La Nature dans le Miroir

As a human being I try to observe nature by catching it. I make pictures of beautiful landscapes and recordings of bird sounds. But this process of catching is also transforming nature. I use trails made in the landscape so I can easily walk around, I leave the sound of my footsteps in the surrounding, and by travelling to for example the Ile St Pierre the loud boat sounds are added to the acoustics of the landscape. On a much larger scale, human-caused climate change modifies our environment in general. In a few decades, when the climate at St Pierre is substantially warmer, its nature will have changed also. The wind will probably blow through different trees, in which birds formerly living in more southern regions might live. 

Inspired by these possible soundscapes of the future, in my piece nature is caught by a kind of mirror in the performers hand. Sensors on their arms are tracking the movements of the mirror. These sensor data are used to develop the sounds for the new soundscape. A loudspeaker placed on the heart of the performers diffuses the composition of this new nature. Every movement with the mirror triggers a sound from the loudspeaker on the performer. In the beginning these are local bird sounds, but they start to transform into non-local bird sounds, the birds who might live here in a few decades. The soundscape develops further in other kinds of artificial weird birds, and other sounds of the environment are added by the movements of the performers. At the end the performers move like birds themselves, and slowly “fly” around with their mirror-arm.  

video still © June Schädelin
video still © June Schädelin
video still © June Schädelin
video still © June Schädelin
picture © Annette Boutellier