Jacob Kirkegaard

a i o n
This work aims to unfold four abandoned spaces inside the Zone of Exclusion in Chernobyl, Ukraine. It deals with a sonic and visual experience of time, absence, and change - in an area haunted by an invisible and inaudible danger, amidst the slowly decaying remains of human civilization.

S I L E N C E , u n f o l d i n g i n s p a c e
The sound of each room was evoked by an elaborate method: in each room, Kirkegaard made a recording 10 minutes and then played the recording back into the room, recording it again. This process was repeated up to ten times. As the layers got denser, each room slowly began to unfold a drone with various overtones.

From a technical point of view, Kirkegaard's "sonic time layering" refers back to Alvin Lucier's work "I am sitting in a room" [1970]. Lucier recorded his voice in a space and repeatedly played this recording back into that same space. In Kirkegaard's work, however, no voice is being projected into the rooms: during the recordings he left the four spaces to wait for whatever might evolve from the silence.

For the visual representation, two of the four rooms employ a recording technique parallel to the sonic layering. A video camera was placed on one particular spot in the space and it recorded non-stop from there. This recording was then projected and recorded with another camera time and time again. In this process, some of the rooms turned darker, others turned brighter – they reveal themselves on the screen, they dissolve into white light or they disappear into darkness. For the two other rooms video feedback was used to under- and overexpose the image.

This work was created by Jacob Kirkegaard.
All sound and video was recorded in Chernobyl in October 2005.
My warmest thanks to: Sarah Kirkegaard, Rimma Kiselitsa (In memoriam),
Kotra, “Verein der Freunde der Kunsthochschule fuer Medien Koeln” and The
Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.
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Jacob Kirkegaard (Denmark/Germany). Born in Denmark in 1975. Lives in Germany. Investigates sonic membranes and discrete interference occurring in different environments. Graduated from the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne Germany, Kirkegaard has lectured on archaeological and spatial aspects of sound at the Academy of Architecture in Copenhagen. His works include live performances, film music, installations and compositions - 'Soaked', a collaboration with Philip Jeck (Touch, 2002), '01.02' (Bottrop-boy) and 'Eldfjall' (Touch, 2005). In his latest work for Touch, '4 Rooms' (2006), Kirkegaard explores the sonic legacy of Chernobyl. Jacob Kirkegaard has been presented at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Denmark, KIASMA art museum in Finland, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Gallery Rachel Haferkamp and at the Transmediale in Germany. He is also a member of freq_out.

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