Soundscape Røst and Adfreeze Project

21.10.2011 to 22.10.2011

The artists show work in process:

Oona Stern and Cheryl Leonard: Adfreeze Project
Elin Øyen Vister: Soundscape Røst

A collaboration between Insomnia Festival, Kurant and Elin Øyen Vister


Friday 21 October
19.00: Opening of the project room
20.00 to 20.45: Concert w. Cheryl Leonard and Elin Øyen Vister. Solo and duo.

Saturday 22 October
16.00: Artists' Presentations and conversations about Adfreeze Project and Soundscape Røst


It's now or never...
Soundartist and composer Elin Øyen Vister met composer and instrument-maker Cheryl Leonard in San Francisco in August 2010, where they both participated in the Soundwave Festival. Elin was struck and inspired by Cheryl Leonard's beautiful and disciplined concert. Cheryl created music out of recorded material she collected during an artist residency at Palmer Station in Antartica, 2009. Field recordings were effortlessly mixed with music played live by Cheryl and her ensemble, on a peculiar collection of instruments made from penguin bones and rocks collected from Palmer Station.

Both artists are currently dedicating their artistic practices to being in the natural world and creating work that grows out of their experiences in the wild. The topic of disappearing soundscapes is a common ground for their works. Cheryl Leonard is documenting the sounds of ecosystems that are in the process of transforming and breaking down, and Elin Øyen Vister is recording an area whose soundscapes, and connected cultural history, are slowly disappearing. Topics such as the importance of biological diversity and natural preservation are causes that drive these artists to explore the soundscapes of the Northern territories. Viewing music as innate in nature is another.

At Kurant the audience can explore how these artists collect materials, manipulate them, and later re-present them in a gallery context. The artists will also show documentation from their ongoing projects and discuss how an artist approaches fieldwork with a mindset both similar to, and different from, that of a scientist.

Oona Stern and Cheryl Leonard will present a multi-media installation from their collaboration Adfreeze Project, an exploration which will take place in Svalbard during September and October 2011. A portrait of a site in northwestern Spitsbergen, the installation will be the first in a series of exhibitions. Relating to the shoreline, geology, and nature's processes at a given site, the installation will be positioned on the floor of the gallery. A combination of video and graphics will appear on the floor and stones from Spitsbergen will be arranged amongst them. Patterns on the floor will parallel and highlight formations in the landscape at the original site on Spitsbergen. The presence of visitors will trigger playback of audio from the site and the projection of video footage on top of the static floor patterns, bringing them to life. Audio will include wind and ocean ambiences, the manipulation of stones by the artists, and music played on amplified stones in situ on the island. Rocks used in the exhibition will be chosen for their sonic, as well as visual, qualities and visitors will be provided with simple instructions for moving the stones within the installation and making sounds with them. The final installation will bring the nature of Svalbard's unique environment into the gallery, and will invite the audience to interact with a region that, although remote, is an important part of northern Norway's history. The interaction becomes a collaboration with the artists, as well as with the original environment itself. Oona Stern is a visual artist from New York City. Cheryl Leonard is a composer from San Francisco.

Elin Øyen Vister will show documentation from ”Soundscape Røst” her ongoing investigation into the soundscape of the Røst archipelago and its birdmountains. She will also show a work in progress, ” Play The Kittiwake,” a interactive sound sculpture and instrument, inspired by the soundings of the Kittiwake. The Kittiwake is a seabird of the gull family. Soundscape Røst is an ongoing soundart project documenting and investigating the Røst Soundscape and the state of the struggling and endangered pelagic seabird populations on Røst, including Kittiwakes, Puffins, Razor Bills, Common Guillemots, Fulmars, Shags and Black Guillemots. Soundscape Røst is supported by the The Norwegian Arts Council, Nordlands City Council and Komponistenes Vederlagsfond.