Margrethe Iren Pettersen – Living Land – Below as Above

Thursday 26 November

17:00 - 19:00

Fri 27 Nov - Mon 30 Nov

Langora, Kirkenes. Postmestervannet & Kjerringstupet

Free admission The work can also be visited from 27 Nov - 30 Nov, and staff will be present to hand out i-pods, headphones & maps. Fri 27 Nov, 17.00 - 19.00 hrs Sat 28 & Sun 29 Nov, 14.00-17.00 hrs Mon 30 Nov, 17.00-19.00hrs Co-commission with Arctic Encounters. 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 as Above (link to Soundcloud, English) I am snow (pdf, English and Norwegian) Kartsia Postmestervannet (pdf, English and Norwegian) 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. 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. We would like to thank Soundtrackcity for their very kind support. Margarethe Pettersen: ‘After days exploring the wilderness surrounding Kirkenes, I discovered the mountain lake Postmestervannet. I wanted to approach this place physically and get to know it by spending time there. The first thing I did was to make a hole in the surface with a tool used for drilling in ice (for fishing). It was pretty exhausting, it took hours and it got really cold and dark. I was alone on the lake and the experience of the place changed drastically during the night. I decided to use this bodily experience – a state of mind where all the senses are highly sharpened. I did some field recordings above and under the ice, and the silence became even more immersive.’ ‘I am interested in the perception of sound and landscape through movement. What happens when you ‘take away’ one sense and replace it with a soundscape? I have made soundwalks in different locations, a city centre, inside and outside a city park, and in a more remote place near the sea. This time I tried a different method. The benefit of doing it in the dark when we have no other visual input is that the mind will produce more images and the listening experience will be more concentrated. Can I activate people’s feelings with sounds belonging to the sensitive system surrounding this place – its memory and knowledge?’ ‘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.’

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