Armen is a sound work and collection which Andrius Arutiunian has been developing since 2016 related to the diasporic music. It traces obscure Armenian disco releases from the 80’s, remakes little-known pop songs from different parts of the Armenian diaspora, and navigates this treacherous sonic field in polyphonous, and sometimes contradictive ways. Armen is also a homage to one of the most common Armenian names.
In 2017 an iteration of Armen was published as a vinyl release. As writer Monika Kalinauskaitė wrote in her text for this publication: “But right now, at this moment, on a rug, in a car, by the monotonous music machine, the only circles you draw are your first ones, spinning the body and thought, breaking the world’s axis into millions of dancing small figures. You may as well hear of those rivers – it’s a miracle, but they reach everywhere, populating the world with gold-headed fish. Only blood and bodies alter their flows, oh look, we are now trapped in an island that was not here before, I believe we are also humming songs we never knew, but somehow remember.”
Andrius Arutiunian is a sound artist and composer based in the Netherlands. He works through sound and hybrid forms of media, with a particular interest in sonic artefacts, aural identities, and digital, automated technologies. Sonic dissent, alternate modes of political and musical organisation, and playful investigation of esoteric and vernacular histories form Arutiunian’s most recent works. Using hypnotic and enigmatic forms, Arutiunian’s works often question the notion of musical and political attunement. In 2022 Andrius Arutiunian represented Armenia at the 59th Venice Art Biennale with a solo show entitled Gharīb. Other recent solo shows include Counterfates (Meduza Vilnius, 2023) Diaphonics (Centrala Birmingham, 2023), and Incantations (CTM and silent green, Berlin, 2021).