Miriam Sentler      

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The Chase Publication, 2020

Artist publication, 32 pages,
in collaboration with composer Drake Stoughton (USA)


The Chase (2020) is an audio installation and publication, realised in collaboration with composer Drake Stoughton and with the help of Dr. Kees van Oers. The work evolves around the memories of some of the older villagers of Keyenberg (DE), a village which will soon be excavated due to the North-Rhine Westphalian lignite industry, which have been observing birds since their childhood years. They report the loss of the large variety of birds orchestrating in their gardens, a phenomenon which came to an abrupt end after their forced resettlement to ‘Neu-Keyenberg’, one of the newly built copy-villages replacing the original settlements. Due to the concrete nature of the new villages and the excavation of the nearby forests, the animals are now driven out of this landscape. The missing of natural, site-specific flora and fauna results in a feeling of missing the disappeared, a feeling coined as ‘solastalgia’ by the Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht. Reason for exploring contemporary forms of this feeling in this landscape was the disappearing of Langendorf, the village in which Miriam’s grandfather was born, tearing a geographical hole into her own family history.

By recording birdsongs during dawn within the Hambacher Forst and by examining them together with ecologist Kees van Oers (KNAW), the work highlights the unique composition of birds present within this disappearing landscape. In collaboration with composer Drake Stoughton, a score was made, in which’s process the audio was matched with the right notes. The composer’s inability of keeping track with the birds represents the problem of archiving the natural, resulting in an auditive play (or chase) between the archived and the archiver. The publication displays the score or ‘catch’ resulting from this chase, representing an additional step of archiving; therefore further transforming the natural phenomenon in the process.

Limited edition of 15. Graphic Design by Lyanne Polderman
Texts supervised by Master Artistic Research
University of Amsterdam