The 20 channel video installation This Land is Not Mine will be exhibited as a solo show at the new gallery of Cinémathèque in Leipzig. A complementary programme of events is planned under the name Łuža throughout the month of November, starting with the This Land is Not Mine | Album performance on 3. Nov for the exhibition opening.
How to Touch a Dragonfly (2023) New Media installation
Opening 19th October until 22nd October S-Factory D, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
“When I was a child, there were dragonflies everywhere.” The summer heat is smothering us as the group of elders shelter in the shadow of the Wondumak gazebo next to the village hall. One person proffers a folded over toilet paper, which I unfold to reveal a petrified, decomposing stagbeetle. The wooden shelter, so necessary in these hot summer months, lies on a track out of the village. Almost immediately beyond, the buildings give way to an incline tracing the bank of a dry riverbed up to terraced rice fields; the Gudeuljang.
These Gudeuljang secured Korea the country’s first ever globally important agricultural heritage site. The rice here is formed without pesticides, using traditional method that date back to the 1600s. The terraces of the Gudeuljang contain a network of underground channels, which feed mountain rainwater to the crops. Farmers control the flow by moving stones to stem the water, allowing it to warm in the sun before letting it into the fields. Many of fields at higher altitudes are out of use now, the crucial channels collapsing into themselves. Farmers know what’s happening higher up the mountainside from the changing behaviour of water in the fields they tend. Compared to other landscapes, dragonflies thrive here in this pesticide-free rural idyll. Yet even here the dragonflies are fewer, and come at different times of year than before.
People notice the change from their childhood. “It used to be a game when we were kids, we would catch the dragonflies in our hands and hold them their wings feel like paper like the Hanji in my grandparents doors. Crinkly but strong. Now you just don’t see them so much anymore.”
This year I’ve seen none of the swarms I saw last year. I hear the hum of traffic from the top of the hill. The smoke turns the blue sky yellow. I reach out my hand into the open air, against the sunshine, and I return to a hillside where the trees have grown back; they were felled for survival in desperate times. Now what threatens the humans here is an exodus. I wouldn’t mind moving to Cheongsan-do for awhile. I’d even like the experience of farming but as a foreigner, I wasn’t permitted to hire a car. There are various things that make a landscape in hospitable. We didn’t have so many dragonflies where I grew up. Now I’m somewhere the way they belong but I’m in the wrong time. Which begs the question: how do you touch a dragonfly that isn’t there?
Artist: Kat Austen Designer: Robin Andersson (RTA Studio) Digital Artist: Daniel Hengst Creative Technologist: Justus Erhas Production Director: Frank Lohmoeller Production Manager: Olive Okjoh Han Production Assistance: Hyeonhwa Lee Additional Filming: Sangwon Lee Hanji Funding: Jeonju Millenium Hanji Museum (전주천년한지관) Supported by: ZER01NE Creator’s Programme (Hyundai Motor Group) Thanks to: UN FAO KR, GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site) Cheongsan-do, R. Glowinski
Solidarity Fund · Hydro In the wake of devastating floods that hit Slovenia in early August, many find themselves without homes and irreplaceable memories. In partnership with Kamizdat Label, we wish to lend a helping hand to these resilient people by curating an online audio compilation that features the generous contributions of artists who have donated their music to this cause. All financial contributions from the sale of the compilation will be sent to the flood relief fund of the Volunteer Fire Fighting Society, Črna na Koroškem. Our hearts go to those who depend on gestures of solidarity at the time of our planetary transformations.
Solidarnostni sklad · Hidro
Po uničujočih poplavah, ki so Slovenijo prizadele v začetku avgusta, so mnogi ostali brez domov in nenadomestljivih spominov. V sodelovanju z založbo Kamizdat želimo tem vztrajnim ljudem ponuditi pomoč s spletno zvočno kompilacijo, na kateri so zbrani prispevki umetnikov, ki so za ta namen darovali svojo glasbo. Vse finančne prispevke od prodaje kompilacije bomo nakazali v sklad Prostovoljnega gasilskega društva Črna na Koroškem. Naša srca so z vsemi, ki so odvisni od solidarnostnih gest v času naših planetarnih sprememb.
OR poiesis · Tsuki no jūryoku Brandon LaBelle · Planetary Listening Brane Zorman · The Tree Spirits I Touch (excerpt) Bojana Šaljić P. · The Last Animal / Ujjayi * Toni Dimitrov · A Night at Letea Karmen Ponikvar · Look, the snowflakes are moving upwards (excerpt) Mauricio Valdés San Emeterio · Ejarbe ** Dronišnica · It’s Time to Drink Water Kikiriki · Drop Brgs · Mushroom Therapy (remix) Irena Pivka · EchoWalk Kat Austen · Multifurcation (Movement 4 from The Matter of the Soul Symphony) Hugo Lioret · Interchange [43.961436, 1.019804] Lena Ortega · Dandelion David Bilek · Intermezzo for a Confused Dragonfly mʊdʌki · soft txt I mʊdʌki · soft txt II Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec · Lost Algoritmhs Saša Spačal · Anatomy of a Symbiosis: Slicing 12 Miha Godec · Echoing Tides Shekuza · Stay Strong AGF · Elemental Slovenia Zergon · Pralik Sujevera · River Tensions Manja Ristić · Schwarze Aist [Austrian––Czech Borderlands, July 2023] Luka Prinčič ·coHydrogen beepblip · Voluminous Movement of a Watery Earth (excerpt) Robertina Šebjanič · hydro_Agitations
* Ocean breath
** Increase of the volume of water in rivers due to heavy rainfall.
released September 1, 2023
Robertina Šebjanič, Ida Hiršenfelder · curators, graphic design Luka Prinčič · mastering Luka T. Zagoričnik, Luka Prinčič · executive production, promotion
In 2017 Kat went to Nunavut in the Arctic on a residency with Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, to carry out artistic research into the reaction of ice and water to the climate crisis through sound. It was for this residency that Kat developed circuit bent instruments from scientific equipment usually used to measure chemical and physical properties of water, like temperature and acidity. Kat used these to listen to the process of measurement, as a comment on not only the rapidly changing Arctic environment, but also the datafication of human relations to environmental catastrophe.
The resulting work, The Matter of the Soul, has been featured on the BBC and performed around the globe including at COP24 in 2018 as part of the Greenpeace ClimateHub in Katowice.
Kat has gone on to apply these instruments to many other environments and ecosystems, including Lausitz for This Land Is Not Mine and liminal landscapes as part of my compositions for Mapping Gender.
Kat will perform her album This Land is Not Mine as part of the dotolim concert series.
dotolim is a longstanding experimental music venue and recording studio run by Jin Sangtae, which hosts performances and concerts with people with different perspectives in various fields, as well as film screenings and exhibitions.
The “This Land is Not Mine” LP combines 7 songs by musician and sound artist Kat Austen. Austenmelds acoustic and electronica with field recordings, in this homage to a landscape ravaged by open cast mining: Lusatia, at the German-Polish border. Realised over the course of 2 years, This Land is Not Mine is a modern-day protest album, telling the stories of villages lost to the past, rivers that harbour secrets and communities that rebuild in the wake of mine closures.
Austen’s musical roots hail back to classical piano, metal and folk. Since 2018, Austen has been releasing music that mixes field recordings and ambient electronic sounds with traditional instruments to create a unique and evocative sonic tapestry.
Some field recordings for the album were gathered through a crowdsourcing platform Lausitzklang that explores the sounds of Lusatia.
Co-designing Infrastructures tells the story of a research programme designed to bring the power of engineering and technology into the hands of grassroots community groups, to create bottom-up solutions to global crises. Four projects in London are described in detail, exemplifying community collaboration with engineers, designers and scientists to enact urban change. The projects co-designed solutions to air pollution, housing, the water-energy-food nexus, and water management. Rich case-study accounts are underpinned by theories of participation, environmental politics and socio-technical systems. The projects at the heart of the book are grounded in specific settings facing challenges familiar to urban communities throughout the world. This place-based approach to infrastructure is of international relevance as a foundation for urban resilience and sustainability. The authors document the tools used to deliver this work, providing guidance for others who are working to deliver local technical solutions to complex social and environmental problems around the world.This is a book for engineers, designers, community organisers and researchers. Co-authored by researchers, it includes voices of community collaborators, their experiences, frustrations and aspirations. It explores useful theories about infrastructure, engineering and resilience from international academic research, and situates them in community-based co-design experience, to explain why bottom-up approaches are needed and how they might succeed.
I’m delighted to be hosting a stream from Seoul, South Korea, for Reveil 2023.
Reveil travels West on live audio feeds from streamers around the world at daybreak, making a loop over one earth day.
Reveil (2014—) is a collective production by streamers at listening points around the earth. Starting on the morning of Saturday 6 May in South London near the Greenwich Meridian, the broadcast will pick up feeds one by one, tracking the sunrise west from microphone to microphone, following the wave of intensified sound that loops the earth every 24 hours at first light.
Streams come from a variety of locations, at a time of day when human sounds are relatively low, even in dense urban areas. This tends to open the sound field to a more diverse ecology than usual. The Reveil broadcast makes room by largely avoiding speech and music, gravitating to places where human and non human communities meet and soundworlds overlap.
Each stream brings something different to the loop.
REVEIL 10 goes back to its starting point, giving attention to live sounds of places as first light reaches them.