In Search of Kwan
“In Search of Kwan” by the BARRIONICS is a new body of work exploring the essence of “Kwan”, the great among, the unspeakable, the invisible, the inaudible. “Kwan” is a speech disfluency in Pilipino occurring similarly like “um” or “like” in speaking when there is a break in speech pattern or a-loss-for-words. “Kwan” can also have the meaning of “whatever”, a non-specified object or action, or a seemingly neutral adjective. However, “Kwan” functions differently from the mundane “um” or the banal “like” which are true linguistic breaks and fillers. The occurrence of “Kwan” in spoken Pilipino offers an insight to the way consciousness is negotiated with others.
The vanguard stylings Barrionics ( Johanna Poethig, Rico Reyes and Anne Perez) exemplify the latest developments in electronic music, designed environments, and folk traditions. Barrionics combine the words barrio, rural, and electronic, signifying a blend of musical styles and aesthetics. Barrio, in this case, connotes not just the locale of the rural village disengaged from the urban of high artistic production, but also a musical style that is relegated to the margins of popular music. Physically, socially, and aesthetically ostracized, the notion of the barrio is energized with its hybridization with synthesizing barrio and electronic into a new art form
INFIX: The Grammar of Insertion at SFMOMA Artists Gallery, September 2010.