Dark Ecology is a three-year art, research and commissioning project, initiated by the Dutch Sonic Acts and Kirkenes-based curator Hilde Methi, and in collaboration with Norwegian and Russian partners. Dark Ecology unfolds through research, the creation of new artworks, and a public programme that will be presented in the zone on both sides of the border in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The programme for 2014 includes lectures, presentations of newly commissioned artworks, guided walks, a discursive programme, concert evenings, and a workshop.
Dark Ecology, First Journey Report
We hope that this encounter, examination, or exploration will take many forms. In this sense Dark Ecology and the first journey are an experiment. It’s about imagination as well, imagining a past, a future, a politics, our connections. It’s also about trying to imagine something larger than us humans.
Field Notes: Making Things Speak
By Arie Altena To provide some invaluable insights into the upcoming Dark Ecology Journey, Arie Altena wrote an essay on the notion of ‘making things speak’. Making Things Speak is about giving a ‘voice’ to the non-human. Things can speak of many connections, with many with different interests converging in a single thing.
Lucy Railton & Russell Haswell - Unknown
In residency in Kirkenes, Lucy Railton & Russell Haswell (UK) have researched, recorded and developed a new work which was premiered at the Borealis Contemporary Music Festival in Bergen on 14 March, 2015. Their collaboration exploits the languages of contemporary instrumental music and hybrid analogue/digital synthesis.
A Dark Ecology Special: Lectures, Interviews and Recordings
To get you in the mood for the upcoming Dark Ecology Journey, Sonic Acts Research Series #19 includes recorded lectures, excerpts of live performances, sound recordings and interviews made during the 2015 festival The Geologic Imagination. With contributors such as Timothy Morton, Jana Winderen, Espen Sommer Eide, BJ Nilsen and Karl Lemieux, Raviv Ganchrow, Ele Carpenter and Graham Harman.
Monday 30 November 2015
On the final day the programme will take place in the Russian factory town of Nikel. Here Tatjana Gorbachewskaja, in collaboration with Katya Larina, presents a conceptual tour and an interactive map to explore the materiality of her former hometown and the journey will conclude with a closing panel.
Dark Matters: an interview with Susan Schuppli
by Lucas van der Velden & Rosa Menkman Dark Ecology Keynote speaker Susan Schuppli spoke with Lucas van der Velden and Rosa Menkman about what it means to be an artist and theorist working in the field of practice-based research and her concept of the Material Witness.
Jana Winderen - Pasvikdalen
Drifting away from a state of stability, blurring acceleration, moving out of sight, but not out of mind. Invisible but audible, the consequences reveal themselves through the silence of species we have never heard. Jana Winderen’s new work Pasvikdalen is based on recordings made both above and under water close to the border between Norway and Russia. The work is a commission of Dark Ecology/Sonic Acts.
Dark Ecology Vimeo Album: A möbius research trip for thinking on objects beyond human perception
To sustain and develop ongoing ideas and conversations about some of the subjects within the three-year research project Dark Ecology, we invite key figures back to speak, reflect or create work in different settings. Philosopher and theorist Timothy Morton, from whom we borrowed the title 'Dark Ecology’, is one of the people who has been an integral part of this unfolding journey.
Raviv Ganchrow: Long Wave Synthesis
Long Wave Synthesis is a land-art scale sound installation that investigates infrasound, and probes the relations between how we perceive the landscape and long-wave vibrations. The piece creates a complex topography of acoustic waves in a range of 4 to 30 Hz (mostly in the infrasound range, below the threshold of human hearing) spreading out from an array of custom-built, very low frequency generators. Long Wave Synthesis focuses on material properties of sound, and investigates ways in which a location manifests itself through interactions between walking, territory and sonic attention. The long waves physically interact with the topography and atmospheric conditions, while simultaneously ‘oscillating’ our sense of the surroundings.
Publication: The Geologic Imagination
This valuable collection will soon become one of the first essential go-to texts for artists and scholars who want to think about the Anthropocene, global warming and ecological issues in general. A treasure trove of original thoughts and creativity. - Timothy Morton
Dark Ecology comes to the Sonic Acts Festival in Amsterdam
From 26 February – 1 March 2015, the Sonic Acts Festival will take place in Amsterdam. The research that we have been conducting for Dark Ecology, and the Dark Ecology Journey in October 2014, was crucial to the development of this year’s Sonic Acts festival theme The Geologic Imagination.
Dark Ecology Critical Writing Academy
On 9 and 10 October 2015, Dark Ecology and Fridaymilk will organise a two-day Critical Writing Academy, in Murmansk, Russia. This workshop is aimed at emerging and mid-career writers, critics, bloggers, theorists and journalists in arts and culture from the Barents Region.
Dark Ecology Journey
The second research trip in our Dark Ecology project will take place from 26–30 November 2015. The programme includes presentations of new commissioned works by HC Gilje, Margrethe Pettersen, Joris Strijbos, and Hilary Jeffrey, as well as lectures, discussions, guided walks, and concerts. More names will be announced soon.
Dark Ecology residencies starting
Joris Strijbos, HC Gilje and Justin Bennett, Espen Sommer Eide and Signe Lidén, Hilary Jeffrey and Tatjana Gorbachewskaja will start their Dark Ecology residencies next week. We are also thrilled to announce that UK-based artist and researcher Susann Schuppli will join us on the Dark Ecology Journey and give a keynote lecture.
Dark Ecology Critical Writing Academy Report
On 9 and 10 October 2015, Dark Ecology and Fridaymilk organised a two-day Critical Writing Academy in Murmansk. Norwegian and Russian writers with a connection to the Barents Region were selected to take part in the Academy led by Rosa Menkman and the experts Furqat Palvazande and Arne Skaug Olsen.
Thursday 26 November 2015
The journey starts in Kirkenes with a keynote lecture by American philosopher Graham Harman, entitled Morton’s Hyperobjects and the Anthropocene. In the afternoon there are presentations of new commissioned works. Margrethe Pettersen (NO) created Living Land, a soundwalk that will take participants above and below ground in Kirkenes; Joris Strijbos (NL) constructed IsoScope, a major kinetic light and sound installation that interacts with its environment.
Friday 27 November 2015
On Friday, 27 November, the programme crosses the border to Murmansk, the largest Russian city above the polar circle. Dark Ecology partner Fridaymilk hosts a talk show with amongst others presentations by Margrethe Pettersen, HC Gilje, Joris Strijbos, and Tatjana Gorbachewskaja.
Saturday 28 November 2015
The third day of the journey also takes place in Murmansk, starting with a keynote lecture Material Evidence from Disputed Arctic Sunsets to Dark Snow by Susan Schuppli. This is followed by two performances of Murmansk Spaceport, a new work by Hilary Jeffery developed in collaboration with local musicians from Murmansk and Bodø.
Sunday 29 November 2015
On Sunday 29 November the programme starts off with an exploration of the couleur locale of Murmansk. In the afternoon and evening, the journey heads back to the Russian border zone, and HC Gilje will present a video installation at the stadium in Nikel and a light intervention in public space close to Zapolyarny.
Joris Strijbos - IsoScope
Joris Strijbos’ IsoScope is a kinetic sound-and-light installation. It consists of multiple robotic wind objects that interact with each other and with the landscape to perform a generative composition manifesting itself through emergent behaviour. Commissioned for the 2015 Dark Ecology Journey.
LYSN: Murmansk Spaceport - ЛИСН: Мурманский Космодром
Hilary Jeffery’s Murmansk Spaceport is an environment designed for exploring unknown territories. Musicians from Murmansk (RU) and Bodø (NO) in the Barents Region work together with Hilary Jeffery in a new formation of LYSN to perform Murmansk Spaceport. Commissioned for the 2015 Dark Ecology Journey.
Tatjana Gorbachewskaja - Nikel Materiality
The story of Nikel is that of a place that transformed the natural environment, seemingly no longer dependent on its geographical, geological or atmospheric attachments to the Earth. Nikel Materiality by Tatjana Gorbachewskaja, in collaboration with Katya Larina, seeks to explore Nikel through the prism of the unique material substances that this city has created. Commissioned for the 2015 Dark Ecology Journey.
Sonic Acts & EYE on Art: Weather Report
Following the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, on 15 December Sonic Acts and EYE on Art will host a Dark Ecology inspired evening on climate change. The programme explores the subject from the perspective of Dark Ecology. Included are works from EYE’s collection as well as contributions by artists who are part of the 2015 Dark Ecology Journey.
Starting Tomorrow: Dark Ecology Journey 2015
With just one day until we embark on the Dark Ecology Journey, participants are currently en route to the first stop: Kirkenes. Between 26 and 30 November participants will also visit Murmansk, Nikel and Zapolyarny, taking part in a programme that includes lectures and the presentation of new commissioned works in sub-zero temperatures.
Dark Ecology Journey: First Report
We are back home from a successful second Dark Ecology Journey. From 26 to 30 November we travelled with a group of more than 50 artists, researchers, curators, writers and organisers to Kirkenes in Northern Norway from where we took a bus to Murmansk in Russia, to Zapolyarny and Nikel, and back to Kirkenes. Here is an initial report of the journey, more will follow shortly.
Living Land - Below as Above
In dialog with Britt Kramvig and Margrethe Pettersen Living Land – Below as above, is a commission piece by Margrethe Pettersen for Dark Ecology and co-commissioned by Arctic Encounters. The soundwalk is performed outside Kirkenes, during the second journey of Dark Ecology.
Signe Lidén & Espen Sommer Eide - Altitude and history
Friday 10 June
19:00 - 22:00
What does it mean to be present in a place, to sit still, listening to faraway cries of dogs and shouts of children carried by the wind. Your memories are not invited, yet still they come. The meeting point is the Nikel Ski Hut at 19.00. The hike will last approximately 3 hrs. Please bring good shoes.
Jana Winderen - Pasvikdalen
Friday 10 June
09:00 - 20:00
Visitor Centre of Øvre Nationalpark Svanhovd
Sat 11 Jun - Sun 12 Jun
10:00 - 18:00
Visitor Centre of Øvre Nationalpark Svanhovd
The installation version of Jana Winderen’s sound piece Pasvikdalen (2014) is playing all day at NIBIO Svanhovd. Pasvikdalen is based on recordings made both above and under water in the Pasvik valley.