Listening to co-existence
“For the Amahuaca, the Koyukon, the Apache, and the diverse Aboriginal peoples of Australia – as for numerous other indigenous peoples – the coherence of human language is inseparable from the coherence of the surrounding ecology, from the expressive vitality of the more-than-human terrain. It is the animate earth that speaks; human speech is but a part of that vaster discourse.”
-David Abram, Spell Of The Sensuous
The Puffin (2014-)
While listening to, spending time with, recording and researching seabirds, bird sense and intimate relationships between humans and birds, I found myself slowely transforming into a hybrid between a human body and Atlantic Puffin. An wish to embody birdlike features. A process of shapeshifting, “hamingje” in old norse, and there are many words for this in sami. This new found body was being called upon by the Auk familiy of seabirds whicj come every spring to breed in the Røst archipelago of Norther Norway / Sapmi. Since 2014 I have humbly been taking the task as a fascilitator, mediator, translator between human and seabirds.
The Puffin is a performance that invites people to become better aquainted with a non-human through listening and responding. And it investigates ways in which listening and sonic awarness can inform what and how we communicate with the political, social and ecological environments we coexist in. The Puffin reminds the humans of multispecies communication, and proposes a non hierarchal; a horizontal interspecies listening.
The Puffin performance is a collective effort and the Puffin body – the Puffinhood, is being developed by artist and textile maker Ingrid Skåland Eriksen in collaboration with Elin Mar Øyen Vister. The Puffin soundtrack is developed from extensive field recordings done in the Røst archipelago by Elin Øyen Vister.
Link to The Puffin – A performance talk during CRISAP´s S:G:F:A conference at London College of The Arts autumn, 2014.
The Puffin – Lundefuglen has received project support from The Norwegian Arts Council and OCA.
Below is a series of images taken during The Puffin – Lundefuglen performances in 2014 and 2015 (Photos by Tejal Shah, Cal Harben, Maria Kaada Hovden and more)