A concern for the planet’s ecosystems has led the Norwegian artist Jana Winderen to explore unknown soundscapes. Among other things, she has captured the sound of both Oslo’s rats and life underwater. Learn more about the Norwegian artist who champions the well-being of the planet.
Her latest record, Blue Beyond, was launched in August. It’s a 2-track vinyl LP with fine art print released in an edition of 1000 copies only, the first 100 copies numbered and signed by the artist. Mastered and cut by Jason at Transition. Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft. The Blue Beyond is produced by Touch and Audemars Piguet following Audemars Piguet Contemporary’s commission of two new compositions by Jana Winderen in 2019.
The Oslo-based Norwegian artist, Jana Winderen, champions the well-being of the planet through her immersive soundscapes. Born in 1965 in Bodø, Norway, and having grown up close to the forests, mountains and seas, and read books on Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a background in zoology, botany and geography, she has always loved to be in or by the ocean, rowing or swimming.
The Blue Beyond offers edits of two sound compositions for installations, Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux (2019) and The Art of Listening: Under Water (2019). Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux was first presented at Art Basel in Basel from 13 to 16 June 2019. A live performance of the piece was given at HEK (House of Electronic Arts Basel) on 11 June 2019. The Art of Listening: Under Water (2019) was first presented in the Rotunda, Collins Park, Miami Beach, in the context of Art Basel in Miami Beach, from 4 to 8 December 2019. The Art of Listening: Under Water installation was made in collaboration with Tony Myatt. It travelled to the Lenfest Center for the Arts, Columbia University School of the Arts, New York, from 3 to 13 February 2022.
“There is so much unknown and I have always liked to explore,” says Jana. As a child, she had spent every summer by the sea, often with her grandfather, Lars Winderen, an ear, nose and throat specialist who was an idealist in terms of protecting coastal areas and land from being built on, with a passion for plants and animal life.
He and her mother were environmentalists, which had a great influence on the young Winderen. In the ’70s, she was afraid and outraged when she learned that a lake near her home was about to die from algae overgrowth and of the Norwegian government’s decision to build a dam where the reindeer fed and the indigenous Sámi people lived.
After studying mathematics, chemistry, biochemistry and fish ecology at the University of Oslo, Winderen graduated in fine arts from Goldsmiths, University of London in 1993. Initially making sculptures at school, she quickly pivoted to sound in 1992, refusing to make objects that would later become landfill and intent on leaving the smallest carbon footprint as possible.
Jana Winderen often draws the fish, amphibians and plankton she meets. The Blue Beyond release consists of a drawing of two fish that probably would never meet; the pike from the freshwater Lac de Joux in the Jura Mountains and the snapper from the saltwater environment by Miami.
Today, Winderen’s practice focuses on sound and knowledge production. The artist seeks to raise awareness of the environmental issues we face as a society.
Norwegian Artist Champions the Well-Being of the Planet, compiled by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): © Jana Winderen
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