Between solid and liquid: Constructed landscapes. Phase transition/landscape of voices | Andrea Wollensak
The landscape of Iceland is a study in continuous transition — moving sands, shifting glaciers, and meandering rivers create a dynamic environment, analogous to the phase transition between ice and liquid itself. Between Solid and Liquid: Constructed Landscapes is a body of work inspired by these ephemeral states of place and matter, realized across multiple forms of media.
One of the principles that determines my work as a site oriented artist is to allow the place-based data and audio visual material I gather on-site to help reveal directions and formats the realization of the work might take. I venture to sites with tools for collecting and recording, marking place with Global Positioning Satellites (GPS), capture image and sound with video and audio equipment, and record observations in sketchbooks. I also consider many perspectives of looking at landscape, ranging from cartographic mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) to collections of scientific data relevant to the site.
Much of my work involves community participation and collaborative interdisciplinary ventures. For this project it was important to me to render the environment through the voices of those who live there. So, during multiple visits to Iceland, I conducted a number of interviews with residents, asking them to describe their personal relationship to the active geophysical landscape as well as their most vivid memory. In visiting each of the sites they describe, I recorded video of blowing sands and shifting ice, as well as sounds of the gurgling and sepulchral gas emanating from the many fissures and craters.
Wollensak’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In May this year she had a show at Galleri Konstepidemin. Recent collaborative projects include Land/Site/Voice: Iceland (2013) a work that explores Icelandic residents’ environmental concerns of their landscape, and the ephemeral moment between ice and water, Obstacle/Flow: Interactive Presence Project an interactive environment inspired by the natural phenomena of jökulhlaups (2012); Listening Sites: Tracking Places a mapping sound artwork featured in the International Gothenburg Biennial in Sweden (2007). Wollensak has also been an artist-in-residence at the Hafnarborg Museum, Hafnarfjördur, Iceland (2010), Gothenburg, Sweden through IASPIS (2007), Saint-Lô, France (2003), Rockefeller Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy (2000), Lorient, France (2000), and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada (1996).
Andrea Wollensak is Professor of Art and Associate Director of Events at the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology at Connecticut College. She teaches courses on visualizing data, social design, and experimental objects and environments. At the Ammerman Center, Wollensak collaborates on projects in interdisciplinary teams with faculty and students.