Video

Acoustic Ocean

Ursula Biemann

2018, 18:00 minutes, colour, English with English Subtitles

TAPECODE 656.11

Grounded in a research-based practice, Ursula Biemann creates video essays and texts that address the interconnection of politics and the environment across local, global, and planetary contexts. In her most recent work, Acoustic Ocean, Biemann combines scientific, personal, and phenomenological narrative in an exploration of oceanic depths and interspecies relations above and below the waterline of the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway. The female aquanaut and human protagonist of this semi-fictional narrative places sensing instruments such as hydrophones and parabolic microphones along the shore in search of communication and connection with beings that inhabit the depths below. This watery world holds memories of evolution that span time scales, and also swirl with the possibility of dissolution. Microscopic creatures, for example, with bodies porous and vulnerable to the increasing acidification of their habitat, foretell of an unknown future existence. The narrative takes on a personal dimension when the aquanaut, performed by singer and environmental activist Sofia Jannok, recounts the uneven effects of a shifting climate on the indigenous Sami community of which she is part, and the reindeer on which their economic and cultural sovereignty rely.  

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