counter/knowledge at MORE WORLD conference

Kat’s work has been featured by Berliner Gazette as one of their Impulses for their 20th Anniversary MORE WORLD feature, which explores the role of collectivity in addressing climate change.

At the MORE WORLD conference this October, Kat will participate in and feature a short performance from The Matter of the Soul, for the COUNTER/KNOWLEDGE track.

Kat will perform one movement from The Matter of the Soul at the Berliner Gazette 20th Anniversary Gala Evening on the 12th October, performance starts at 20:30. Attendance of the performance is free and independent of attending the conference.

10th – 12th October 2019
Center for Arts and Urbanistics (ZK/U)
Berlin, Germany

Registration is open until 1st September 2019.

Flow Over Water Borders at Staatsoper, Berlin

Intervening with Panke River water

Flow Over Water Borders
Sound Installation

14th and 15th June 2019
Junge Staatsoper
Berlin

How does the water change when people act upon it? 

How do we personally change when we interact with other people?

We all have borders. Learning how to navigate them is important. Wether we are overcoming personal hurdles or opening up to others, the process creates changes in both ourselves and others.

“Flow Over Water Borders” at the Staatsoper Berlin, explores the parallel between urban life for young people and the changes occurring in water as it passes through the city. The sound installation explores the meaning of boundaries, the fluid nature of the self and the eternal navigation of the individual as part of society.

Audio recordings were created with class 7c during a co-creation workshop investigating the Panke River in Berlin Wedding as part of the project “DIY Hack the Panke” (Art Laboratory Berlin). Recordings were taken using special instruments developed by the artist, Kat Austen, which generate sounds from the measurement of chemical properties of water.

Part of Wasserklang Orchester.

NB: Entry to the exhibition is only available to Theatre ticket holders.

First remix: Conductivity samples used by London composer

London-based composer John Morrison has used the conductivity meter sound recordings from The Matter of the Soul, available on Github under CC-BY-SA 4.0 license, as inspiration for his beautiful piece The Realities We Play. You can hear the characteristic rise and fall of the instrument throughout this haunting work, and most clearly at the very end.

This is the first time to my knowledge that the samples have been reused by another musician, an important step in the morphing and dispersal of The Matter of the Soul’s online identity, central to the work.

Première: The Matter of the Soul | Concentration

Performance at Spektrum, Berlin on Saturday 3rd March 2018
During Alien Organs, part of the Sonic Vibrations series, curated by Alfredo Ciannameo

Oceans are drastically changing. Seawater is less salty, and is becoming more acidic. The crisis in our seas is intrinsically linked to humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels. We release carbon dioxide into the air, causing temperatures to rise and ice to melt, we use them to make plastics, and we burn them to move ourselves around.

Two of my works specifically addressing these issues were shown at Spektrum, Berlin earlier this month when I debuted Concentration the first performance from my Arctic project, The Matter of the Soul, next to the Coral Empathy Device.

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The performance,The Matter of the Soul | concentration, with live video from Hiroshi Matoba, is a sonic exploration of acid crystal immersion. By controlling acidity and salinity, scientific instruments scream their truths about the consequence of changing oceans.

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The Matter of the Soul is an ongoing work comprising musical performance and sculptural installation to engender empathy for dispersal and transformation in the Arctic region. During a residency on the ship the Akademik Sergei Vavilov, sailing through the Canadian High Arctic, I made field recordings of the acidity and salinity of Arctic waters using hacked pH and conductivity meters. I have used these recordings, along with my hydrophone field recordings, in a composition that accompanies a live performance where I play the hacked scientific musical instruments by manipulating their physical environment with acid, crystal alkaline and salts. Forthcoming artworks from The Matter of the Soul are a sculptural installation and a longer musical composition with live performance focussing specifically in three-parts on the process of dispersal and transformation in the Arctic.

The Coral Empathy Device was exhibited along with the performance. This artwork is an experiment in interspecies empathy, aiming to create a conversation between humans and corals under anthropogenic influence. It explores differences in the way we perceive the world, and translates between a coral’s physical experience in its native marine environment, making its experience understandable to a human in their native terrestrial environment. Worn over the head, the device is driven by hydrophone recordings from the marine environment and DIY chemistry investigations into microplastic pollution near Norwegian coral reefs.

 

Works created with support from:

Piksel Festival, NYU Shanghai Gallery, Programme for Creativity and Innovation NYU Shanghai, Mono Shop, Friends of SPRI, Bonhams, One Ocean Expeditions, Polar Museum, Chemistry Department, University College London, and Cultural Institute at University of Leeds

Performance supported by:

Musikfonds and Re-Imagine Europe