“Ensonicment” is a term coined by sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne.[1] It was meant to be a parallel of the concept of enlightenment. It echoes that while printed letters were the driving force for knowledge and knowing, in the Age of Enlightenment, for ensonicment, sound is the driving force of knowledge and knowing in this new age.  This claim had birthed creative and critical works that require audience to reorient themselves sensorially, as much as it had brought them to a different space of cognition.

Conversations are the main objects of this exhibit. Featured are different transmutation of conversations-- a written conversation converted into music box keys; a verbal conversation interpreted into stop-animation; verbal instructions intended to keep the exhibit expanding in the duration of its staging; conversations with self, with printed materials, with lines, with ideas that persists. 

This exhibit hopes to bring ensonicment—opening the “ear”; promoting that the world can be perceived and understood thru hearing. Despite the deliberate enlistment of sight (and possibly other senses), the exhibit maintains that it largely offers exercises for hearing, listening, and brain-hearing to different forms sound had taken in the artworks

In the aspect of production, this solo exhibit focuses on Parse This, one of the work series that Datu has been developing since 2016.  The project explored the ability of Parse This to accommodate different intimacies when engaged in collaborative productions to people who are closest to Datu—Donna, a musician and a lawyer, is Datu’s wife; Chris, a musician and an art therapist, is Datu’s cousin; and Anino is a collective where Datu belongs. 

Datu Arellano (1980) came from a long family-line of artists from different fields. He attended the Philippine High School for the Arts in 1994 and had been exhibiting since. Besides exhibiting, Datu also performers as an experimental musician/ sound artist; does music composition, arrangement and sound engineering; as well as graphic design and photography. Ensonicment is Datu’s 6th solo exhibit. www.datuarellano.com

“Art can allow us to foray into madness (…) let us be modest: these eyes, these ears, seeing and hearing their allotted portions of the sense-spectrums, cannot claim being privy to the truth of things. So let’s vacation, go for some sensory fun, knowing we are purposely misinforming the senses (…) before returning, gratefully, to the agreed-upon verities.”  [Notes from “A Nervous Magic Lantern” by Ken and Flo Jacobs, 2013]

This exhibit is part of Dayang Yraola’s curatorial experimentations on art production processes.

[1] Jonathan Sterne, The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Production, Raleigh, USA, 2003.