others, and participated in surveys including the Whitney Biennial, the Aurora, Montréal and Liverpool biennials, PERFORMA, and ‘Every Time A Ear di Soun,’ the radio program of documenta14. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions by institutions including Kunsthaus Baselland (2021), The Artist’s Institute (2019), Portikus Frankfurt (2017), and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (2016), and in the contemporary music context, the Holland Festival, Musica Strasbourg, Borealis, Ultima, Wien Modern, Borderlines, Tectonics, and Donaueschinger Musiktage, among many others. As a turntablist, Rosenfeld has performed and recorded improvised music for almost three decades, including for the Merce Cunningham Company between 2004 and 2008. Her recordings are on Room40, Shelter Press, 901Editions and forthcoming in 2023 on INFO Unltd.


A detailed schedule follows the inscription.

For students in wheelchairs or with reduced mobility:
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