A K Dolven

echo echo

A K Dolven’s two-part acoustic intervention takes place in two different rooms, using the media of water and air. The works incorporate various aspects of her artistic practice: her focus on nature and on people, and her efforts not only to develop a more sensitive awareness of the world and its political and cultural conditions but also to integrate people and their experiences into her work. Dolven condenses experience into complex artistic statements.

sound outside
outside the window
11 märz 2015

Dolven has consciously made use of the Animal Sound Archive not as a collection of material but rather quite the opposite: She intensified her ongoing research (since 2011) in the sound of Arctic cod, by organizing a sound expedition to the Arctic Ocean, thus providing new archive material. Near her Norwegian home of Austnesfjord, situated at 68.2 degrees north, the artist and Karl-Heinz Frommolt, the archive’s curator, made underwater recordings of mating calls of the Northeast Arctic cod (Skrei) in its natural habitat. The result is an audio journey of discovery, with the short, abrupt humming noise of the fish muffled by the dense underwater sound environment: engines, propellers, fishing rods, and the water itself. This vibrant authentic sound has been installed in the wet collection where, by accompanying the exhibits brought back from previous expeditions and preserved in liquid, it changes our perspective on them.

The work (ca. 8 min.) can be heard every 20 minutes past the hour in the wet collection.

Production: Produktion: A K Dolven, Karl-Heinz Frommolt

sound outside
outside the window
20 april 2015

A K Dolven spent several days with the exhibits amassed from three centuries of collecting in the museum’s Hall of Birds, which is not generally open to the public. The aura of so many birds, forever silenced in archaic glass vitrines, blends with the voices of the staff relating their experiences. Dolven turned this into a prose poem featuring a number of different elements and voices including a narrative on the historic collection hall, which has survived two world wars and various political systems almost unchanged. The sound poem takes the form of a collage spoken by ten voices representing ten different age groups and telling ten different stories. Employing various levels of space, time, and reality and oscillating between a human and a bird perspective, it tells of moments of transition, migration, uprooting, and uncertainty – and of recreating oneself in the Now.

Sound performance only with guided tours (max. 15 people): Tue–Fri: 3:00/3:45 pm, Sat/Sun: 1:00/2:00/3:00 pm, Registration and meeting point at the ticket desk.

Curator for sound art: Gaby Hartel

The work was produced in cooperation with Deutschlandradio Kultur:

Voices: Jule Böwe, Patrick Güldenberg, Irm Hermann, Janusz Kocaj, Cristin König, Bettina Kurth, Shaun Lawton, Klaus Manchen, Friedhelm Ptok, Tatja Seibt
Directors: A K Dolven, Gaby Hartel
Assistant: Anna Seibt, Sound and technology: Hermann Leppich, Susanne Beyer


A K Dolven
© A K Dolven

Cod -
art and cable clutter

Fishsongs from the depths of the fjord

When A K Dolven was doing the background research for a sound installation about fish in the wet collection of the museum, she suggested not just working with existing sound recordings, but actually capturing the sounds of cod spawning in the wild. And so we organized a small joint expedition to her home region, the Lofoten archipelago.

This was new territory for everyone involved – starting with the technical challenge of making sound recordings in the open sea at a depth of 50 metres, not to mention the unusual background noise. Although the hydrophone cable got tangled up several times, we managed to produce some great recordings of the fish grunting and clicking. These authentic fish sounds have proved a valuable addition to the Animal Sound Archive; from 27 August onwards the intervention can also be heard online via our database.

Karl-Heinz Frommolt is head of the Animal Sound Archive at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Cod - </br> art and cable clutter
© Museum für Naturkunde / Anita Hermannstädter