Margrethe Iren Pettersen - Living Land - Below as Above

‘A more holistic thinking and behaviour towards animals and nature has always been part of living in the North. We took out only what we needed and used the entire animal or fish. The gratitude, knowledge and sensitivity to every living thing, believing in the powers of animals, stones, lakes, rivers and weather, has formed the peoples of the North, and defined its culture. A lot of these histories, memories and oral stories are not written down, they been travelling overland with the wind. They are a living experience.’

Plants from the landscape around Postmestervannet by Margrethe Iren Pettersen
Living Land – Below as Above is a soundwalk developed by Margrethe Iren Pettersen for Dark Ecology. The idea of the soundwalk began with Pettersen’s interest in ice as a metaphor, and as the primary archival medium of the Arctic. In the dark wintertime, life in the Arctic is at rest, hidden, and the spectre of what is visual and audible is scaled down, and invites a deeper attention of our senses to nuances. Inspired by the 1979 documentary The Secret Life of Plants, Pettersen imagined the communication between species beneath the silent snow carpet, capturing a cosmology of the plants in which they are scientifically proved to be sentient beings with a nervous system, despite their lack of a brain. For those who want to experience the soundwalk by themselves please download the audio file of the walk, and the map: Soundwalk Living Land - Below but also Above (link to Soundcloud, English) I am snow (pdf, English and Norwegian) Kartsia Postmestervannet (pdf, English and Norwegian) Thanks to Christian Hollingsæter for composing music; Siri Broch Johansen for reading old Sami language; Elisabeth Sveistrup for walks; Britt Kramvik, Tina Lindvall and Renate Kristiansen for good talks and support. Living Land - Below as Above is a commission for the second Dark Ecology Journey (2015), co-commissioned with Arctic Encounters.

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