Project Description

Jana Winderen, 2015

Light moves at 300,000 kilometres/second. It takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds for the light from the Sun to reach this beach.

Sound moves at 343.59 meters per second in air. In water it moves about 4.4 times faster. Water is an excellent medium to communicate with sound, and is used by many creatures, such as a toadfish protecting its habitat, mammals communicating with each other, or echo locating for food and orientation, a snapping shrimp paralyzing its prey with sound, or a cod calling out for a mate.

Approximately 400 million years ago, this place was on the Equator. The water was warmer and was home to a large diversity of creatures, though mainly only their remains can be found in the rocks and the sand on this island. The end of the Ordovician period, (from 485.4 to 443.8 million years ago), is the start of the Silurian geological period. This is when there was a major extinction event: 60% of marine species were wiped out. 65 million years ago, the last major extinction, saw the end of the dinosaurs.

We now see an accelerating extinction, faster than ever seen before, of animals, insects and plants caused by human activity. Creatures such as the horseshoe crab has seen 4 mass extinctions and survived them all. But they are now in real danger of being wiped out permanently.

The sand on this beach is similar to the type of sand found in areas around the Equator today. Fårö consists of limestone and shales. Most grains in limestone are skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral and forminifera.

The sound composition is based on hydrophone recordings made under water around the Equator over the last 10 years. The sounds from creatures whose predecessors maybe once lived here underwater at Fårö, sound environments you no longer find in the Baltic Sea – just remains of their skeletons.

The installation with its sound compositions is made especially for this location and composed on site. The power to run the installation is taken from the Sun. The sounds are played back through transducers and speakers. The transducers make the object they are attached to vibrate, so the surface resonates. The boat and the boat house become resonator boxes for the sounds from the sea powered by the sun.

Jana Winderen is an artist educated in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in London, and with a background in mathematics, chemistry and fish ecology from the University in Oslo.

Winderen researches the hidden depths with the latest technology; her work reveals the complexity and strangeness of the unseen world beneath. The audio topography of the oceans and the depth of ice crevasses are brought to the surface. She is concerned with finding and revealing sounds from hidden sources, both inaudible for the human senses and sounds from places and creatures difficult to access.

Recent sounds work include a commission for the Danube festival 2015 in Krems, “Pasvikdalen” (2015) for the Sonic Act Festival in Amsterdam, “Dive” (2014), a 64 channel audio installation in Park Avenue Tunnel, commissioned by New York Department of Transportation, “Out of Range” (2014) commissioned by Deutschland Radio Kultur, Germany, “Ultrafield” (2013) commissioned by MoMA, New York,  “Water Signal” (2012), commissioned by The Guggenheim Museum / Unsound festival, New York for the Stillspotting project, “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), the album “Energy Field” (2010) on Touch (UK).

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

Her current work includes “Silencing of the reefs” supported by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Academy, a new work based in the Sea Ice covering the North Pole, supported by the Mamont Foundation, “Raft of Ice”, a permanent sound installation commission for the American Embassy in Oslo. She is also working on a full length release for Touch (UK) and several other installations and concerts around the world.

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