With the upcoming 50th anniversary in 2023 of the Serge synthesiser, developed by Russian American composer and electronic instrument builder Serge Tcherepnin, the work of Berlin-based sound artist Thomas Ankersmit is revelatory. Working almost exclusively with the instrument for over fifteen years, Ankersmit has attained a scholarly and near-alchemical knowledge of the Serge synthesiser. His dynamic studio compositions and live performances highlight the sonic prowess of the device, while also leaning into its all-analog peculiarities. By amplifying the imperfections of the instrument, Ankersmit finds ways to push the sonic boundaries of what this highly versatile synthesiser can produce.
Ankersmit’s previous work has generally focussed on the more acute physical dimensions of sound, for instance generating extreme vibrations that result in otoacoustic emissions – sounds generated from within the inner ear. Recently, his artistic practice has shifted towards a different kind of physicality, one that involves the composition of imaginary spaces through sound, or perhaps “a cinema for the ears”. During Rewire 2023, Ankersmit will repurpose those imaginary panoramas of cinematic sound and translate them back into a physical context again.