Field Notes – Hybrid Matters

A bi-annual arts & science field laboratory organised in one of the northernmost corners of Samiland, northern Finland.

This year’s edition brought together 40 artists and scientists from 15 countries to work on pre-selected themes. The field laboratory was organised by the Bio Arts Society at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station and I was a part of the Sonic Wild Code group, hosted by Antye Greie-Ripatti with Till Bovermann, Anja Erdmann, Kristina Lindström, Vygandas Simbelis, and Caspar Ström.

By planting themselves into the different raw landscapes of the sub-Arctic Kilpisjärvi our group investigated notions of coexistence, communication and interaction in a hybrid ecology. By listening to the land, communicating with the land, analyzing the code of what was heard, our group played with respectful forms of co-existence with the landscape itself.

Our methodology developed organically as each one of us tried to find his ‘sonic’ role within the group. Armed with an arsenal of small instruments, portable speakers, small synthesisers, live-coding environments, granulators, microphones, audio-transducers we decided to play in our immediate environment and record the artificial electronic sounds mixed in with the acoustic reflections and soundscape surrounding us.

The feedback, vocal improvisations, and grass playing caught the attention of the reindeers who looked on at us from above  bemused, perhaps amused, but nonetheless curious. We became a group : Sonic Wild Code.

Our chosen recording spots were very different. One a metal fence designed to prevent reindeer crossing became a huge instrument and sounding board. Here is a recording of this improvisation :

And a second improvisation within the lunar landscape of a field of stones.