Navid Navab & Michael Montanaro

Aquaphoneia 1
Aquaphoneia 1

The place




Hours and dates

  • Oct 26 from null to null

NAVID NAVAB, born and raised in Tehran (IR), is a Montreal-based media alchemist, tabletop cosmologist, antidisciplinary composer, and audiovisual sculptor, who investigates the forming-giving potential of chaotic material processes, in search of collaborative ethos for playful sense-making with ecological indeterminacies. Interested in the poetics of schizo-phonia, gesture, and materiality, for over a decade, Navab has been composing multi-sensory experiences, entangling humans, machines, and materialities both in-situ and in concert, in ways that enable critical engagement with excitable matters-of-process.

Navab’s artworks, which take on the form of gestural sound compositions, responsive architecture, site-specific interventions, participatory environments, and kinetic sculptures, have been presented internationally at festivals such as Ars Electronica (AT), Kapelica Gallery (SL), device_art triennial (HR), NEMO Biennale (FR), Sonica Biennale (BG), Eufònic (ES), Canadian Center for Architecture (CA), Japan Society (US), Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (US), ISEA (SP, CA), milanOltre (IT), HKW (DE), Kiblix (SL), Guelph Jazz (CA), and FIMAV (CA).

Navid Navab


Aquaphoneia is an alchemical installation centred around the poiesis of time and the transmutation of voice into matter.

A large horn floating mid space echoes the ghosts of Edison, Bell and Berliner’s machines. But unlike early recording, herding sound energy to etch pressure patterns in solid matter, this odd assemblage transmutes voice into water and water into air. Disembodied voices abandon their sources to cross the event horizon of the horn. Estranged, the schizo-phone falls into the narrow depths of the bell, squeezed into spatiotemporal infinity, calcinated, liquefied and released : the aqueous voice then flows into three alchemical chambers where inner time is surrendered to the tempi of matter : unbound, yet lucid and sound.

In one corner, voices bubbling inside a sphere of fire are brought to entropy and transmuted into a timeless concentration of spectral mist and phonetic vapor. An Ouroboros chamber twists fermented vowels into distilled consonants to release a thin blade of prosody. This viscous alchemical matter lowers itself to the terra beneath where matter dances to its own affective tonality. Another apparatus separates speech into vital elements a drop at a time: words into phonemes, into phono particles, and the invisible quanta of silence.

Aquaphoneia 4
Aquaphoneia 3
Aquaphoneia 2