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Hljóðheimur Fossvogs | Soundscape of Fossvogur


Verkið Hljóðheimur Fossvogs birtir hljóðheim Fossvogsdals með rekavið sem var safnað á ströndum Hrútafjarðar og Djúpavíkur. Með því að nota rekavið er leitast við að blása nýju lífi í efni sem er til staðar án þess að hafa skýran tilgang.

Höfundaverksins eru:

Michal Machciník myndhöggvari (Slóvakía)

Matyáš Barák, hönnuður (Tékkland)

Linde Hanna Rongen, dansari (Ísland/Holland)

Chiara Lusso, mannfræðingur (Ítalía)

RE-USE er evrópskt samstarfsverkefni sem snýr að tengslum myndlistar og náttúru. Löndin sem eru samstarfsaðilar verkefnisins eru Ísland, Ítalía, Slóvakía og Tékkland. Tilgangur verkefnisins er fyrst og fremst að kanna mörkin á milli myndlistar og náttúru með tímabundnum útilistaverkum. Haldið var opið kall þar sem listamönnum, náttúrufræðingum, mannfræðingum, sýningarstjórum og fræðimönnum var boðin þátttaka og í kjölfarið var haldin stór ráðstefna í Prag þar sem samkeppni fór fram og valdar voru þrjár tillögur sem settar eru upp í Kópavogi, Feneyjum og Usti nad Orlici í Tékklandi.


Soundscape of Fossvogur is a temporary outdoor sculpture which creates a dialogue between art and nature. The outdoor work is a product of RE-USE a European collaborative project between Iceland, Italy, Slovakia and the Czech Republic that examines the role of art creation in the context of sustainable behaviour.

The artwork represents the sound of Fossvogsdalur through ecologically collected driftwood from beaches in Hrútafjörður and Djúpavík, giving new life to material that exists without a given purpose.

The shape of the artwork echoes the soundscape of Fossvogur valley. The shape of the driftwood sculpture imitates sound recordings from the location. The work also creates a visual dialogue between the shape of the valley and the meeting point between nature and man made structures in the area.

Creators of Soundscape of Fossvogur:

Michal Machciník sculptor

Matyáš Barák designer

Linde Hanna Rongen dancer

Chiara Lusso anthropologist

Outdoor works that test the relationship between art and nature

Soundscape of Fossvogur is created as part of RE-USE a European collaborative project between Iceland, Italy, Slovakia and the Czech Republic that examines the role of art creation in the context of sustainable behaviour.

RE-USE is lead by Sculpture Line in Czech Republic, Areacreativa42 in Italy, Jan Koniarek Gallery in Slovakia in collaboration with Gerðarsafn and The Natural History Museum in Kopavogur in Iceland. The purpose of the project is primarily to explore the boundaries between art and nature through temporary outdoor artworks. An open call was held where artists, naturalists, anthropologists, curators and scholars were invited to participate, and as a result a large conference was held in Prague where a competition took place and three proposals were chosen to be installed in Kópavogur, Venice and Usti nad Orlici in Czech Republic. RE-USE is cofounded by Creative Europe Program.

The project RE-USE combines the aspects of sustainable art creation with the characteristics of the location where the artwork is installed. The aim is to raise awareness about the issue of sustainability and climate change through art creation. Besides Iceland, two other artworks have been created, one in Italy (Venice) and one in Czechia (Usti nad Orlici). All three artworks are linked by the themes of textile production, environment and the impact of climate change.

Sustainability through Soundscape of Fossvogur

The outdoor work Soundscape in Iceland is created through sustainable means and utilizes materials that would otherwise be discarded. The work is created from driftwood that is collected in the Westfjords and North of Iceland, material that is brought through currents from Siberia. The material has a historical connection to Iceland since driftwood has been used to build houses, fences, and structures. This material, transported through natural means, has been used to substitute for a need for wood for construction in a country with low trees and few forests. The work brings our attention to the relationship between people and the sea. Our need through the history of Iceland for the sea for livelihood, through fishing and in this remarkable example, through bringing in materials that are lacking.

The artwork brings our attention to the possibilities of materials that have historical meaning, but which is no longer used to a great extent. In our times, it is seen as more convenient to buy processed materials that are transported to the country rather than sourcing local and more sustainable materials. The location of Iceland means that transportation of materials is highly unsustainable through ships that travel long distances with following pollution.

The transportation of materials is upheld by our personal consumption, such as our approach, usage and discard of textiles. The production of clothing has almost doubled globally since the turn of the century and their lifespan is getting shorter. The average number of times that each garment is worn has shrunk by a quarter since the year 2000 with each item of clothing worn 150 times instead of 200 times before it ends in the trash. Each Icelander throws away around 11.5 kilos of textiles and shoes every year and only 40% of that is recycled. Most of this clothing is transported to the island with only a small percentage of it being locally sourced and created.

Driftwood is only one example of material that is naturally sourced and local in Iceland but which has potential for new usage for a sustainable future. Wool has been used in clothing in Iceland for centuries and still has the possibility of being utilized to a greater extent. Wool is not only natural but also a bi-product, which heightens the sustainable nature of the product. Fish skins are similarly a bi-product of the fishing industry, a material with great potential for clothing and medical usage, that has to be further developed.

Creativity is necessary for re-thinking and re-imagining our approach to local materials and sustainable living. Through the minds of artists and designers we can see new possibilities and new ways of living in closer accord to nature and our surroundings.

The local connections of Soundscape of Fossvogur

The trans-disciplinary teams created suggestions for outdoor sculptures with local materials in mind and that take into account the historical and site specific relevance of each location.

In Iceland two themes were held in mind. The first theme of „People and the ocean“ that took into account the impact of climate change on the Icelandic environment. The second theme was „Nature and art“ that recides on the boarder of transdisciplinary approaches towards artistic and research practice.

The artwork was created through driftwood, a material that has great local meaning as well as a global connection. Driftwood as material that travels from Siberia to the shores of Iceland by means of ocean currents and carried largly by icebergs on the way across the Atlantic sea. Due to the glaciers melting the possibility of driftwood arriving to Iceland is getting lower. Driftwood in not only a material that was previously used to build structures in a country with few forests and low trees. Driftwood also tells us an important story of the history of the climate and nature in the area where the tree was. A driftwood log can tell us not only the age of the tree but also the temperature of the years and the carbon the tree binded.

Soundscape of Fossvogur does therefore not only show the possibilities of creating artworks in dialogue with natural science but also becomes a way to understand nature in a new way.

Fossvogur Linde Hanne Rongen, one of the creators of the work  Soundscape I Dance performance

Linde Hanne Rongen, choreographer and one of the creators of Soundscape of Fossvogur, created a dance piece for the work that was performed during the opening of the work. The performance was by Linde along with Gabriel Marling Rideout and Rebekka Sól Þórarinsdóttir, dancers.

Photographs from the opening ceremonies and video on the production of the sculpture can be viewed below.

Read more about Soundscape of Fossvogur and see media on the work in the following link: https://menning.kopavogur.is/event/hljodheimur-fossvogs-erindi-og-gjorningur/

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