Grischa Lichtenberger (born 1983) is a multidisciplinary experimental artist living in Berlin, known for his involvement in a variety of arts such as writing, graphics, installations, video and music. Grown up in a withdrawn farmhouse near Bielefeld (Westphalia), his artistic approach developed from surveying the landscape as reference for the condition of art production itself. Landscape, in this sense, is understood not only as the picturesque or sublime recreational facility of nature, but as an interaction between the traces of biographical history and the material concreteness of the present surroundings.
The aggressive tone in his sound design has its counterpart in an emotional depth of the musical structure - a hermetic idiosyncrasy of rhythm and melodies that implement a personal handwriting into the arrangement and sculpture of the sound elements. The music aims towards a paradoxic parallelism of introspective moods on the dance floor and unsettling contemplations in an intimate listening situation. Tumbling between funky, highly energetic beats and trembling, concerning melodies, an almost tactile honesty reaches out to the individual listener. Technology appears not as the perfect, mathematically defined form, but as an index of failure and error, as a shadow of the spooking despairs and desires of its producer, engraved in the finiteness of the concrete form to be embraced by the attentive.
His approach has been to create a dialectic between the 4DSOUND system, as a tool for rendering a sublime reality that is supposedly objective, with a second system, a small tent built out of wood and blankets with a cheap guitar amplifier inside, representing the subjective voice of the artist that talks back to the 4DSOUND system. He is bound to challenge 4DSOUND as an instrument, and critically examine this instrument’s voice, its mistakes, its glitches, its character. And by doing this, Lichtenberger addresses a more fundamental critique on technology itself and its phantasmagorical dimension of modernist futurism and sublimation of sentimentalism.
'I was so surprised, both shocked and pleased, with the attention of the crowd at the night of the 4DSOUND performance in Amsterdam, I think I last saw something that open ten years ago, when sounds from electronic music seemed new and adventurous for everyone. I say pleased and shocked, because from my perspective there is also a danger in the extent of technology as this magical power of the sublime, where the thing you stand in front is so powerful, you are not being able to grasp the power and complexity of it.'
- Grischa Lichtenberger
While the sublime as a concept for nature holds this opening towards the world as the external, never reachable instance, having that feeling towards technology has a certain ambiguity to it. Technology is also a product by people, and sustaining production with this sort of power implies a political problem or even an ethical one, where the relation between people through technology is not defined by face-to-face communication but by a diversion between the enabled and the disabled. For Lichtenberger, the search for this subjectivity to confront the system with is an important and substantial one.