Henrik Håkansson ‘Dusk b/w Dawn’




The Dusk/Dawn 12in e.p. was released by Swedish contemporary artist Henrik Håkansson (born 1968, Helsinborg) for the Utopia Station exhibition at the 2003 Venice Biennale, curated by Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Molly Nesbit and Rirkrit Tiravanija. The record is based on field recordings made in Sweden forests between 2001 and 2003, in line with the artist’s concept of bringing nature into the art gallery. Other Håkansson projects have included exhibiting tropical forest trees and plants in art galleries (see here), organizing a 1,000 crickets-concert in Japan during The Monsters of Rock Tour, Tokyo, 1999 and recording endangered species like Mexico’s Quetzal bird, Mexico, 2008. As far as field recordings goes, ‘Dusk/Dawn’ is a strange affair, as Håkansson is no environmentalist documenting one location’s sound world, like the World Soundscape Project would do, for instance. Instead, several outdoor recordings are piled up to build a dense, busy sound world full of birds of various species, including geese. In addition, some bird songs are slowed down and/or sampled to appear in a disembodied voice. Though what we hear is based on natural recordings, the result seems an unsettling artifact, like background sounds in Second Life. Maybe this is what the artist means when he says: ‘This record is a comment on the state of the environment’.

01 Dusk (14:00)
02 Dawn (13:37)

Total time 27:37
12” released by A Better Tomorrow Records, (Italy?), 2003

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4 Responses to “Henrik Håkansson ‘Dusk b/w Dawn’”


  1. 1 Janas April 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Hakansson is a sensitive artist and his work is very interesting. Thanks.

  2. 2 continuo April 6, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    While not entirely convinced by his work, I reckon Håkansson is an interesting artist. The above record’s contradictions and ambivalence remain open to interpretation, though, which is a good point.
    Thanks for dropping by. Nice blog over there at Chaudron.blogspot.com.

  3. 3 hare May 7, 2010 at 10:35 am

    short comment is that the sound on this record is based only on two different field recordings, some tracks slow downs but,
    no add on mixes, just a mastering.

  4. 4 continuo May 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks for the clarification, though it doesn’t explain why these field recordings had to sound so artificial and digital, especially from an artist whose speciality is to bring chunks of actual Nature into the art gallery. I expected the record to do the same: to transport Nature into my living room, which it does not, compared to other environmentalists’ records. I would definitely enjoy some more explanations on the ‘Dusk/Dawn’ project.


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