Visual Studies 1: Creative Arts Today: Part one: Contemporary Art: Page 39 – Exercise 2

Vatnajökull (the sound of) 2007–08 Katie Paterson.

When ringing a neon telephone number displayed on the gallery wall the individual would be connected to a microphone, deep in the water near to a melting iceberg.

As only one person could connect to the live feed at one time each experience and performance was organically unique.

The long distance line and mobile connection made the feed somewhat grainy like an old recording. The sounds which could be heard were a series of pops, bubbles and water noises, it almost sounded like frying oil in a pan.

This piece was very time and place specific and limited to the time that particular section of iceberg would take to melt.

The introduction to the piece and what was displayed in the gallery was a mobile telephone number in neon lights. This created intrigue and acted as the play button for the live feed for the first person through.  This text acted to draw the eye, gives no indication of what you will experience when making the call.

The intention of the piece was for people to imagine a place which they have not visited, by imagining a place which they had no visual of. The place would have had been imagined in different ways by different people and would have had many different versions of itself created. The place name becomes a secondary quality and the sound of the place is now the primary quality.

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