102 Years Out of Synch

An audio-visual performance that also exists as a sound installation exploring the striking legendary, literary and cinematic connections between the invention of sustainable energy production, Dante’s Inferno, the first Italian feature film, and the sonic imaginary of Hell. This work takes place at the geothermal site of the Devil’s Valley in Tuscany, where the first and still one of the largest geothermal power plants is based. Local legend claims that in the 14th Century, Dante visited the site and drew inspiration from its arresting geology for his famous epic poem Inferno. In turn, the year 1911 saw the cinematic adaptation of Dante’s poem in the homonymous first Italian silent feature film directed by Giuseppe de Liguoro. Despite the countless visual representations of Hell inspired by this Tuscan location, its rich sonorities have remained mute. In 102 Years Out of Synch, Mikhail Karikis retraces Dante’s steps in an attempt to hear what the poet might have heard. He visits the site to record its volatile geothermal sounds and the rumbling industrial noise that marks the contemporary local soundscape. Combining newly filmed footage and fragments of the 1911 silent film, environmental sound recordings, narration and extended vocals, 102 Years Out of Synch mines the strata of legend, industrial archaeology, subterranean resonance and the aural imaginary.

The sound installation 102 Year Out of Synch was first realised for Witte de With in Rotterdam in 2015 and reconfigures the material presented in the performance. It comprises a wall paper, a stereo sound installation paying from a vinyl record and a video projection.