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Exhibition: ‘Acoustic Ocean’ by Ursula Biemann at Swiss Cultural Centre Paris

Text by CLOT Magazine

Acoustic Ocean film still, Ursula Biemann (2018)

The Swiss Cultural Center in Paris is presenting Acoustic Ocean, by Ursula Biemann, an expedition to Antarctica’s oceans depth in the quest for interspecies communication in the forms of science-fictional poetry. Ursula Biemann is an artist, author, and video essayist. Her artistic practice is strongly research-oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations where she investigates climate change and the ecologies of oil, ice and water. She works the findings into multi-layered videos by connecting the micropolitics on the ground with a theoretical macro level, proposing a reflexive exploration of planetary and videographic organization. 

Biemann’s pluralistic practice spans a range of media, including experimental video, interview, text, photography, cartography and materials, which converge in highly formalized spatial installations. The artist interweaves vast cinematic landscapes in her videos with documentary footage, SF poetry and academic findings to narrate a changing planetary reality. Her work also adopts the form of publications, lectures, and curatorial, and collaborative research projects. 

Acoustic Ocean is a semi-fictional account of an expedition to the depths of the Arctic Ocean in search of interspecies communication. Sami activist and singer Sofia Jannok plays an aquanaut trying to capture the sounds of animals and microorganisms and a memory of water teeming with life fuses with the prospect of an uncertain climate future.

Filmed in the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway, Acoustic Ocean is a quest propelled by assembling perfectly interdependent human, marine, mechanical, organic, climatic, and digital elements. This posthuman and feminist figuration suggests a porosity and connectivity of the human body with regard to water and the many life forms it sustains.

The exhibition opened to the public on 23 February 2020 and will run until 12 April 2020.

(Media courtesy of CCS)
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