Norwegian artist Jana Winderen’s immersive, site-specific installation, The Art of Listening: Under Water, will be presented by Columbia University School of the Arts from February 3–13, 2022. Visitors will experience a composition of underwater recordings made by the artist over many years in various locations, such as the Barents Sea around the North Pole, Iceland, Greenland, Thailand, the Caribbean, and off the coast of Miami. These will be presented alongside new recordings the artist made in and around New York City’s bodies of water, just days before the opening of this installation.

Winderen has been using hydrophones to make underwater recordings since 2005. “When I make recordings in the environment, I record the whole ecosystem with the animals in it,” she explains. “You will hear crustaceans, schools of fish, and mammals like dolphins, whales, seals, and humans.”

The composition highlights the fragility of our ecosystems, made more so by the constant intrusions of human sounds underwater today. Human activities in the world’s waters are ubiquitous and disruptive. Cargo and cruise ships, seismic airguns used to test for oil, pile drivings, industrial activities, military sonars, jet skis, tankers, and fishing vessels generate underwater noise pollution that puts stress on aquatic life — impeding animals’ ability to hear each other, communicate, feed, mate, and navigate. Winderen notes that “a movement that we make in one place can have an impact more broadly across the world.”

Working with longtime collaborator Tony Myatt, The Art of Listening: Under Water will be presented as a site-specific 360° spatial audio installation, just blocks from the Hudson River, in the Lenfest Center for the Arts on Columbia University’s Manhattanville campus.

The Art of Listening: Under Water was initially commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary and has been reimagined for Columbia University School of the Arts with their support.

From February 3–13, 2022, the installation will be on view daily from 2–8pm (EST) in the Lenfest Center for the Arts, located at 615 West 129th St in New York, NY 10027. For more information on ticketing and visiting the installation, see here.

To learn more, visit arts.columbia.edu.

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