Jana Winderen



"Restless" at Nixe, Musik protokol, Steierishe Herbst festival, Gratz 8 - 18 October 2015

Jana took part of the Musik Protokoll exhibition at Steierishe Herbst festival 2015, with a piece inspired by Ludwig Salvator, researcher of the Mediterranean.

Find the program here.

text for the exhibition:
“Restless” - Jana Winderen, Musik protokol, 2015

Listening and looking closely demands time and involvement.

Focused listening helps to see the world more closely and to pay attention to smaller creatures, our neighbours on the planet. Creatures around us make sounds. We know the sound of a bird, but we do not generally know which bird it is. We hear a frog, but do we know which species? Small creatures, like plankton, fish and insects also make sound under water which is a difficult place for us to access. This piece is a composition based on the sound of crustaceans which are found in waters all over the planet - at least for as long as the level of CO2 is not making the water so acidic that their outer skeletons will not form…

Some of the underwater insects, which you also find all over the planet, are the loudest we know relative to their size. The tiniest creature can be very noisy. The Blue Whale is both the largest and the loudest. Another whale, the Humpback, produces songs which can last for 40 minutes, and they are made anew each year when they migrate to the Caribbean to meet up to procreate and give birth.

An ocean where you can only hear ships’ motors and seismic testing is a scary place. It is a dead ocean.

At the time of Salvatore, there was most probably a richer sea life than can be found today, and the sound environments underwater would have been more complex. He would probably have heard the sounds of crustaceans, fish protecting their habitats and whales singing or echo location resonating in his ship. I have heard these sounds even without a hydrophone, resting in a cabin under the deck of a ship, and I imagine he did too.

Since 1992 Jana has worked with sound as her main material in her art practice, paralleled with research and investigation into issues concerning underwater ecosystems and the sound environments below the surface. She has also for many years been investigating ultrasound, that is the range above our hearing, and the creatures operating in this niche of sound, such as bats, rats, insect and mammals of the sea. These are areas which are difficult for us to access and impossible to perceive without technical help. Jana has for the last ten years specialised in using very sensitive hydrophones and ultrasound detectors to capture these inaccessible sounds to increase awareness of the issues and concerns affecting these creatures and their environments. She has travelled extensively around the globe, from the the Equator to Greenland, and recently to the North Pole to listen under the Sea Ice.

Recent works include “Pasvikdalen” (2015) for the Sonic Acts Festival in Amsterdam, “Dive” (2014), a 64 channel audio installation in the Park Avenue Tunnel, commissioned by the New York Department of Transportation, “Ultrafield” (2013) commissioned by MoMA, New York, and “Ultraworld”, a commission by Sound and Music for the listening room at BEOPEN, Trafalgar Square, London (2012). Recent releases include the digital download “Out of Range” (2014), the 12inch vinyl “Debris” (2012) and the CD album “Energy Field” (2010), all released on Touch.

Jana is currently working on a commission from the Skanu Metz festival for the Latvian National Library, a permanent installation for the American Embassy in Oslo, and the project “Silencing of the reefs” for Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary.

In 2011 she won the Golden Nica, for Digital Musics & Sound Art, Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria.





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