Within this project, I want to continue the exploration of audio and visual aspects of mining (which started with unearthed in 2013, a USB release through Dark Ecology/Sonic Acts, and continued with some further research into coal): I am fascinated how such an extremely old technology rooted in pre-historic times, still provides a majority of the resources for our high tech society. The project will focus on the audio dimensions of contemporary mining techniques, rare earth mineral mining, and explore soundscapes of off-earth asteroid mining. I am interested in the global nature of mining for various reasons, ranging from a fascination with deep time (geological and evolutionary processes occur on profoundly different timescale than those we deal with in our daily lives) to the Anthropogenic Now – the concepts of controlling and re-shaping the Earth through mining have major environmental consequences which will be evident far into the Deep Future. Conceptually ORE is inspired by established indigenous (monumental) art, and makes use of earth resources and minerals (Egyptian, Inka, Aztec, Druid, Indian), as well as the work of contemporary Earthworks artists (Walter de Maria, Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, James Turrell). In both cases, soil, landscape and Earth serve as a canvas: blocks of rock can be shaped into a new meaning and tell stories, or a piece of land can be transformed into an artwork. This concept can be translated into the auditory realm, where the sound of the landscape, the sound of our (ab)use (i.e., mining) of the Earth and of materials such as minerals, rocks and soil will form the acoustic ‘canvas’ re-enacted through a sound system in a neutral space. Acousmatic listening, which is the opposite of direct listening where we have the ‘natural’ situation, and where sound sources can be visually detected, changes the way we hear. ORE will invite the audience to stretch their perception of how we relate to sound; with regards to the erosion of sound, rhythm and musicality within objects, architecture and even the landscape – as John Cage once said ‘everything we do is music’. The acousmatic experience opens up a new way of listening and helps the listener to discover the path from the sound to the musical.
Sunday 27 May 2018, 13.00 – 19.00 at Extrapool, Nijmegen (NL)
a durational live performance by BJ Nilsen
Voluntary entrance fee
ORE explores the audio aspect of mining, stemming from the fascination of how such an old technology – rooted in pre-historic
times – still provides a majority of the resources for our high tech society. ORE is inspired by indigenous monumental art as well as contemporary Earthworks. In both cases, soil, landscape and Earth serve as a canvas: blocks of rock can be shaped into new meanings and tell stories.
The six hour live performance takes you onto a journey from deep time onto the present and into the future, using electronics and field recordings originating from former and current mining sites in IJmuiden and Heerlen, Kirkenes (NO), Murmansk (RU) and Most (CZ).
5’59” (loop)Source material:Coal trains, Murmansk Railway Station, 29.11.2015Coal house Kirkenes, 10.03.2018Installation for KullbingenOpen on 12 March, 17:00-18:00 hrsWith thanks to the Creative Industry Fund NLThe Coal House at Le Maires vei 1, Kirkenes will open its doors for the very first time on Monday 12 March 2018 at 17:00 hrs premiering the sound installation Уголь.Kullbingen is open on Monday 12 March from 17:00-18:00 hrs.
Artist talk at Terminal B
Dr Wessels gate 14
BJ Nilsen is currently in Sør-Varanger to research and gather material for his ORE project, which started off with an interest in the audio realm of mining, rooted in the fascination of how such an extremely old technology rooted in pre-historic times still provides a majority of the resources for our high tech society. ORE is conceptually inspired by indigenous (monumental) art as well as contemporary Earthworks. In both cases, soil, landscape and Earth serve as a canvas: blocks of rock can be shaped into new meanings and tell stories. In the auditory realm, the sound of the landscape, the sound of the use of land and the exploitation of minerals, rocks and soil form the acoustic ‘canvas’ re-enacted through a sound system.
In conversation with curator Hilde Methi, BJ Nilsen will give a work-in-progress insight into his work, and talk about using sound as research methodology.
With thanks to the Creative Industry Fund NL, Sonic Acts, de Player & Extrapool.