Art’s Birthday 2022: Bilder från Nysund / New Sound Images

art, curating, painting, recent work, time-out

Art’s Birthday 2022: Bilder från Nysund / New Sound Images in Gnesta’s Old Watertower

Finally, let’s celebrate! The doors of the Watertower are open; inside, guests are welcomed by an installation of light and ice, glass and water. The green octave paintings – modest in size – are on display along one of the walls. Upon the next three sides of the tower, the pictures transfigure into light projections, opening up to an imaginary summer day.

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the Green Octave, projections by Johannes Ferm Winkler

For myself, this is a process equally wondrous and interesting; from the beginning, years ago, where I take a walk immersed in the light and sounds of the surroundings; next, converting my impressions to a small-sized painting; leading up to this joint venture, where the landscape re-emerges by technical means… or, sprung from the inner nature of human minds. The space floating with light and sound… the landscape transcended.

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On Monday, January 17, the Art’s Birthday network* will support a webradio streaming, where 25+ art spaces around the globe – from Tokyo to Vancouver – will share photo and audio streams in an interactive mesh.

Above: Fold a Hat outside the Watertower, Gnesta 2022; photos by Johanna Dahl and HHW.
Below: Robert Filliou, Rome 1972; photo by Joaquín Romero

filliou

* About Art’s Birthday worldwide: the event was first proposed in 1963 by French artist Robert Filliou, as a public holiday to celebrate the presence of art in our lives. In recent years, the idea has been taken up by a loose network of artists and friends around the world, welcoming new partners working with the ideas of exchange and telecommunications-art. Since 1963, Art’s Birthday has generated parties and gatherings, correspondence and mailart, sound and video art, music composed for telephone lines, radio and (starting in the mid 1990’s) for the Internet – and, following Fillou’s example, the folding of paper hats.

Bilder från Nysund / New Sound Images IV

art, recent work, time-out, upcoming

One last day of preparations in the Watertower; installing and trying out sound equipment, mounting paintings, making shutters…

…and attaching them to windows, to keep daylight out; plotting projections, and mending the net of a sinker…

Quiet talking, electronically generated songs of light; sounds of wind and voices, bells and flutes floating within the tower. Tomorrow, Sunday January 16th, we’ll be ready to celebrate with you!

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Appearing on photos: Johannes Ferm Winkler together with Ljudtornet members Tomas Björkdal, Erik Peters, Patrick Dallard, Johanna Dahl, Julia Adzuki, Karin Lindström Kolterud; all photos by HHW.

Bilder från Nysund / New Sound Images III

art, curating, recent work, time-out, upcoming

Ljudtornet preparing for Art’s Birthday in the Watertower; testing new projectors, piloted by Johannes Ferm Winkler in the most gracious way. A setup is forming…

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At the same time, in other places: celebrations of Art and of the waters at Nysund are evolving. Sound art, installations and music by Erik Peters, Karin Lindström Kolterud, Tomas Björkdal, Johanna Dahl, Rolf Schuurmans, Patrick Dallard and Julia Adzuki will all flow together here in the next couple of days. Welcome to the Old Watertower in Gnesta on Sunday! Or listen worldwide via Art’s Birthday network on Monday.

IMG_0236(all photos by HHW.)

New Sound Images / Bilder från Nysund I

art, beauty, upcoming

So, once more Ljudtornet / Soundtower will celebrate Art’s Birthday in January in the old Watertower of Gnesta; partly a live performance, partly a webradio event, where some of my works will be rendered into sound art, music and projections. A first gathering and planning already happened, with Tomas Björkdal of Ljudtornet and Johannes Ferm Winkler graciously joining playfulness and professionality. Next step will be taken in a few days… 

Planning session in the Watertower, photo HHW.

the green octave, May 2012

Two series of diary paintings from the Nysund bridge were selected: the Green Octave (2012), and the Pentatonic Scale (2019); all of them sized ca 20 x 41 cms, oil paint on wood panel.

191211x5a pentatonic scale, November 2019; 20 x 40,5 cms each

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The live event New Sound Images / Bilder från Nysund will take place in the old Watertower of Gnesta, on Sunday, January 16th at 14-17.
Map and contacts here:
https://ljudtornet.org/om-about

The web radio streaming – Soundtower on the Bridge – will happen on Art’s Birthday, January 17th 2022 through the Art’s Birthday network:
https://www.artsbirthday.net

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Progress

art, beauty, upcoming


I’ve long ago lost count of how many times I’ve strolled around this little lake. Some of the walks ended in the studio, and were transformed into diary paintings; recordings of light and colour. Last month, I took the same walk – as always, staying a while on the crossing between the two lakes; listening and recording. Afterwards, I opened the I Ching – the Book of Changes. It then gave me the image of Lake over Earth, also known as Gathering Together. This was on point, really, since Ljudtornet/ Soundtower had just invited me to a collaboration for Art’s Birthday in January… Even more heartening, the Book of Changes suggested the gathering would transform into Fire over Earth – signifying Progress.

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Approaching the lakes

Yesterday, I took that walk around the lake once more. Sun was low even in midday, on this day between a full moon and the winter solstice. I met a friend from long ago. A chilly northern wind swept over the lakes. No birds were to be seen…

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Nysund bridge

…but another day – back in the 1950’s – a man went out here to collect bird sounds with his tape recorder. When playing the tape afterwards, he heard not only birdsong, but also awkward sounds like distant human voices. He believed these strange recordings to be messages from the deceased, and committed the rest of his life to explore them. The man lived right beyond this bridge, and must have crossed it many times. His name was Friedrich Jürgenson.

Here and now, I just rejoice in being. In the upcoming Art’s Birthday celebration, some of the Nysund diary paintings will be transformed into sound art and light projections by my Ljudtornet colleagues – I’m deeply honoured, and very happy.

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Walking & Streaming World Listening Day

art, recent work, time-out

Walking with waters, celebrating World Listening Day on July 18th: beginning in a shared moment of stillness, under a circle of birch trees by the grassy shore of lake Frösjön; then following lazy ripples downstream as the lake turns into a rivulet; silently strolling along a row of houses and gardens basking in summer light; soon afterwards passing by the municipal sewage treatment plant (while hiding our noses in little bouquets of fragrant herbs); the wetland broadening into rustling reeds interlaced by the sound of crickets, and islands of clouds floating over our heads…

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After a break for small talk and lunch, we proceed – as does the ever-streaming water, now brimming over a threshold, of sorts, and running faster; a rapid; for us, a pause; dipping our feet and our sinkable mics into the cool fresh whirls; we collect some pebbles and stones before taking leave of the riverbank to cross the highway; turning onto a dry dusty dirt road under the sun; the long grasses stirred by a badger, quickly disappearing; a wind in the leaves blending with distant traffic sounds, and the forest closing in on us; finally, we arrive at the hidden cold spring pouring out from under a rock… A woman is already there, to collect her water for the week to come. She offers us to have our waterbottles filled up first. Meanwhile, we play rhythms with the stones we’ve brought.

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Who are we? Julia Adzuki, Patrick Dallard and myself represent the Ljudtornet/Soundtower group, and our artist colleague and friend Lisa Jeannin is joining in for a while too. Invited guests and collaborators for World Listening Day are violinist/composer Katt Hernandez, composer/performer Erik Peters and dancer/choreographer Sindri Runudde… This field recording event is also an opener for sound/art festival ANTENN 2020.

ANTENN 2020 affisch

All filled to the brim, we return to the old watertower. Together with a kulning/herding call recorded by our absent colleague Karin Lindström Kolterud, the sounds collected from today’s water walk are organized to form a loop for streaming over web radio this very evening. Just like on January 17th, the Art’s Birthday website provides the technical platform, along with a thematical frame: The Collective Field. Ljudtornet is taking part together with a number of art initiatives – scattered over three continents – and the audience will be able to create their live soundscape from all contributors.

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Julia checks the settings once more, as Patrick gently plays a water-filled Mexican ocarina and Erik listens attentively. At 7 pm, the Art’s Birthday mesh is up and running, broadcasting from Tblisi, Vienna, Gnesta, Chicago, Vancouver… We’re on air! The loop is streaming and Sindri begins to dance. Katt brings out her violin to improvise a duet with the crickets she recorded in the reeds earlier… It’s dark inside the tower. Suddenly, the camera obscura phenomenon occurs – an image projected upside-down through a tiny hole in the wall: the evening sun, surrounded by flickering leaves, accompanies the performance.

Art’s Birthday 2020@Watertower

art, recent work, time-out

Conceived in 1963 by Fluxus artist Robert Filliou, Art’s Birthday is celebrated around the world on January 17th. This year, Ljudtornet decided to join in – adding Gnesta to the motley sequence of live-streamed and broadcasted performances and happenings taking place from Tokyo to Vancouver via a number of places; Tblisi, Helsinki, Kaunas, Chotěboř, Freiburg, Gent, Villefranche-sur-Mer, London, Swansea, Brooklyn, Edmonton…

arts birthday @ watertower

As darkness fell, the old watertower of Gnesta once more resonated with sound and light; a follow-up on sound/art festival ANTENN 2019. This time, acute sorrow was also present as bushfires raged in Australia; we decided the event be done in benefit for bushfire relief (scroll down for links).

The Art’s Birthday programme included stunning vocal performances and viola played by Anka Draugelates, as well as voice improvisations together with Karin Lindström Kolterud; Julia Adzuki presented a preview from Styx Lament – a project recently realized in the Tasmanian rainforest of Styx Valley, documented by Tomas Björkdal. Patrick Dallard of SymbioLab and I framed the performances with a light and sound installation… Even with the tower unheated, a gracious audience warmed up the space with attentive listening – and finally followed Anka Draugelates in a joyful, improvised chorus circle.

Full-time live documentation:
Art’s Birthday Bushfire Relief Concert (1): Patrick Dallard DJ’ing with dripping water & steam…
Art’s Birthday Bushfire Relief Concert (2): Anka Draugelates playing and singing in response to Watertower; Anka Draugelates and Karin Lindström Kolterud performing Swedish folk song Limu limu lima (0:04:33); Julia Adzuki presenting the Styx Lament project (0:15:00); Anka and Karin voice improvisation (1:00:00); Anka Draugelates solo (1:05:43); joyful closing circle song (1:15:09)

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Art’s Birthday Festive Water Buffet / Helena Hildur W.

For donations to bushfire relief funds:
WIRES Wildlife Rescue
Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities

Joaquin Romero, Robert Filliou 1972
Robert Filliou in 1972 (photo: Joaquin Romero)