Adam Basanta (b. 1985) is a Montreal-based sound artist, composer, and performer of experimental music. His work traverses sound installations, electroacoustic and instrumental composition, site-specific interventions, and laptop performance. Across disciplines and media, he interrogates intersections between conceptual and sensorial dimensions of listening, instabilities of instrumentality, and means with which site and space can be articulated.
His sound and audiovisual installations have been presented in North America and Europe in many galleries and institutions, and have been awarded in the Prix Ars Electronica 2013 (honourable mention, Hybrid Art category) and the 2014 Edith-Russ-Haus Awards for Emerging Media Artists. His experimental concert music has been presented worldwide, including appearances in the MATA Festival (NY), Gaudeamus Musicweek (NL), CTM Festival (GER), Akousma Festival (CAN), and Mutek Festival (CAN), and have been awarded multiple national and international prizes, including Métamorphoses 2010 (Belgium) and the Grand Prize in the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers (Canada). Recently, his music has been released on Kohlenstoff Records (Montreal), Farmacia901 (Italy), and Cassauna (USA). Adam holds a BFA in composition from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC) and an interdisciplinary MA in composition and sound art installation at Concordia University (Montreal, QC).
A Truly Magical Moment, interactive kinetic sculpture, 2016. 1m x 1m x 1m, 2 iPhones, selfie sticks, aluminum, electronics, bluetooth chips
Two lovers in the middle of the dance floor. They link arms and begin to spin. The room blurs as they stare deep into each other’s eyes.
Perhaps most iconically captured in James Cameron’s 1997 epic, Titanic, this classic scene is found throughout modern romantic cinema, complete with over-the-shoulder and point-of-view cinematography. In A Truly Magical Moment, visitors can re-enact this “Magical Moment” using the contemporary communication tool for many long-distance relationships: Apple’s proprietary FaceTime technology.
Gallery visitors and online guests can use their iPhones or computers to video chat the two FaceTime accounts. When two guests connect one to each phone in a virtual “face to face”, the sculpture begins to spin, reaching dizzying speeds while romantic music plays in the background. At top speed, the background blurs and warps, while the image of your dance-partner remains in focus. After 60 seconds of a “Truly Magical Moment” – a wordless, “genuine connection” with another person – the rotation slows down to a standstill, while a nearby digital counter keeps count of the amount of “Magical Moments” enabled throughout the exhibition.