Els Viaene (1979, Belgium) started her work as a sound artist / field recordist in 2001. With a set-up of two small microphones she listens, zooms into and enlarges the aural landscapes surrounding us. The natural rhythms and textures of the sounds hidden in those landscapes form the basis of her work.
Working on these sound materials for performances, sound compositions or installations she makes the listeners travel in imaginary and organic environments.
Through the specific use and set-up of sound within a space her installations create new spaces within existing ones, either emphasizing or making disappear the physical borders of that space. In doing so she often plays with the notions of seeing and hearing, the perception of what we see and hear and how both interfere.
The Mamori Expedition
A wooden installation replicates the path that artist Els Viaene followed during an expedition through the Brazilian Amazon Forest in 2009. The three wooden arms of the sculpture are a scale model of the Amazon River and are filled with water. A headset and a hammer-like stick, the 'hydrophone', allow you to ""hear"" the water. Once you insert the stick into the water and you move along the twists and turns of the sculpture, the sounds Viaene recorded during the expedition are reproduced. The Mamori Expedition catapults the viewer into the middle of the Amazon forest and invites the viewer to explore the river and its sounds in a very tactile way.
Concept, audio registration and technical realization: Els Viaene / Wooden model: Jeroen Verschuren / Microphone: Johan Vandermaelen / Coproduction: Netwerk Aalst / With the support of the flemish authorities, Q-O2 and Werktank / Distribution: Werktank