A sonic walk into Bear Valley – Bjørndalen, Svalbard, June 2016

Elin Már Øyen Vister invites you to participate and share a collective meditative sound walk into Bjørndalen, Svalbard. At the departure point we will do a communal warming up exersize and then we move into a non verbal mode lasting around 45 minutes into our walk. We will begin the walk by greeting the valley and then we walk calmly in silence sensing what the valley has to share with us.

It is along the fjords, the inland valleys and in the mountains the pelagic seabirds colonies are to be found. We hope to encounter birds and animals such as the Little Auk , Geese , Brunnich Guillemots , Gulls, Fulmars and maybe even Svalbard Ptarmigan, Polar Fox and the local Svalbard reindeer. We will experience more of Svalbards fascinating rock formations and hopefully we spot some early flowering artic plants such as the Purple Mountain Saxifrage.

The vally itself will be our guide and as we move through particularly sounding acoustical landscapes, we stop and spend some time standing still, listening We will make a hault when we are getting closer to the the Little Auk bird colony and do short final listening meditation there. As we complete the meditation, we move into verbal mode and we head back the same way we came. On our way back; let us spontaneously explore the fauna, flora and geology!

Download the invitation and text accompagnying the walk here: A-sonic-walk-into-bjorndalen

Here is a mention of the walk by writer Harry Thorne, author of the article “Postcard from the end of the world”, Frieze Art Magazine 

“On our final day in Longyearbyen we went on an hour-long ‘non-verbal walk’ in the nearby Bear Mountains, which was organised by Elin Már Øyen Vister, an artist, queer ecologist and ‘eco-essentialist’. Elin had previously explained how she was attempting to embody an Arctic puffin (having failed to take the form of a rock) and, despite my frustrations at the prospect of trekking for an hour with no opportunity to make sarcastic comments, she had urged me to ‘send thoughts out to the valley’. It took ten minutes for my cynicism to drift away. I didn’t speak, I didn’t worry, I didn’t think; I just walked. It wasn’t epiphanic, nor was it life changing, but for that brief period, a little more removed than I normally was, I felt calm”. 

And here is a mention of the same walk in Aftenposten by journalist Kjetil Røed, June 2016

Photos from walk courtesy of Cathryn Drake:

Along the shore towards Bear Valley




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