Brandenburgisches Landesmuseum für moderne Kunst Uferstrasse / Am Amtsteich 15 03046 Cottbus
How is the identity of Lusatia changing in the context of structural change in the region? This Land is Not Mine is an artistic research project by the artist Kat Austen, presented as an installation and an album of experimental music. Over a year and a half, Austen has explored the soundscapes of Lusatia, and has invited residents to an online platform where they contribute the sounds that characterise the landscape.
Austen uses scientific instruments that have been adapted to make sound, alongside hydrophones, to listen to the water and soil in Lusatia, including during a public workshop at the BLMK in September 2020. From these recordings, Austen creates musical compositions that include traditional musical instruments, to create a full album that explores the various stories she has discovered in Lusatia throughout her research here.
In this closing performance of the Strukturwandel Exhibition at the BLMK, Austen will play for the first time the entire album and two bonus tracks. Austen will play her specially adapted scientific instruments using local water samples, alongside video projections contextualising the soundscapes, to create an immersive and moving journey through contemporary Lusatia.
This work focuses on the region of Lusatia, where Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic meet, the home of the Sorbian minority group. This project explores identity in a region of co-existing cultures that is undergoing fundamental socio-economic changes as brown coal mining in the region is phased out. Engaging with landscapes that are recovering from extraction give a hint to how we might face the challenges of the climate crisis, and a route towards creating a shared identity in the face of ecological crisis. The album ‘This Land is Not Mine’ is available for pre-order on Bandcamp, release date 10th December.