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