ARIA residency: A World on the End of a Reed

MGLC, Pod turnom 3, 1000 Ljubljana
01 – 14 April 2024

The Abyss Between Our Hands & ŠUM#21 launch
11 April, 17:00, MGLC Ljubljana

12 April / Workshop: Mysticism and Touch praxis session
17–18 August, public workshop (details TBA)

Residency project: Taking notes from mystical theology, ecology, and romantic love songs, this project explores how languages of intimacy erase and birth bodies and relationships. A World on the End of a Reed treats intimate relationships between human and nonhuman bodies as sentient entities of their own – a third voice that blooms to utterance or collapses to silence when two bodies touch. How can such a third voice be heard, felt, communed with? And what if it remains forever silent?

The project adapts Birtalan’s earlier guided experience in conversation with a heretical religious movement from the Middle Ages called The Heresy of Free Spirit. Birtalan is interested in how the Free Spirit heresy’s tenants and language address the ecstatic as a quantum leap that renders the body permeable. Here, ecstasy becomes a midwife to an encounter with a world enfleshed, and with a relationship that knows something about us we ourselves never will. Communing with a silent uncertainty towards this relationship is what Birtalan hopes to call “trust” or “faith”.

ARIA residency for artists and writers complements the ARIA summer school. It hosts authors whose practice is informed by speculative and worldbuilding approaches, and draws from an expanded field of culture, history, and science to explore the ways and tools of “’imagineering” the planet in a time of its changing ecology.


Production: Projekt Atol Institute
In collaboration with: ŠUM journal
Co-production: International Center for Graphic Arts (MGLC)
Supported by: The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the City of Ljubljana – Department of Culture.

ARIA residency is organized within the More-than-Planet project and is co-funded by the European Union as part of the Creative Europe framework.


Áron Birtalan is an artist, musician, and student of theology, whose work explores languages of pleasure and anguish between angel, creature, and computer. Working with relationships and sense perception as artistic materials, Áron creates guided games, mystical practices, musical releases, unruly thoughts, and hybrid publications. They received their education at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague as well as the DAS Graduate School in Amsterdam, and now pursue doctoral studies at the Stockholm University of the Arts’ Institute for Dance. Their artistic dissertation, Your Bones Hold the Shape of What’s to Come, is due in 2026.

Áron Birtalan