Julio Lugon born in Lima, Peru in 1982, is a Peruvian interdisciplinary artist based in Germany and living in Europe since 2004, residing in countries like Spain and the Netherlands. He maintains a very strong connection with Peru, a country where he constantly returns and is permanently carrying out artistic work projects.
Beginning his artistic career as an abstract painter, Lugon developed his practice constantly, concentrating his artistic work today focusing mainly on sound art and conceptual art. His work includes but is not restricted to installation art, performance, sound design for films, research, online radio, kinetic sculpture and graphics. In parallel, he operates as an
experimental musician and dj with the pseudonym Pira Lemu (name adopted from a spoonerism of his hometown).
In 2019 he completed his master's degree in Sound Studies at the UDK in Berlin, his current projects deal with topics from philosophy as well as with the challenges that arise from social and ecological issues. One focus of his work is on the integration of non-human beings (e.g. plants) into his projects and their interactions with scientific-technical processes and
collective knowledge production. For example, his installation »Aristotle’s Jungle« represents a kind of biofeedback system consisting of electric fans, light bulbs, loudspeakers and a series of indoor plants that enter into a speculative dialogue. The biorhythmic signals from the plants, which he measures via the electrical resistances on the leaves, activate and deactivate the fans and lamps distributed in the room, controlled by a microcontroller and a relay station he developed himself. Lugon writes about his approach to work: “I am currently concerned with the tension that arises between culture and nature. I think that sound is an entity in its own right that gives us the opportunity to break through the differences between the natural and the artificial realms. The idea that sound has its own point of view opens up many new differentiations and multiplies the possibilities of working with sound-related material. My work aims to work with simple formal ideas that develop into an initially easily accessible work, only to then allow a deeper discussion to take place.” Another of his works,
Elephant Meditations, plays with the idea of finding ourselves in a future where fictional organisms made of nylon and polyester exist in such a way that they breathe and emit noises in communion with machines and natural elements, all in an endless dance of symbiosis.
Lugon has attended artistic residencies in the Canary Islands and Finland, among others, the latter, where he carried out a construction project for a mobile floating platform with recycled materials, to be used as an aquatic sound laboratory, where a large number of environmental and underwater sound recordings were made. He was awarded first-prize at “Bonn Hoeren – Sonotopia 2019,” the sound art competition by the Beethoven Stiftung in Bonn, Germany and his works have been presented in art centres, museums, galleries and alternative indoor and outdoor spaces in Europe, South America and Asia.
For the residence I plan to develop an investigation with slime molds, plants and the relationship and biofeedback that these may have with sound. Slime Molds are the name given to several kinds of unrelated eukaryotic organisms which are essentially enormous single cells with thousands of nuclei. I will especially work with one called Physarum Polycephalum, which I already have experience growing in my lab. The vegetal world is another of my concerns, with which I have a very intimate relationship, not only caring for plants, but also studying and making music in collaboration with them.
The plan is to concentrate the time on artistic and scientific research on three entities: sound arts, plants and slime molds; then define a work order towards the realization of a sound art installation in the future, documenting the entire process. Throughout the project I will organize field sessions, in which I will make use of all the tools at hand (sound recorders, DIY hydrophones, notebooks, phones, tape recorders, portable samplers, etc.) and produce both intellectual and sound material related to the residency themes. My project seeks to approach a world inhabited by strange entities in which us humans are but only one in an ecosystem. Along the way I will surely find other beings such as fungi, insects, other animals - including transparent sound entities. All these more than human encounters are intended to shed light on its existence and communicate it with the local community and the growth of awareness with the environment.