Saturday, 1 March 2014

Jana Winderen

image from -

Jana Winderen is a contemporary artist who works with sound. She has a background 
in mathematics, chemistry and ecology as well as a degree in fine arts from the
 Goldsmith College in London.  Through out her life she has been fascinated by the
 ocean and the creatures that live with in it, along side this she also takes particular notice 
of human interaction with the ocean and the mostly negative effects we have on it.

Initially Winderen had intended on becoming a marine biologist, she was concerned 
with the toll human life was taking on the world oceans. She later decided to express 
this concern through art.  Instead of making traditional art that tended to be an object 
of some sort Winderen decided to make art that didn’t occupy physical space, as she 
believed it would one day end up adding to landfills.

Winderen uses a wide range of technology such as hydrophones and ultra sound detectors
to capture the sounds she discovers.  As an artist Winderen aims to expose the sounds
of ‘places and creatures difficult to access’, she seeks to highlight the inaudible sounds 
that many of us would otherwise never experience.  To discover these sounds Winderen does 
a lot of research and travel to various countries and often takes sounds from deep in the ocean,  
ice crevices and glaciers.

Images of how Winderen captures sound

Ultrafield is a ambisonic installation recorded for  MOMA during 2013. Recordings 
for this project took place in variety of different countries such as: Russia, Istanbul, 
England, Portugal, Norway and many others.  The recording is made up of many layers 
of sounds that weave together to create a sort of surreal sound scape that’s 
reminiscent of what you might hear in a rain forest but in other ways it sounds completely 
unlike anything I have heard before.

While listening to Ultrasound I noticed that while listening I mainly focused on the more 
obvious sounds that were clear and easy to make out, it wasn’t until I paused the recording 
that I realised how many layers of sound I was actually listening to*. Some of the sound 
that can be heard are: water insects, crackling/melting of ice-sheets, ambient sound from 
an inlet as well as many others.

* When developing my own sound art, pauses could be added to the performance to contrast and further emphasise the sounds created.

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