annimation

Wilderness Preserves

A sound and image installation from 2001.
Mix sounds from the wilderness and from the city.
Presentation | Background


Morning sounds from an eucalyptus forest in Warra, Australia.
Sounds of people in Shimbashi shopping mall in Tokyo, Japan.

Sounds from Warra, Australia by jonas-jonas

Sounds from Shimbashi Shopping Mall Tokyo, Japan by jonas-jonas



Wilderness Preserves

3 Sound Installations

Time and place shift when sounds from different cultures meet.

There are no entirely untouched natural areas. Even the most remote places on earth are marked by humanity. Nature is perserved in reserves.

“Wilderness Preserves” moves conserved sound from the wilderness to unexpected places in our urban environment. Time and place shift when sounds from different cultures meet. Sounds such as those recorded from the conserved wilderness of our day have most likely been heard at these sites sometime in the past. How do we experience the culture in which we live—shot through with mechanical and digital sound—when it merges with the sounds of nature? In the future, how will we relate to the nature that remains?

“Wilderness Preserves” consists of sound extracts from three places in Australia which can be described as nature reserves. These sounds are preserves of the mood of these places, recorded over the course of one day.

 

 

Background

Even the most remote places on earth are marked by humanity. Today, there are no entirely untouched natural areas. Still, we want to believe that the wildness is protected and that plants and animals in nature reserves are unaffected by us. But the nature reserve is, like the museum or the private collection, formed by humanity.

In the future, how are we going to relate to the wilderness that we have left?  Strict regulation of sensitive areas limits accessibility. Nature that is inaccessable is also invisible: we are not even aware of its existence. However, unprotected areas can be disturbed, which makes them less attractive for tourists. Yet local support for nature reserves depends upon tourism, which provides rural communities with a means of economic survival. National parks and nature reserves are often created in areas where the forestry and natural resourse industries find nothing to extract. And exploitation is permitted even in proteced areas if it benefits local or national ecomonies. 

This installation project prompts viewers to ask ecological questions by presenting nature as a cultural space. ”Wilderness Preserves” moves the sounds of nature to urban contexts, thus overcoming our political and ethical distance from the nature reserve. This project therefore goes one step further than Manuell Castell when he observes that “Culture has overcome Nature to such an extent that this artificiality is revived (in ‘reserves’) as a cultural form.” If we are entering into a new era in which nature is reconstructed as a cultural ideal, what is our responsibility to that which we reconstruct?

We are entering into a new era in which Culture refers to Culture and in which Culture has overcome Nature to such an extent that this artificiality is revived (in “reserves”) as a cultural form. This is in fact the aim of the environmental movement: to reconstruct nature as a cultural ideal.

Manuell Castells, The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture

Band I. The Rise of Network Society (1996)

Project idea, sound recordings, editing, and photography:
Jonas Lindkvist

 Assistents:
Australien expedition: Ian Barbour och Susanne Thulin
Copywriting: Anders Emilson
Translation: Claire Hogarth