Acoustic Ocean is a science fictional quest into an amphibian life world that is constituted by an assemblage of human, marine, machinic, organic, climatic and digital elements, which are all utterly interdependent. A techno-organic bond links this aquanaut with her body with the sensorial instruments and the sonic environment of the vast multiplicity of sea creatures she is exploring. In this scientific array, any form of critical distance between the scientist, her research subject and the instruments, is absent. They have all grown together. The hydrophones laid out like tentacles over the dark rocks, taking on characteristics of deep-sea creatures. This feminist posthuman figuration suggests a porosity, permeability and connectivity of the human body with regards to water and the many life forms it sustains and ingests (Astrida Neimanis).
About the installation: In the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway, Acoustic Ocean intends to explore the sound ecology of maritime life. A Sami dive-biologist (indigenous people from northern Scandinavia) uses all kinds of hydrophones, satellite dishes and recording devices. His task is to probe the underwater space for sounds and other forms of biological expression. For the living beings that populate the high seas, a fluid universe plunged in the darkness, the sound manifestations represent the main means of communication, navigation and survival.
Acoustic Ocean has been commissioned by the Atlantic Project After the Future – in the wake of utopian imaginaries in Plymouth (UK) curated by Tom Trevor. It was shown before in Eco-Visionaires at the House of Electronic Arts in Basel; in Zeitspuren – The Power of Now, Pasquart, Biel; in Propositions, Helmhaus Zurich; in After the Future – in the wake of utopian imaginaries, Plymouth; Between Bodies at Henry Art Gallery der University of Washington in Seattle; Post-Nature: An Exhibition as an Ecosystem, the Biennale in Taipei.
Ursula Biemann is an artist, writer and video essayist based in Zurich. She is studying the impact of increased mobility of people, resources and information on global relationships. At the beginning of her artistic and curatorial work, she made space and mobility her main categories of analysis, for example in her widely presented art and research project Sahara Chronicle (2006-2009) which deals with illegal migration networks. More recently, she has focused on ecology, oil, and water in major art projects including Black Sea Files (2005), Egyptian Chemistry (2012), and Deep Weather (2013). His video installations have been showcased throughout the world in museums and at international art biennials in Liverpool, Sharjah, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Seville, Istanbul and Venice. She is a founding member of the World of Matter Collaborative Arts and Media Project.
Ursula Biemann holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York and followed the Whitney Independent Study Program (1988). The Swedish University of Umea has awarded him an honorary doctorate. She also received the 2009 Grand Prix of Art / Meret Oppenheim Prize.
The project has been supported by a generous grant of Pro Helvetia Swiss Council for the Arts.
Acoustic Ocean The CUBE at TLH Théâtre les Halles