Coined by critics a sound alchemist (Le Monde) for his music and performance work, Mikhail Karikis has developed a vocabulary which fuses the avant-garde, Balkan folk and pop influences.
With studies in music in his native country Greece, in Architecture and Fine Art in London, Karikis’s interdisciplinary work is embraced equally by art galleries and concert halls and focuses particularly on the voice as a sculptural material confronting notions of identity. His collaborators range from visual artists - Sonia Boyce, Zineb Sedira, Oreet Ashery - to classical choirs - Hilliard Ensemble, Alamire, Cantamus - pop-musicians - Björk, DJ Spooky - and fashion houses - Prada, Rozalb de Mura.
Karikis’s work has been shown widely, including at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Purcell Room, BAFTA, Nederlands Dans Theater, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts (Switzerland), Colston Hall, Synch Festival (Greece), De La Warr Pavilion, Milton Keynes Gallery, Whitstable Biennale and elsewhere. His music has been released world-wide by Sub Rosa records, the MIT Press, One Little Indian label and the University of Oxford.
Remnants of the Future (2010) is designed as a sound installation for a video work by artist Uriel Orlow. Set in Mush in Northern Armenia, the visuals capture the ruins of a vast Soviet suburb which was abandoned and never completed due to the fall of the Soviet Union. The site depicts the in-between state of the site, which is sparsely inhabited by a few families that make a living by demolishing the buildings to sell their construction materials.
Responding to the themes of the video footage, Karikis uses sounds of pulsars (dying stars) to create an eerie soundscape punctuated by bleeps and a distorted female voice reciting a text in the role of an ambassador from the future as it appears in a play by Russian playwright Mayakovski. Exploring the sonic aesthetics of retro-futurism, the choice of sounds refers to the Communist symbol, the Red Star, to the Russian Futurists, as well as to the practice of encoding secret messages in white noise by spies during the Cold War.