Maria Vedder – Susurrus in Mexico
4 channel video and sound installation
A project about electric smog and the sculptural quality of electric towers.
At the center of this installation is a sound that is usually inaudible or almost inaudible. The electromagnetic radiation from power lines – electric smog – surrounds us everywhere in everyday life. It is assumed that this radiation can have effects detrimental to health. Since we cannot perceive it, we repress awareness of its presence. In “Susurrus”, it is made audible in the example of the electromagnetic fields around land-based power lines.
2012 as an artist in residence in Mexico (EMARE MEX Werkleitz Halle) Maria Vedder filmed in different climate zones many landscape panoramas with land-based power lines. The noises of the respective electromagnetic fields were recorded with a self-built antenna on an audio recorder.
In the installation, one landscape is reproduced on one flat screen. Each picture is accompanied by the sounds of its electromagnetic field. Together, the 4 sound frequencies produce an auditory spatial composition. These tones, which suggest danger, contrast with the photographic beauty of the landscapes and the sculptural fascination of the electric towers.
The Latin word “Susurrus” means a rustling, whispering, or murmuring, but also an incongruity or absurdity.
THE RAINMAKER, 2016
The medieval church in Bröllin provides the input for this work about finiteness. The defining element for the video installation is a circle. In christianity and many other religions this line without a start or end stands for finiteness.
On my flight from New York to San Franscico I took some pictures of the of huge circle formations in the Middle West. To me they seemed a divine or extraterrestrial message. Later I found out that they had been written into the landscape through circle irrigation. The water in Kansas comes from a ground water reservoir from the ice age. The rivers that used to be fed have long time run dry. This fossil water will be used up in a not far away future. Even below Saudi-Arabia has water resources from the ice age which have been channeled through circle irrigation into the fields. These also will be used up in the coming decades.
Agribusiness has torn this original symbolism into the contrary.
In these films the circles have been set into motion through a digital intervention putting in contrast pictures of rain and overhead sprinkling system in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. THE RAINMAKERS is – like the installation SUSURRUS in ETF! - part of a worldwide survey of industrial interventions in nature and landscape.
Maria Vedder lives in Berlin.