bani haykal (b. 1985) experiments with text + music.
Encompassing several disciplines including installation and performance, his interest lies at the intersection of political economy, music and speculative fiction. Working with a broad range of instruments, from acoustic to digital, traditional and hacked, his projects revolve around modes of interfacing and interaction. He is a member of b-quartet and Soundpainting ensemble Erik Satay & The Kampong Arkestra.
In 2010, Haykal was part of The Substation’s Associate Artist Research Programme. During his 2 years, he developed an ongoing project entitled ‘Rethinking Music’ which examines the landscape and shifts of music in Singapore. Through this research, he presented works (performances and installations) including, Alternatives (The Substation Gallery, 2010 – 2011), Dormant Music (Platform 3, Bandung, Indonesia / Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore, 2013), Inside The Subject (Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore, 2013) and collapse (The Substation Theatre, 2013).
He was part of NTU-Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Singapore Artist in Residence programme, where he conducted research on the Cultural Cold War, identifying the politics of the internationalisation of Jazz music, its relationship with freedom, whilst reflecting on the present methods of promoting democracy and capitalism through digital technology / the internet. Through his residency, he presented 3 works-in-progress: an alternative ensemble: articles of music (2014), an image of conversations (2015) and practical pollution (2015); incorporating text, music and a new performative device developed during the residency called, “clocking”.
A culmination of his research on music’s political economy and big data resulted in an installation work titled, necropolis for those without sleep (2015), which was exhibited at 8Q@SAM as part of the President’s Young Talents Award.
As a composer and performer, he has collaborated with Ho Tzu Nyen (The Clouds of Unknowing, Ten Thousand Tigers), Teater Ekamatra (Bleeding Grace), THE Dance Company (Silences We Are Familiar With, Ghosts of Capitol Theatre), Raka Maitra (The Hungry Stones, The Blind Age) and The Necessary Stage (Crossings, Mobile 2: Flat Cities, Gitanjali) among other artists and musicians. Haykal has also participated in festivals including Les Hivernales: Avignon (France), Media/Art Kitchen (Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Philippines), RRREC FEST (Indonesia), Liquid Architecture (Singapore / Australia), da:ns Festival and The M1 Fringe Festival (Singapore).
Aside from his practice as an artist, Haykal has curated projects relating to sound and music, including Tribal Gathering of Tongue Tasters (The Substation, 2012 – 2013), SOUND: Latitudes and Attitudes (Earl Lu Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore, 2014); co-curated with Joleen Loh and Aural Narratives (National Gallery Singapore, 2015).
He is currently an Associate Artist with Singapore theatre company, The Necessary Stage.