ART'S NEW NATURES
Jana Winderen (2014). Krísuvik, Iceland. Photo: Finnbogi Petursson
Jana Winderen is an artist who currently lives and works in Norway. Her practice pays particular attention to audio environments and to creatures which are hard for humans to access, both physically and aurally – deep under water, inside ice or in frequency ranges inaudible to the human ear. Her activities include site-specific and spatial audio installations and concerts, which have been exhibited and performed internationally in major institutions and public spaces.
Jana Winderen, "SURGE" (2020)
The spruce tree which Jana recorded for ’Surge' on 16th March 2020 was planted before the First World War in 1907 by her great grandfather on the family farm, which he took over from his parents in that year.
During the Second World War, her grandfather, who was born in 1910, joined the resistance and had to escape to Sweden with his wife, sending the twins (aged 4) to the farm. They were told to leave with 30 minutes notice, warned with a coded message from another resistance member. They walked to a nearby house of friends where they slept on beds made from two chairs. In the middle of the night they were awoken and taken to a nearby farm. At the time, the twins, Jana’s mother and aunt, were sick with a bad cough. Her mother remembers hiding under a bed, with her own mother holding her mouth shut, so not to be heard by the soldiers patrolling outside.
They were taken to the train station by horse and cart without their mother (who went to join their father and they then fled through the forest over the border into neutral Sweden). Accompanied by their babysitter, the twins took the train to Hamar and then to the family farm, in the late summer of 1943.
They remained there until the end of the war. Parcels were sent from Sweden to the children and grandparents, with food, toys and other supplies. Not all arrived. Some of the toys, including two dolls, are still there in the house.
In 1939 a maple tree self-seeded there, and grew ‘looking' at the spruce tree, creating a space of safety and calm in the centre of the farm. Around that time, Jana’s mother was born, and the tree grew with her and became what Norwegians call “Tun Tre”, or the main central tree on the farm. The trees are guardians and also witnesses to generational change and historical events. A crow family has been nesting there for as long as Jana can remember.
Jana’s grandfather planted five more spruce trees when Jana moved there at the age of 7. Her daughters also have trees the same age - four plantings for 5 generations, creating a ‘Tun’, a place of safety.
She is currently living on the farm with her mother and daughters during the period of isolation.
from "Touch: Isolation" released June 11, 2020
Mastered by Denis Blackham, 30th March 2020
Photography and design by Jon Wozencroft
"Surge" (2020) is included in the "Touch: Isolation" collection of music produced by Touch, London, to support musicians unable to perform live during the pandemic.
Jana Winderen, "OUT OF RANGE" (2014)
"Out of Range" is an audio work based on ultrasound and echolocation used by bats, dolphins and other creatures who operate beyond the range of human hearing - 'seeing' with sound, or perhaps 'hearing' objects.
All sound is invisible; ultrasound is inaudible. Of course, many species have a greater range of hearing than us humans and also more specific and specialised with complex combinations of the different senses… Creatures on both land and under water produce and/or perceive very high sound frequencies. Some species of insects, birds, fish, and mammals can emit and hear ultrasound, used for communications, hunting and orientation. These creatures operate on a different level of perception to us, in an inaudible range above 20kHz...
Many animals also use the acoustic properties of a space; a bat for example can use the echo from a tower block wall to amplify their calls for mates in the autumn; a toadfish uses the shape of a cave to amplify their calls to protect their habitat. Whales use the different acoustic properties at different depths in the ocean at different pressure levels to send their long distance calls. An astonishing fact about moths is that they have a reflex action with their wings to shut down when they hear the bat echolocation calls… That we reckon that this is so astonishing says something about us….
The mix for the piece is based on ultrasound, hydrophone recordings below the water and also of echolocation sound within audible range. The recordings were made in various locations in Central Park and East River in New York, USA, a forest outside Kaliningrad in Russia, Regents Park in London, UK, and various locations in Madeira, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The ultrasound is time-stretched to bring it into a frequency range audible for human beings.
released April 6, 2014
Recordings were made on a Pettersson Ultrasound Detector D1000X, Reson 4032 and DPA 8011 hydrophones and 4060 dpa microphones onto a Sound Devices 477T hard disk recorder.
The photographs mirror "the audible range" through a contrast between gateways, portals and sight lines, set against situations where the camera eye cannot make sense of the optical event it is confronted with.
From left to right: Jana Winderen recording fish with hydrophones in Chana, Songklah (2019). Photo by Palin Ansusinha; Jana Winderen (2014) in Krísuvik, Iceland. Photo by Finnbogi Petursson; Jana Winderen recording underwater insects with hydrophones in the lake Mjøsa (2018). Photo by Lena Winderen